Luka Doncic and All Contestants Revealed for 2021 NBA Skills Challenge

Blake SchusterSenior Analyst IIMarch 3, 2021

Dallas Mavericks' Luka Doncic plays during an NBA basketball game against the Philadelphia 76ers, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Matt Slocum/Associated Press

Luka Doncic headlines a stacked field for the 2021 NBA Skills Challenge alongside Robert Covington, Chris Paul, Julius Randle, Nikola Vucevic and Domantas Sabonis.

It's the fifth time in the event for Paul, who has yet to pull off a victory despite being arguably one of the best all-around point guards in NBA history. Randle, Doncic, Sabonis, Vucevic and Paul will all take part in the All-Star Game that tips off at 8 p.m. ET on Sunday. 

This year's All-Star Weekend will feature a condensed schedule from past seasons with the skills challenge, three-point contest and dunk contest all taking place on the same day.

Here's a look at this year's participants for the skills contest and who has the best chance at taking the title from Miami Heat star Bam Adebayo.


Taco Bell Skills Challenge Participants  

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Luka Doncic, PG, Dallas Mavericks: 28.6 points, 9.0 assists, 8.4 rebounds per game

Robert Covington, SF, Portland Trail Blazers: 7.7 points, 6.5 rebounds, 1.7 assists per game

Chris Paul, PG, Phoenix Suns: 16.4 points, 9.0 assists, 4.7 rebounds per game

Julius Randle, PF, New York Knicks: 23.4 points, 10.9 rebounds, 5.5 assists per game

Nikola Vucevic, C, Orlando Magic: 24.5 points, 11.7 rebounds, 3.7 assists per game

Domantas Sabonis, PF, Indiana Pacers: 21.2 points, 11.3 rebounds, 5.9 assists per game

The skills challenge will take place at approximately 6:30 p.m. ET on TNT. 

The Eastern Conference is on a roll when it comes to the Skills Challenge, having seen its players win every event since 2017, thanks to Kristaps Porzingis, Spencer Dinwiddie, Jayson Tatum and Adebayo.

Before then, the Western Conference went on a seven-year stretch when it seemed to coast in the challenge. Steve Nash—now the coach of the Brooklyn Nets—kicked off that run in 2010, followed by Stephen Curry, Tony Parker, Damian Lillard, Trey Burke, Patrick Beverley and Karl-Anthony Towns. 

Agile forwards who boast a strong jump shot have been among the surprise winners in recent years. Adebayo, Tatum, Porzingis and Towns each fit the mold of a modern Skills Challenge winner. That makes someone like Sabonis or Vucevic a quiet threat to steal a win from Doncic or Paul. 

Just don't count out Randle, either. The Knicks forward continues to show off his versatility this year and fits right in with this crop of challengers.