Next weekend, the basketball world will focus on Indianapolis as the NBA will hold All-Star Weekend in the home city of the Indiana Pacers.
While the actual All-Star Game will take place on Sunday, February 18, Saturday will be the day of a number of other events, including the Slam Dunk Contest.
Per Shams Charania, Mac McClung, Jaylen Brown, Jaime Jaquez Jr., and Jacob Toppin will be the four likely participants in this year’s dunk competition.
Sources: The NBA’s likely Slam Dunk Contest participants at All-Star Weekend:
Mac McClung, Jaylen Brown, Jaime Jaquez Jr., Jacob Toppin.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) February 6, 2024
McClung has gone back and forth between the NBA and the G League ever since going undrafted in 2021 out of Texas Tech University, and he most recently played two games with the Philadelphia 76ers last season.
Brown is the biggest name in the quartet Charania mentioned — he has been a fixture for the Boston Celtics for the last several years, and he will appear in the All-Star Game for the third time in his career.
He is averaging 22.3 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 3.7 assists a game for the Celtics, who have the league’s best record at 38-12.
Jaquez, a forward with the Miami Heat, has been one of basketball’s better rookies this season, and he is putting up 13.1 points a game so far this year.
The 6-foot-6 22-year-old played four seasons of college ball at UCLA, and Miami made him the No. 18 pick in last summer’s draft.
Toppin, the younger brother of the Pacers’ Obi Toppin, is an undrafted forward with the New York Knicks.
The Slam Dunk Contest may not be what is was a few decades ago, but it is still something to watch, as one never knows what type of creativity its participants will come up with.