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All-Stars Porzingis, Embiid, and Horford headline 2018 Skills Challenge

Abbie Parr / Getty Images Sport / Getty

The NBA on TNT crew announced the eight participants of the 2018 Skills Challenge Thursday night, headlined by a trio of All-Stars, a pair of dynamic rookies, and several savvy vets.

Player Team
Al Horford Boston Celtics
Donovan Mitchell Utah Jazz
Jamal Murray Denver Nuggets
Joel Embiid Philadelphia 76ers
Kristaps Porzingis New York Knicks
Lauri Markkanen Chicago Bulls
Lou Williams Los Angeles Clippers
Spencer Dinwiddie Brooklyn Nets

Knicks big man Kristaps Porzingis is back to defend his 2017 crown, as is Sixers center Joel Embiid, who was forced to withdraw from last year's event due to injury. The Celtics' versatile Al Horford joins his fellow Atlantic Division All-Star big men.

Bulls rookie Lauri Markkanen and Jazz rookie Donovan Mitchell will have an opportunity to further establish their place in the league, as will the Nuggets' flashy second-year guard Jamal Murray.

While it's not the same as playing in the All-Star weekend's main event, fringe All-Star candidates Lou Williams of the Clippers and Spencer Dinwiddie of the Nets will also be in tow.

As in recent years, the 2018 Skills Challenge will feature three rounds with the entrants facing off in head-to-head heats until only one backcourt player and one frontcourt player remain for the decisive championship round.

If Porzingis does retain his Skills Challenge crown, the lanky Latvian will join Steve Nash, Dwyane Wade, and Damian Lillard as the only multi-time champs since the event was added to All-Star Saturday Night in 2003. A guard hasn't won the event since Patrick Beverley in 2015.

For Slam Dunk Contest participants, click here. For Three-Point Contest participants, click here.

All-Stars Porzingis, Embiid, and Horford headline 2018 Skills Challenge
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