The 2017 Slam Dunk Contest has the potential to be one of the best in NBA history, simply because the field is so well-rounded this year.
Glenn Robinson III is capable of throwing down alley-oop jams on 6'10" power forwards:
DeAndre Jordan, the master of the 360 slam and one of the NBA's most powerful dunkers, routinely puts on shows before games:
Derrick Jones Jr. is so good at dunking that he's the first NBA D-League player to ever participate in the Slam Dunk Contest:
And we all know what Aaron Gordon is capable of doing:
Here's a look at the entire Slam Dunk Contest roster, each player's odds of winning, the contest's format and the predicted winner.
Participants and Odds
|Aaron Gordon||Orlando Magic||6'9"||220 lbs||Second||-150|
|Derrick Jones Jr.||Northern Arizona Suns (D-League)||6'7"||190 lbs||First||+120|
|DeAndre Jordan||Los Angeles Clippers||6'11"||265 lbs||First||+1100|
|Glenn Robinson III||Indiana Pacers||6'6"||222 lbs||First||+750|
Odds per OddsShark as of Feb. 17.
Each player will have two dunks in the first round, with three attempts to complete each dunk.
After a player completes a dunk (or exhausts all three of his attempts), five judges—NBA legends Dominique Wilkins, Gary Payton, David Robinson, Chris Webber and Alonzo Mourning—will score a player from six to 10, with the highest possible total score being 50 per dunk (or 100 for an entire round).
The two players with the highest combined scores will move into the finals, and then the same process is repeated over again, with each player getting two more dunks.
In the event of a tie in the first round or finals, players will compete in a dunk-off (one dunk each) until the tie is broken. Last year, Gordon and Zach LaVine needed two tiebreakers in the final round to decide a winner.
Unlike previous years, there is no time limit.
It's hard to predict anyone but Gordon to win this event.
Michael Jordan and Wilkins put on a show at the 1988 Slam Dunk Contest, but Gordon and LaVine topped them, which is mind-boggling to write, given that Jordan's and Wilkins' nicknames are based off their aerial prowess (Air Jordan and the Human Highlight Film).
Gordon is working hard to grab the crown he could have won last year, working with his mental conditioning coach, Graham Betchart, on this year's dunks, per Flinder Boyd of B/R Mag.
It's easy to say that it's impossible to see Gordon topping what he did last year, but it was also impossible to fathom Gordon pulling off a 360 dunk while using Stuff, the Orlando Magic mascot, as a prop.
Who knows what else he has up his sleeve?
Gordon should win this one, but he's going to have to hold off some stiff competition.