NBA Slam Dunk 2024 Contest Picks, Predictions & Best Bets for NBA All-Star Weekend

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Germantas Kneita


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Like most Lithuanians, I started watching basketball from the age of six. I'm based out in London and played basketball at the University of Lincoln here in the UK. I had always had an interest in the NBA but things really took off in the summer of 2010. That year Linas Kleiza led Lithuania to 3rd place at the World Championships and signed with the Toronto Raptors to replace the departing Chris Bosh. I've been a Raptors fan since that day and I've not missed a game since. I've been handicapping games for more than a decade, specializing in player props. For Germantas Kneita media enquiries, please email
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The closing event of the evening will be the AT&T Slam Dunk contest. It is hard to know what to expect with this, with the last decade delivering both absolute duds and unforgettable classics. Tonight’s contest will follow a familiar format. 4 participants will preform 2 dunks each for a panel of 5 judges, with the highest scoring pair moving onto the final round to perform 2 more dunks. The person with the highest combined score of the 2 dunks combined will be crowned champion.

Let’s take a look at the competitors below.

Mac McClung (-275)

Just like the 3-point contest, another champion is back to defend his crown in the Dunk Contest as Mac McClung makes his second appearance. He blew away the competition last year, which has made him a strong favorite this time around too. He recorded a 43.5 inch vertical in his draft combine, which is one of the top 10 marks all-time so he certainly has the athleticism to back up his favorite status. The real question with him this time around will be to see what new dunks he brings to the table. He had a lot of hype behind his participation last year too, with people having heard of his vertical but not many having seen it in action. It could work against him tonight, with the surprise factor of his capabilities not being there this time around.

Jaylen Brown (+550)

The biggest name in the dunk contest this season is Boston Celtics star Jaylen Brown. He should have the physical attributes to be an impressive participant. He stands at 6’7” and there are claims that he has a 40” vertical to boot. You only need to YouTube his best poster dunks in the NBA to see that in action in games. I expect this to translate in this competition too. Considering he is the biggest name in the contest and going up against such a heavy favorite, he must have something up his sleeve for this one, as he likely has the most to lose from a poor showing. Brown will definitely be one to watch tonight.

Jaime Jaquez Jr. (+800)

Miami Heat rookie Jaime Jaquez Jr. has enjoyed a great first campaign in the NBA and has showcased sneaky athleticism in the process. It should not be a surprise that he can get up well, having posted a 39” vertical and standing at 6’6” tall. Looking at his dunks from this season however, it would be hard to classify him as one of the most impressive dunkers in the league. It is hard to imagine him flipping the script tonight and overcoming someone like McClung here. His dunk tape hardly ever shows him elevate to the point that his eyes are level with the rim. I just cannot see what he would have to do tonight to pull off the upset.

Jacob Toppin (+850)

One man who does have the physical tools to make some noise tonight is Jacob Toppin. He is the older brother of 2022 Slam Dunk champion Obi Toppin so should have someone to bounce dunk ideas of off. If you look at his vertical leap, which has been recorded at 45” inches, he will have the tools to pull off any of the ideas that the pair come up with. Just looking at videos of his dunks from his warmups during his Kentucky days and you see that he has no trouble looking down into the rim once he soars in the air. When compared to his brother, he looks a lot less rigid in his movement too, attacking the rim with power and fluency. He is definitely work a small wager tonight.

Final Prediction: Jacob Toppin (+850)

There is no doubt that McClung is the going to be hard to knock off tonight, but there is not much value in backing him. That is especially true when an athlete like Jacob Toppin is in the field and capable of causing an upset. He has the family pedigree in the contest and should certainly not be overlooked — especially not at +850.

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