Best NBA all-star Dunk Contest picks: Simons set to take flight
This years NBA dunk contest lacks household names as Cassius Stanley, Anfernee Simons and Obi Toppin do battle in Atlanta. And while these guys are not brand names yet, this could be the perfect launching platform for them, and they all seem to have the athleticism to put on a show. This year’s dunk contest will see the participant perform two dunks each before the highest scoring pair move on to the final to preform one more dunk. After that, the judges will pick their winner. Lets take a closer look at the contestants.
Cassius Stanley (+125)
Not many people know about the 54th pick from Duke in last year’s draft but once you see him in action it does not take long to realise the insane hops that he possesses. Stanley recorded a 44-inch vertical jump in last years NBA draft combine. For comparison, Aaron Gordon recorded a 39-inch vertical in his combine, which perfectly explains why there is footage of Stanley recreating Gordons under the legs dunk with ease. He is an insane athlete and has promised to do some original dunks tonight. He is the rightful favorite.
Anfernee Simons (+200)
Simons is the player I expect to see in the final round competing against Stanley for the title. Standing at 6’3”, he is three inches shorter than Stanley which could work in his favor, as shorter players have a history of doing well in the contest. He recorded a 41 and a half in vertical in the 2018 NBA combine and can be constantly seen looking down at the rim in his dunk highlights. I certainly feel like he has something special up his sleeve tonight as he wanted to compete in last years contest but was not able to. Last years champion Derrick Jones Jr. is also his teammate which should help him with the creativity for his dunks.
Obi Toppin (+200)
Arguably the biggest name in the contest, the Knicks rookie was the eighth overall pick in last years draft and was known as a dunker in college. Playing for Dayton, he led the nation in dunks, but it will be interesting to see if that translates to a contest format. He is the tallest of the participants at 6 feet 9 inches which could work against him, especially considering he is not the most fluid mover. Toppin is a long and a power dunker, but I cannot see him putting on the visual spectacle that the other two will.
It is a tough one to call at this stage, and Stanley certainly has the tools to bring the house down tonight. But Simons has been chasing this contest and that makes me think he has something special planned. Given his height and the fact that he has a slam dunk champion he can bounce ideas off of in training, I think he should be able to edge it here.