Aaron Gordon has become a staple of the NBA Slam Dunk Contest, but an injury will prevent the bouncy Orlando Magic forward from competing in the 2018 edition.
George Diaz of the Orlando Sentinel reports Gordon is dealing with a strained left hip flexor and will not be in the showcase. Per Diaz, Gordon will also miss Orlando’s upcoming games against the Miami Heat and Cleveland Cavaliers.
It would’ve been the third consecutive Slam Dunk Contest appearance for Gordon, who finished second in the 2016 competition. He returned in 2017 but couldn’t execute a dunk while trying to use a drone as a prop.
Now, the attention shifts to which player will replace the 22-year-old. The first option should be Utah Jazz rookie Donovan Mitchell, who has showed off his leaping ability this season with a handful of impressive finishes throughout his 24 dunks.
Victor Oladipo, Dennis Smith Jr. and Larry Nance Jr. will be the other participants in the Slam Dunk Contest on Feb. 17.