Shams Charania of The Athletic reported on Tuesday that the expected four participants in the 2024 NBA Slam Dunk Contest will be Celtics forward Jaylen Brown, defending champion Mac McClung, Heat rookie Jaime Jaquez Jr., and Knicks forward Jacob Toppin.
Outside of Brown adding some star-power to the mix, fans are most likely disappointed with the reported field, even with the defending champ, McClung, returning.
Jaquez is a promising rookie in this league but doesn't really have a lot of name power outside of NBA Twitter, a group that sees the Heat newcomer as one of the best rookies in his draft class. Another candidate is Toppin, who has played sparingly for the New York Knicks on a two-way contract and is the younger brother of Obi Toppin.
Brown is one of the best veterans in the league and clearly has more name value and marketing power than the rest of these participants combined. Having said that, perhaps there is something to gain for these players by winning the dunk contest.
NBA Slam Dunk Contest participants revealed: Jaylen Brown, Jaime Jaquez Jr., Mac McClung and Jacob Toppin are in
In all reality, McClung or Toppin will not have any better chance of making an NBA roster full-time if they win the dunk contest. Still, these two dunkers will most likely gain some endorsements if they were to end up winning the contest, especially if one of their dunks is easy to market.
Brown too could get some endorsements out of the contest in the right situation, but overally, his legacy would not dramatically change all that much. It'd look great on Basketball-Reference and highlight reels, but that's possibly it.
Jaquez is probably the participant with the most to gain. As mentioned, he's a promising young rookie in the league, and a win in the Slam Dunk Contest could elevate his stock both in terms of endorsement deals and more NBA fans taking notice of what he's doing in Miami.
No matter what any of these players can gain from the contest and no matter how little star power is competing, the best the fans can hope for is that we get an entertaining show during All-Star Weekend.