This year's All Star Game in Atlanta will be one-of-a-kind. All the events will be taking place on the same night. The only player that is confirmed to be participating in this year's dunk contest is New York Knicks rookie Obi Toppin. Here's a clip of Toppin a between-the-legs dunk IN A GAME at Dayton last year!
Other than Toppin, the only player that has even teased the idea of competing in the contest this year is Zion Williamson. It seems like he will compete since he will be in Atlanta already, after being selected to his first All-Star game. The only players younger than Zion at their first all-star appearance were Kobe Bryant (who won the dunk contest that year), Lebron James (famously has never competed in the event), and Magic Johnson.
If Zion does decide to participate, he will be the heavy favorite. This kid has the greatest dunk compilation ever. EVER. Since his injury last year, his jumps look less bouncy and natural and he is still jumping higher than 99% of humans on planet earth. Here's his high school dunk mixtape. If you haven't seen it. It is a MUST watch. Hard to believe this was just 2.5 years ago.
Top 5 Other Players We Would Love to See Participate (Realistically, sorry Lebron fans)
Derrick Jones Jr.
He won the contest last season beating Aaron Gordon in the final round. They call him "Airplane Mode" for a reason. Most players decide to return and defend their title after winning a dunk contest. We haven't heard an official commitment from Jones Jr. but it is safe to assume he will be joining Toppin and hopefully Williamson. This would be his third dunk contest appearance.
2. Miles Bridges
Bridges has been putting on a show off the bench for the Charlotte Hornets. He has been on the receiving end of several Lamelo Ball alley-oop passes. Bridges competed in the contest during his rookie year in 2019 but didn't advance past the first round. The Hornets are on the most fun teams to watch in the NBA, it seems like a good PR move for Bridges to compete, and he probably wants redemption from 2019.
3. John Collins
The Atlanta Hawks are hosting this year's All-Star weekend. They didn't have anyone selected to the All-Star game. Trae Young may try to get redemption in the 3-point contest after being eliminated in the first round last year, but John Collins could be given a chance to compete in the dunk contest for the host team. Collins was in the 2019 contest along with Bridges and was also eliminated in the first round. Both Hawks young players should be given a chance to represent their team in their home arena.
4. Jaylen Brown
Most players nowadays don't enter the dunk contest after their first few years in the league. Brown is still only 24 years old, although it feels like he has been in the league forever since he only played one year at Berkeley. His athleticism jumps through the screen when you watch a Celtics game. Since he was selected to his first All-Star game this year, he will already be in Atlanta for the game and could decide to participate in the contest.
5. Anthony Edwards
The #1 overall pick of the Minnesota Timberwolves is putting together one of the most impressive dunk packages we have seen in a rookie season since Blake Griffin. Considering Blake Griffin is considered a top 5 dunker all time in the NBA, that's a big deal. Edwards had the presumed dunk of the year recently against the Raptors. He has yet to say if he is interested in the contest, but it would be good for the Timberwolves to have some sort of representation at All-Star weekend.