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The 2015 Game of Thrones NBA Draft

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Written By: AJ Smith @adotjdotwoots and Trevor Lightfoot @TrevorLightfoot

There’s nothing quite like Game of Thrones. Seriously though, what other series can evoke a smoldering anger that stays with you for days on end, unleash a severe plot twist the has a ripple effect through an entire realm, and contain a plethora of story lines so dense with smoke screens that just about any conspiracy theory could potentially be true?

Before going any further, let’s take a brief moment to climb The Wall and appreciate season five from 700 feet. Over the course of ten short episodes, we witnessed the body-shattering battle of Hardhome, the backstabbing treachery of the Night’s Watch, the gut wrenching (yet satisfying) atonement of Cersei, the unjust imprisonment of Margery, and the awe inspiring flight of Drogon. Now that the dust has settled and some of our emotional wounds have healed, what do we do? If you’re anything like us, then you’ve already had to resort to reading week old articles and watching YouTube videos to scratch that insatiable “thrones” itch.

With most of these resources now exhausted, and months to wait until the next book or season is released, we have come to the conclusion that drastic steps must be taken to keep us from going royally mad. That’s why we decided to take matters into our own hands and add a new element to the Game of Thrones saga. In the Game of Thrones, you either win or you…

Reimagine the kingdoms and characters within the Game of Thrones world and infuse them with athleticism and characteristics of the 2015 NBA first round draft picks.

So why did we put in the absurd amount of time and effort to complete this endeavor? Because we wanted answers, that’s why! How else would we be able to know who in this year’s draft will have the master manipulation skills of Tyrion Lannister or the sheer force of Tormund? Plus, the idea of giving these freakishly athletic young men a few Valyrian steel swords, a handful of horses, and a shot to claim the Hardwood Throne seemed like a really good idea at the time.

Here’s what you need to know before reading any further:

  • The NBA is divided into two conferences, Easteros and Westeros.
  • Each team will represent a realm, part of a kingdom, or something significant to the story.
  • Each NBA player will be combined with a traditional Game of Thrones character.

Now, you may be asking yourself, “What credentials do you hooligans have to take on such an audacious initiative?!” We’re glad you asked.

First and foremost, we are basketball zealots. The game itself is fascinating, but there’s also the distinctive culture, the business savvy, the postgame attire, and so much more that make this sport one of a kind. Second, we are lifelong Phoenix Suns fans. This means that much like fans of the Game of Thrones series, we have experienced the glory of epic highs, as well as the shock of devastating lows. Lastly, In the weeks and months leading up to the draft we tediously analyzed all prospects, their individual backgrounds, playing styles, personality profiles, schools, draft selections, and have connected dots. Enjoy!

BOTKAT

With the 1st pick in the Game of Thrones NBA draft, the Minnesota Timberwolves (Winterfell) select: Brienne of Tarth as Karl Anthony Towns.

You might be wondering how we determined that the consensus #1 overall draft pick is reminiscent of (don’t call me a Lady) Brienne of Tarth… Again, we’re glad you asked.

  • Let’s begin with more obvious, surface-level similarities. Both characters are supreme in stature and known for their defense. Karl Anthony Towns (KAT) is a rim protector. Brienne of Tarth (BOT) is a prized character protector. It also doesn’t hurt KAT was drafted to the North, where BOT currently resides in Winterfell (Minnesota).
  • Digging deeper, both characters are fiercely loyal, admirably humble, and eager to make sacrifices for the greater good. KAT played 20 minutes a game at Kentucky in a relentless pursuit of a title. BOT has been steadfast in her resolve, persistently serving Lady Sansa.
  • How does KAT’s game translate to the pros? Undoubtedly, he’ll take his knocks battling the bigs down low. He’ll suffer some losses of Renly and Catelyn proportions. But ultimately, we believe KAT will evolve beyond a role player. One day, he’ll slay giants like the Hound and Stannis (I mean, we’re led to believe these boys are under BOT’s belt) and be a consensus game-changer for years to come.

JamieRussell

With the 2nd pick in the Game of Thrones NBA draft, the Los Angeles Lakers (King’s Landing West) select: DeAngelo Russell as Jamie Lannister.

