2021 NBA Skills Challenge Schedule, Competitors, Preview & Bet Picks

Last Updated: Mar 5, 2021

The Game Day has compiled our 2021 NBA Skills Challenge Preview & Picks. This year’s NBA All-Star Skills Challenge will be taking place during the 2021 All-Star pregame of the actual NBA All-Star Game. This should make for an exciting NBA All-Star Sunday since the Slam Dunk Contest is taking place at halftime.


Check out our full 2021 NBA All-Star Game Weekend Preview:


2021 NBA Skills Challenge: When You Can Watch

The NBA Skills Challenge is taking place at the 2021 All-Star Game pregame on Sunday, March 7. The game tips off at 7:00 p.m. ET from State Farm Arena in Atlanta. The skills challenge is slated to begin at 6:30 p.m. ET.


2021 NBA Skills Challenge Contest Preview

  • Robert Covington, F, Portland Trail Blazers
  • Luka Doncic, G, Dallas Mavericks
  • Chris Paul, G, Phoenix Suns
  • Julius Randle, F, New York Knicks
  • Domantas Sabonis, F, Indiana Pacers
  • Nikola Vucevic, C, Orlando Magic

Robert Covington is the lone participant that will not be participating in the actual NBA All-Star Game after the event. After going undrafted in 2013, Covington has proven that he has what it takes to ace an obstacle course of dribbling, passing and three-point shooting.

Dallas Mavericks superstar Luka Doncic put the league on notice during his performance in the NBA’s Orlando bubble. A point guard sized like a forward, Doncic has the physical attributes to succeed in this challenge.

Chris Paul is the definition of a true point guard. His playmaking and floor-commanding attributes have been on display throughout his 16-year NBA career. Paul is shooting an impressive 38.5 percent from distance this season, so hitting the three-point shot should not be much of a concern.

Julius Randle has exploded onto the scene this season for the New York Knicks, earning himself his first All-Star appearance, as well as his first NBA Skills Challenge, invite. Randle is having career-bests across the board.

Domantas Sabonis is a stat-stuffing forward that will be making his second consecutive skills challenge appearance. Last year, he was beaten out by Miami’s Bam Adebayo. Appearing in his second All-Star Game afterwards, look for Sabonis to try and secure the Skills Challenge trophy beforehand.

Never count out the big men in the NBA Skills Challenge. Orlando’s Nikola Vucevic has a real shot at the crown. Karl-Anthony Towns, Kristaps Porzingis and Adebayo have all won the title in the last five years alone.


2021 NBA Skills Contest Pick

Best Bet: Chris Paul

To Win 2021 NBA Skills Challenge (+230)

Wager: 1 unit (win would pay 3.3 units)

While the lights will probably be brightest on Doncic, look for the old veteran to surprise. All-time great point guards like Jason Kidd, Deron Williams, Steve Nash, Tony Parker, Stephen Curry and Damian Lillard have all won this challenge.

Paul belongs on this list. The Suns are quietly the second seed in the Western Conference. Nobody around the league is giving Paul the respect he deserves for bringing his new team to this point. Perhaps a skills challenge victory could get a hype built up around the Suns.

Sleeper: Julius Randle

To Win 2021 NBA Skills Challenge (+600)

Wager: 1 unit (win would pay 7 units)

Randle has been the bright spot for the New York Knicks this season. As his career has progressed, he has become more mobile and much more than an above-average rebounder. Big men have the advantage of using their long strides to weave through the obstacle course quickly. A Randle victory would be a ton of fun.

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