Utah Jazz rookie Donovan Mitchell will replace injured forward Aaron Gordon in the Dunk Contest over All-Star Wekeend, the guard announced on Monday. As a result, Mitchell will no longer compete in the Skills Competition.
It’s official! Donovan Mitchell is in the dunk contest. He won’t compete in the Skills Challenge anymore. pic.twitter.com/bZhRnRXQE6
— Eric Woodyard (@E_Woodyard) February 5, 2018
Gordon withdrew from the Dunk Contest on Monday due to a strained left hip flexor injury.
Mitchell, an explosive two-way guard who has several top dunks of the season already in his resume, will compete in the contest for the first time. He’ll compete against Pacers All-Star Victor Oladipo, Lakers forward Larry Nance Jr. and Mavericks rookie Dennis Smith Jr.
The Verizon Slam Dunk Contest will be held during All-Star Weekend on Saturday, February 17, along with other events such as the JBL Three-Point Contest and Taco Bells Skills Challenge. The annual All-Star Game will commence the following night in Los Angeles.
Mitchell, 21, is a strong early candidate for the NBA’s Rookie of the Year award, averaging 19.7 points on 45 percent shooting in 49 games. The young, entertaining guard out of Louisville joins Jeremy Evans (2012, 2013), DeShawn Stevenson, Jamie Watson, David Benoit, Blue Edwards and Darrell Griffith as players who have represented the Jazz in the Dunk Contest. Evans won the contest back in 2012.
The Dunk Contest was won by Glenn Robinson lll last year. All four participants in this year’s contest did participate in the event last season.