We keep hearing DeAngelo has superstar potential, or he could be a bust of Kingslayer magnitude. Are we crazy? You tell us.

  • Following his untimely run-in with our first overall pick, Sir. Jamie Lannister has learned to use his left hand with speed and precision as displayed in the sorry sword soiree with the Sand Snakes in Dorne. This skill showcases the same smooth, crafty confidence demonstrated by DeAngelo Russell. The man is savant passing the basketball.
  • Reminiscent of Sir. Jamie’s controversial family history and Kingslayer past, DeAngelo overcame a troubled childhood and was often misunderstood. He even had his own family drama as he left his home state, spurning Louisville and Kentucky, to play for the storied house of Ohio State.
  • Ultimately, DeAngelo “felt (he was) the best player in the draft because of his journey.” He was stretched, and overcame the pain his family has been through to become an effortless scorer, as Sir. Jamie is an eloquent swordsman.
  • What’s next for DeAngelo? He’s heading to the lifeblood of the Westeros conference, “Showtime” King’s Landing West. Unfortunately, we believe he’s heading for more trouble before seeing greener pastures as he’s returning to miserable turmoil as Kobe (Cersei) completes her walk of shame and deals with charges of two-timing with Lancel.

HoundOkafor

With the 3rd pick in the Game of Thrones NBA draft, the Philadelphia 76ers (The Twins) select: Jahlil Okafor as the Hound.

…A dead and relatively minor character. We know what you’re thinking… How DARE you!

  • Heading to Philly (The Twins) is where the Hound’s plot thickened, as the Red Wedding took place and he became a journeyman with Arya. The same journey appears to be on the horizon for Jahlil, as he joins the Red Frontcourt of Joel Embiid and Nerlens Noel.
  • Let’s be honest, Jahlil’s post-draft interview didn’t beam positivity. In fact, he permeated pain and anguish. The Hound lived an angry and simple life: do thy bidding of thy Lannisters and FINISH HIM! Up until this point, Jahlil has been running a parallel experience: do thy bidding of thy Duke and FINISH THAT DUNK! Err…THAT POST MOVE! You get the point. All that background and talent sort of gets turned upside down with this pick.
  • Ultimately, these guys both have all the physical tools. They’re beasts, they’re explosive, and they can finish. All signs point to pure domination. Unfortunately, they’re not much on the defensive end of things, as evidenced by the Hound getting the epic KO from Brienne. We hope the story has a happier end for Jahlil, and the right trade will surely re-write history.

JoffKristaps

With the 4th pick in the Game of Thrones NBA draft, the New York Knicks (King’s Landing East) select: Kristaps Porzingis as King Joffrey Baratheon/Lannister.

King Joffrey! That’s good news for the Knicks right? I mean… kings have power! Oh wait… damn it.

  • Here’s what we know about Kristaps. He’s either Dirk Nowitzki or Darko Millicic, and we have no idea which. Almost reminds you of Joffrey’s lineage… Is he Lannister or Baratheon? Most had no idea which… (heyyyyyoooooo!) No, but seriously, you could say Kristaps is heading to King’s Landing East in New York City and is being asked to lead the team to supremacy of the realm – and everyone’s like – this guy? Really… THIS guy. Just ask Melo.
  • King Joffrey was always trying to prove himself – “look at me guys, I am a capable king and I will rule the realm!” Kristaps will spend his entire career trying to validate the Zen Master’s selection. Don’t you get the feeling that despite the tools (Joffrey’s family name, the throne, the ring, the tutelage, etc. and Kristap’s size, wingspan, agility, athleticism, etc.) that deep in your gut, you’re just like “Oh shit, that guy just LOOKS inadequate (and evil).” These guys seriously look like brothers, by the way.
  • Both characters experienced an amazing rise in their stock that elevated them into a premiere position to do something special. We know how things ended with Joffrey, and we’re wagering if an inevitable demise will occur for Kristaps, as well. Godspeed NYC.

OberynMario

With the 5th pick in the Game of Thrones NBA draft, the Orlando Magic (Dorne) select: Mario Hezonja as Oberyn Martell.

Super Mario is a boss – the Croatian JR Smith? Sign us up. He’ll be great to watch and a blast to hang out with… what’s the downside?

