Aaron Gordon of the Magic fell just short of dethroning defending NBA Slam Dunk Contest champion Zach LaVine of the Timberwolves last year on All-Star Saturday in Toronto.
LaVine would be going for his third straight Slam Dunk championship this Saturday in New Orleans had he not torn the ACL in his left knee against the Pistons on Feb. 3. Instead, Gordon is listed as the -175 betting favorite (wager $175 to win $100) to win his first Slam Dunk title among participants in a limited four-player field.
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The 6'9″ Orlando power forward is also averaging a career-high 11.2 points per game, although he will not be the tallest entrant in the Slam Dunk Contest. That would be 6'11″ All-Star center DeAndre Jordan of the Clippers, who is participating for the first time.
Jordan is a +700 longshot to win it, as is Glenn Robinson III of the Pacers, another first-time participant in his third NBA season.
Rookie Derrick Jones Jr. of the Suns is the +175 second choice, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. Jones played only one year of college basketball at UNLV, and he is averaging less than a point per game for the Suns, splitting time between Phoenix and the team’s D-League affiliate.
In the Three-Point Contest, Klay Thompson of the Warriors will attempt to defend his title from long-range in a more stacked field with multiple NBA All-Stars. Thompson is the +125 betting favorite, and he hopes to become the third consecutive Warrior to win it following himself last year and teammate Stephen Curry in 2015.
Curry will not be participating this year, but Kyrie Irving of the Cavaliers, Kyle Lowry of the Raptors and Kemba Walker of the Hornets are other All-Stars who will be challenging Thompson in addition to playing in Sunday’s game.
All four players are shooting better than 39% from beyond the arc and have connected on over 100 threes each heading into Tuesday’s action. Curry is the lone player with more than 200 and will be sitting out of the event for the first time in five years.