SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Sports) – Utah Jazz forward Lauri Markkanen will not only be starting the NBA All-Star Game on Sunday, but he will also be participating in the 3-point contest Saturday night at Vivint Arena.
NBA insider Shams Charania broke the news Tuesday.
Markkanen will compete with former Weber State star Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers, Boston’s Jayson Tatum, Sacramento’s Kevin Huerter, Miami’s Tyler Herro, Indiana’s Tyrese Haliburton and Buddy Hield, and Portland’s Anfernee Simons.
Markkanen is shooting a career-best 41.3% from three-point range this season, and averaging a career-high 24.9 points for the Jazz this season.
Jeff Hornacek is the only Jazz player to win the 3-point contest, winning it twice in 1998 and 2000.
Mike Conley is the last Jazz player to compete in the contest in 2021, finishing second to Steph Curry.
Former Jazz star Donovan Mitchell, who made his fourth All-Star Game with the Cleveland Cavaliers, reportedly turned down an invite to the 3-point contest.
“I would’ve done it had Steph (Curry) been in it this year,” Mitchell told cleveland.com.
Jordan Clarkson, Walker Kessler and Collin Sexton will form Team Jazz in the NBA All-Star Skills Challenge on Friday. Two other teams will competing against Team Jazz in a variety of events that include shooting, passing and dribbling challenges.
Team Antetokounmpos include Milwaukee star Giannis Antetokounmpo and his two brothers Thanasis and Alex. The third team is comprised of rookies Paulo Banchero, Jaden Ivey and Jabari Smith.
It’s a four-round competition, the first three involving shooting, passing and a relay. The top two teams after those events will then shoot half-court shots to decide a winner.
The dunk contest will have four competitors in Philadelphia’s Mac McClung, Houston’s Kenyon Martin Jr., New Orleans’ Trey Murphy III and New York’s Jericho Sims.
Former Jazz star Karl Malone will be one of four judges in the slam dunk contest.