  • Here’s what we know: this man can flat out shoot and he’s got a killer instinct with an aptitude for flashy finishes. This is Oberyn Martell’s lifestyle, epitomized in basketball terms. The man was a living legend and our first draft pick for “bachelor party planner.” You got a sense of electricity watching Oberyn fight, the same way we feel seeing Super Mario’s incredible talent on display.
  • On the flip side, Super Mario has well-documented challenges harnessing the fiery spirit, connecting with teammates, and keeping his trap shut. Let’s not forget how Oberyn’s illustrious life came to a crushing end at the death grip of the Mountain. Okay, we get it George R.R. Martin – the majority of your most compelling characters die, so if we choose them, we’re damning the career of a fresh draft pick.
  • Similar to Kristaps and Joffrey, Mario and Oberyn are uncanny doppelgangers. Mario’s heading to the oasis of Orlando, which has undeniable comparisons to the gardens of Dorne. So what’s next? Oberyn’s story was cut short because of his passion for avenging his sister. Super Mario has no such dirty laundry that will distract him, and we believe his game will translate more seamlessly to a sustainable NBA career. Super Mario and Victor Luigi-dipo running those breaks. LETSGO

TormundWillie

With the 6th pick in the Game of Thrones NBA draft, the Sacramento Kings (Hardhome) select: Willie Cauley Stein as Tormund.

Imagine Sacramento as Hardhome. We know, we know there’s no snow, giants, or people walking around with chipped skull faces. That being said, Sacramento is in a state of disarray, just like Hardhome after the White Walker invasion of episode eight of last season. Where’s the connection? Well, three months into George Karl’s tenure as the Kings’ head coach he has already made waves by invading the front office and making his best attempt to run Boogie Cousins out of town. So why is Cauley-Stein a dead ringer for Tormund? Allow us to elaborate:

  • They both have phenomenal hair.
  • They are both fearless defenders and reckless competitors. On the battlefield, Tormund ferociously wields whatever weapon he can wrap his hands around and destroys the opposition. He is the informal leader, notorious embellisher, and loyal protector of his Wildling kinfolk.
  • On the hardwood, Cauley-Stein may not be the most refined player on the court but few are able play with the raw energy and aggression that he does. In a single series down the court he can somehow perfectly execute a defensive maneuver that normal big men would not even attempt and then display a bone-crunching slam-dunk on the offensive end a few seconds later.

SnowEmmanual

With the 7th pick in the Game of Thrones NBA draft, the Denver Nuggets (The Wall) select: Emmanuel Mudiay as Jon Snow.

The Wall may not be a mile high, but it is 700 feet tall and the Game of Thrones equivalent to the Pepsi Center where the Nuggets call home. We thought it fitting that while Snow’s future at The Wall has become a point of contention among fans, Mudiay is just beginning his climb. But what else do these two have in common?

  • Snow and Mudiay share an unquestionable desire and more importantly, an innate ability to lead. These guys don’t get rattled easily.
  • Just like Snow, Mudiay also chose to follow the path less travelled. Instead of playing college basketball for a major university, he took a risk and played in China before eventually making it to the NBA.
  • Something else to note, they both are known for having high character and uncompromising belief in the greater good. I mean just look at these quotes, are they not basically cut form the same womb?
    • “May your character preach more loudly than your words” – Emmanuel Mudiay
    • “I want to fight for the side that fights for living” – Jon Snow
  • Similar styles on the battles field and on the court. Snow is swift on his feet and a talented fighter while Mudiay is able to use flawless ball handing and poise to penetrate through any defensive and finish at the rim.

StannisStanley

With the 8th pick in the Game of Thrones NBA draft, the Detroit Pistons (Dragonstone) select: Stanley Johnson as Stannis.

Detroit is the NBA equivalent of Dragonstone: A kingdom and city both in the shadow of its own former greatness. The Pistons desperately need leadership, youth, and talent to jump-start their engines, especially after losing Monroe to the Bucks. Is it time to make a desperate plea to the Lord of Light for some help? Don’t worry, here comes Stanley “Stannis” Johnson to the rescue.

