Want to see them compete this year in Chicago?
There’s a chance.
Eric Woodyard of ESPN:
Zach LaVine has been invited to participate in this year’s dunk contest in Chicago, but hasn't made a decision, per sources. He is more likely to participate if he makes the ASG. He was 5th for guards on East's first fan voting with a career-best 23.8 ppg and 39.8% from 3.
— Eric Woodyard (@E_Woodyard) January 6, 2020
Memphis Grizzlies standout rookie Ja Morant has been invited to compete in the NBA Slam Dunk Contest during All-Star Weekend in Chicago next month, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
“It’s something I’m thinking about,” Morant told Yahoo Sports. “I haven’t made a decision yet.”
Lakers center Dwight Howard and Heat forward Derrick Jones Jr. have reportedly already accepted invitations. There have been four entrants in each of the last five dunk contests. So, this could be the entire field if LaVine and Morant join.
LaVine has a chance to achieve his goal of becoming an All-Star. Barring a change in format and injury replacements, 4-6 Eastern Conference guards will make the All-Star game. Trae Young, Kemba Walker, Ben Simmons and Bradley Beal look like the top candidates. LaVine is in the next tier with Jaylen Brown, Kyle Lowry, Spencer Dinwiddie and Devonte' Graham. Though he has missed most of the season, Kyrie Irving ranks second in fan voting. If enough players pick him and media votes are concentrated enough on other players, Irving could steal a starting spot. Jimmy Butler is listed as a frontcourt player for fan voting, but coaches could pick him as a reserve guard.
Simply, it’s borderline for LaVine.
Morant will almost definitely be in Chicago for the Rising Stars game. With Zion Williamson injured, Morant is the top representative of the 2019 draft class. So, that makes it simpler for Morant to compete in the dunk contest, too.