Do you think you – or anyone in the entire galaxy, for that matter – could beat De’Aaron Fox in the NBA All-Star weekend Skills Challenge? No? Well, neither does Las Vegas.
According to the betting site, Bovada, Fox is the current favorite to win the competition that will feature other talented ball handlers such as rookie sensations Luka Doncic (DAL) and Trae Young (ATL) along with gifted big men such as Nikola Jokic (DEN) and Nikola Vucevic (ORL).
When looking at the field though, it’s no wonder the former Kentucky guard is the favorite. Fox is hands down the quickest of the group (Mike Conley [MEM] might be his only competitor in that area, but only if it’s the Conley of three years ago, which is not going to be the case), but is probably the fourth-best passer behind some combination of Doncic, Young, and Jokic. I’d say Doncic will be Fox’s biggest challenge with Jokic following up behind the two. Id’ also say the two wing players, Jayson Tatum (BOS) and Kyle Kuzma (LAL), will absolutely surprise some people with how easy they’ll be able to run through this course. They are incredibly fluid and rather graceful when they have the ball in their hands. It should be an exciting event.
Fox isn’t going to be the only former Wildcat participating in one of these special events next weekend, though. Both Devin Booker and Hamidou Diallo will participate in the 3-Point Contest and Slam-Dunk Contest, respectively, but neither are considered favorites like Fox.
Booker is tied with Buddy Hield for the second-highest odds behind only – of course – the greatest shooter of all time in Stephen Curry (GSW). Steph’s brother, Seth (POR), is also among the group of 10 and other notable names include Damian Lillard (POR), Kemba Walker (CHA), and the great Dirk Nowitzki (DAL). For my personal pick to win this contest, I’ve actually elected to go with the younger Curry, Seth, who currently leads the league in three-point shooting percentage, connecting on 66 of his 136 attempts (48.5 percent).
As for Diallo, he is the underdog for the Dunk Contest by a considerable margin. Among the group, Diallo has the lowest odds out of John Collins (ATL), Dennis Smith Jr. (NYK), and Miles Bridges (CHA). Now some credit is due to Diallo, who is one of the bounciest players that no one has seen yet and got into the contest despite playing in fewer than 12 minutes per game. But he hasn’t been able to showcase his true dunking ability in the pros just yet. And if you’ve seen any of the other three players dunk a basketball this season, you’d understand why Diallo is so far behind the pack. Smith Jr. attacks the rim like it stole his girlfriend, Collins is just a massive and alien-like athlete, and Bridges’ power dunks, where he cocks the ball all the way back to his feet before unloading every ounce of aggression he has, will leave entire arenas stunned into confusion.
Place your bets now, you’ll have several opportunities to win/lose money off a bunch of former Kentucky players.
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