Lakers center Dwight Howard will participate in the Dunk Contest during All-Star Weekend in Chicago this year, according to The Athletic's Shams Charania.
Howard headlined the Dunk Contest from 2007-09 and won it in 2008 with his famous Superman dunk while wearing a cape. His participation is sure to bring lots of attention to the competition after his memorable dunks in years past.
When he won it in 2008, Howard was in the prime of his career while playing with the Magic. He earned three consecutive Defensive Player of the Year awards and reached the 2009 NBA Finals during eight seasons with Orlando. Six of his eight straight All-Star nods also came during his tenure with the team.
This season, Howard, 34, is averaging 7.1 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game off the bench with the Lakers.
His non-guarenteed contract is set to become guaranteed on Tuesday, as the Lakers have until the 2 p.m. PT deadline to waive Howard's deal for the veteran's minimum $2.56 million. According to ESPN's Dave McMenamin, not surprisingly the team will not do so and instead hold on to the former Defensive Player of the Year.
Sources told Charania that Los Angeles will exercise "cautiousness" with Howard at the event in Chicago because of "his critical role on a championship favorite [team] come the postseason."
Memphis Grizzlies standout rookie Ja Morant is also reportedly milling an invitation to compete in the Slam Dunk Contest, per Yahoo Sports' Chris Haynes.
The 2020 NBA Slam Dunk Contest will be held on Feb. 15, one day before the All-Star Game is played.