Many NBA fans have been clamoring to see rookie Zion Williamson enter the 2020 Dunk Contest after his thunderous slams sent social media into a tailspin every other night. Same goes for Zach LaVine and Aaron Gordon, who had the best one-on-one battle we’ve seen in the competition over the years.
Step aside, everybody. Jalen Lecque, the 19-year-old nicknamed “Baby Westbrook” is ready to flaunt his freakish hops on the national stage if he’s given the chance.
“Definitely,” Lecque told me. “I definitely would. If I get chosen for the opportunity I definitely would, but that’s not my decision. That’s the NBA’s decision.”
Did you know Lecque finished No. 1 in the max vertical leap at the 2019 NBA Draft Combine? No surprise if you’ve had the chance to watch Lecque’s high school tape where he more often than not dominated at Christ School (Arden, North Carolina) and Brewster Academy, but jumping 43 inches is absurd.
Following the draft, where Lecque wasn’t selected, the Phoenix Suns quickly signed him minutes after on a four-year contract. Not too often you see those deals handed out to players who went undrafted, but there’s a big reason behind it. Phoenix was intrigued by the possibility of molding Lecque into a bonafide rotation piece under head coach Monty Williams’ guidance.
Early returns in Las Vegas Summer League were very promising from this standpoint. Not only did Lecque show off his hops on more than occasion, but he showed off promising defensive capabilities along with an extremely high basketball IQ for someone going the preps-to-pros route.
Lecque, a 6’4” combo guard, averaged 8.8 points, 2.5 rebounds, 2 assists, and 1.3 steals in 18.5 minutes per game in Summer League action. Stretching it out to per-36 minute production, Lecque poured in 17 points, 4.9 rebounds, 3.9 assists, and 2.4 steals on 45.8/20.0/85.7 shooting splits.
If those numbers are any indication, the Northern Arizona Suns will be appointment viewing for fans eager to follow along with Lecque’s long-term development.
Remember when Derrick Jones Jr. put on a show in Prescott Valley, which ultimately led to him appearing in the 2017 Dunk Contest? Lecque might follow in those footsteps. And really he should, because there’s no doubt he would put on an absolute show for a nationally televised audience.
It’s time to start the grassroots campaign for Lecque to be entered into the 2020 Dunk Contest after confirming he wants to steal the show. Who’s with me?