Aaron Gordon is arguably the leagues best dunker, and the fact that he hasn’t won an NBA Slam Dunk Contest yet is criminal. Gordon has participated in the dunk contest three times, being the runner up in two of the three. Gordon’s first dunk contest was in 2016, and he did not disappoint. Gordon posted a 94 in the first round, and followed that up with a perfect score in the finals. Zach Lavine also posted a perfect score in the finals, so the two went head to head in a sudden death round. In the sudden death round, Lavine was able to defeat Gordon by a score of 100-97. This dunk contest is known as one of the greatest dunk contests of all time. Gordon was unable to make it to the final in his second dunk contest, but he made up for his sub-par performance three seasons later. In his third dunk contest, Gordon put on a show as he had four straight 50-point dunks. Despite having four perfect dunks, he went to a sudden death round with Derrick Jones Jr. In that sudden death round, Gordon dunked over 7’ 5” Tacko Fall and was awarded a 47 for that dunk, which led him to lose by one point. Gordon has since stated that the 2020 dunk contest would be his last, but it would be great to see him put on one more show while going up against three other elite dunkers.
Lavine has participated in two slam dunk contests and won both of them. His first dunk contest was in 2015, where he posted a perfect score in the first round and scored a 94 in the final round to defeat Victor Oladipo. A year later, Lavine was the winner of the infamous 2016 dunk contest, where he scored a 99 in the first round and then proceeded to have a perfect score in the final round and a perfect score in the sudden death round. Lavine tore his ACL in 2017 and has not yet returned to the dunk contest since. Participating in one final slam dunk contest will give Lavine the opportunity to tie Nate Robinson as the only player in NBA history to win the NBA Slam Dunk Contest three times.
Derrick Jones Jr.
Derrick Jones Jr. might be the highest leaper in the entire NBA and he has some of the craziest dunks I have ever seen. Jones Jr. took home the 2020 NBA Slam Dunk Contest trophy in a very close matchup with Aaron Gordon. Jones Jr. posted a score of 96 in the first round, 100 in the second round, and 97 in the dunk-off. If you are trying to find someone that will make you jump out of your seat for a dunk, Derrick Jones Jr. is your guy. After winning the 2020 slam dunk contest, it would be great to see Derrick Jones Jr. try to defend his crown in 2021.
Zion Williamson in the slam dunk contest could make it one of the biggest events of the entire NBA season. Zion has made a name for himself as an insane dunker since high school, being on all different social media accounts showing off his ridiculous bounce. Zion is a freak athlete, and at 285 pounds, it seems impossible that he can jump as high as he can. Although it is unlikely that the Pelicans would want him to participate in the NBA Slam Dunk Contest due to injury concerns, I am sure he would put on a show if he got the green light from his team.