4 Rookies we want to see in the 2021 NBA Slam Dunk Contest

Michael Mulford
·3 min read

With the recent announcement of the captains and starters for the 2021 NBA All-Star Game on Thursday, that only means one thing: the announcement for the 2021 NBA Slam Dunk Contest participants are looming.

The typical All-Star Saturday Night festivities will take place on Sunday, March 7th along with the All-Star Game. The Skills Competition and Three Point Competition will happen prior to the game and the Slam Dunk Contest will be at halftime, according to a report from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Derrick Jones Jr., who represented the Heat in 2020 and is now with the Blazers, is the reigning Dunk Contest champion, after beating Aaron Gordon in the finals last year. It remains to be seen if either player returns to the Dunk Contest – but a few members of the 2020 rookie class have shown plenty of bounce and intrigue to put on a show come halftime on March 7th.

Anthony Edwards, Minnesota Timberwolves

(AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

I think it's safe to say that Anthony Edwards is the league's top candidate for the Slam Dunk Contest, especially after the monstrous poster, and quite possibly the dunk of the year, he put Raptors' Yuta Watanabe on during Friday night's game. https://twitter.com/ComplexSports/status/1362973179816382464 Edwards has bounce for days and the dunk heard around the world from last night should most certainly guarantee himself a spot in the dunk contest.

Obi Toppin, New York Knicks

Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Though he missed time this season due to injury, don't think we forgot about New York Knicks' rookie Obi Toppin and his dunking ability. From his time in college at Dayton to his short time in the league this season, he's showcased time and time again his above the rim repertoire and his love for boomin' on the other team. https://twitter.com/nyknicks/status/1353826275794833411?s=20 Toppin has hinted at an interest to participate in the contest so fingers crossed the league gives him a call.

RJ Hampton, Denver Nuggets

(AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

Some may say he fell in the 2020 NBA Draft but Hampton found himself in a good developmental situation in Denver and has been carving out a role for himself with the Nuggets as of late. Hampton is a lot more athletic and bouncy than one may first think but let's be clear, the kid can get up. For instance, the crime that he committed on Cavaliers' Cedi Osman was absolutely beautiful and brutal at the same time. https://twitter.com/BleacherReport/status/1359715032515289090

Isaac Okoro, Cleveland Cavaliers

(Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports)

The fifth pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, Isaac Okoro has been a steady contributor to the Cavalier's roster, starting all 25 games he has played. What helps that steady contribution is his athleticism. In the same game that Hampton baptized Cedi Osman last Wednesday, Okoro created his own poster with Nikola Jokic as the victim.

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