By Josh Cohen
Aug. 6, 2017
#8 Bismack Biyombo
Biyombo is one of the more athletic big men in the league. He’s a powerful dunker and dynamic defender. The Magic benefitted last season when Biyombo played with crowd-pleasing intensity and ferocity.
#7 Evan Fournier
Fournier has extremely impressive footwork and body control. He weaves through traffic and dodges defenders with ease. He’s more athletic and agile than most realize and he’s definitely gotten stronger, which helped him initiate more contact last season.
#6 Elfrid Payton
Payton is known for his shifty, irregular movements. While he’s not incredibly explosive, Payton is extremely hard to contain off the dribble because he’s so unpredictable and crafty. He’s able to accelerate and then stomp on the brakes without losing his balance.
#5 Jonathon Simmons
Simmons is fearless. He has so much zip to his game and he plays with boundless energy and determination. He delivered a few sensational slams and came up with some remarkable chase-down blocks with the Spurs last season.
#4 Mario Hezonja
Hezonja is really fast and sprightly when he gets a full head of steam on the break. Several scouts noted when he was drafted in 2015 that he was probably the only prospect from his draft class that could win a slam dunk contest and 3-point shooting competition.
#3 Terrence Ross
Ross is a former slam dunk champion. He’s an electrifying dunker either in traffic or on the break. His prior coach in Toronto, Dwane Casey, once said he thought Ross was the best athlete in the NBA.
#2 Jonathan Isaac
Isaac is a terrific alley-oop target. He’s so incredibly long and agile. He can snag nearly any pass tossed up to him. Isaac is exceptionally quick laterally, which helps him prevent dribble drives.
#1 Aaron Gordon
Gordon led the Magic last season with 99 dunks. He has participated in each of the last two slam dunk contests. Gordon is extremely active, explosive and spry. He’s superb in transition and he recovers quickly on defense because of his anticipation and motor.