  • Both Stannis and Stanley tend to let their aggression get the better of them. Stannis went as far as killing his own daughter (RIP Shireen) in a failed attempt to take the Iron Throne. Now, we’re not accusing The Stanimal of anything this devious, but when the stage was set and lights were brightest, he put up a dismal six points and two rebounds in an Elite 8 matchup against the Wisconsin Badgers. Some might say it’s a bit reminiscent of the Battle of Blackwater Bay, as well.
  • This fearless aggression is also why Stanley will be a great addition for the Pistons. Just like his Baratheon counterpart, Stanley is an offensive and defensive warrior with a body and mind built for competition.

PodrickFrank

With the 9th pick in the Game of Thrones NBA draft, the Charlotte Hornets (The Forrest) select: Frank Kaminski as Podrick.

Here we have the boy with the awkward body frame, a face of pure innocence, and the secret ability to please multiple lovers at the same time. Are we talking about Frank Kaminski or Podrick? Or maybe they are one-and-the-same.

  • Podrick is a bit of a journeyman. He started off in King’s Landing but has since traveled all the way to Winterfell with Brienne. We predict that Kaminski will have a similar experience in the NBA. He will never be a star, but he is a big man with dynamic moves in the post and a pure shot from long distance.
  • Besides the decisive resemblance, Kaminski and Podrick are both unquestionably loyal. Podrick served Tyrion with honor and is now under the sturdy wing of Brienne learning how to become a knight. Frank stayed at Wisconsin all four years and his loyalty was paid off with two final-four appearances, a lottery draft pick, and an epic dance off on ESPN.
  • Preparation is the difference between life and death. Podrick is never going to be the fastest or strongest swordsmen in Westeros and Kaminski is never going to be a Pau Gasol-esque type of player. That being said, he has put in the blood, sweat, and tears to learn the footwork and fundamental skills to compete with anyone in the NBA.

TyrionJustise

With the 10th pick in the Game of Thrones NBA draft, the Miami Heat (Mereen) select: Justise Winslow as Tyrion Lannister.

The reaction of Heat fans reading this: “So what you’re saying is that you think Justise was the steal of the draft? We like your style.” Thank you, we like yours too.

  • Justise and Tyrion are the types of guys you want to root for. These fan favorites are highly intelligent, multifaceted, versatile, and largely underappreciated. As evidenced by Justise’s ridiculous slide down the draft board and Tyrion’s lifelong uphill battle due to his dwarfism, these guys have chips on their shoulders. Even though they both come from storied backgrounds (famous houses of Duke and Lannister lineage), they’re still often overlooked.
  • Despite it all, they’ve descended upon high-profile destinations and into positions of immediate impact. Miami, which is clearly the Mereen of reality, sees Justise join a team on the brink of greatness. Justise will be thrust into a long-term position of leadership as he partners with other greats to battle incumbent kings. Both characters love the big moment, and just like Tyrion came out on top in the Battle of Blackwater Bay, Justise showed up under the bright lights of the national championship game.
  • As documented in the GOT books, Tyrion has a special connection with dragons, which we foresee a parallel experience between Justise and his new running mate, Goran (the Dragon) Dragic.

HodorMyles

With the 11th pick in the Game of Thrones NBA draft, the Indiana Pacers (Heart Tree) select: Myles Turner as Hodor.

Hodor Hodor, Hodor Hodor Hodor Hodor Hodor… Hodor Hodor?

  • Okay, out of respect, let’s just say that we’re not condemning Myles Turner to a career known for mindless maneuvers or foolish follies. However, in full transparency, you just need to watch Myles run down the floor, flailing his arms about like a windmill in a tornado. The man just kind of lumbers about with a clunky demeanor. In fact, we’re all but certain he was out of breath during his post-draft interview.
  • Diving into next-level analysis, let’s consider where we last saw dear Hodor: cooped up in a cave (which must be a lot like playing in the same front court as Roy Hibbert) just a stone’s throw away Heart Tree, a major staple of the GOT saga. From a location perspective, there’s eerie parallels between this magical epicenter and that of Hoosier-land, a basketball mecca that’s housed an undefeated Indiana program, the birth land of one of the greatest ever in Larry (don’t call me a Three-Eyed-Raven) Bird, and some of the world’s greatest basketball fans.
  • Editor’s note: Have we seen a glimpse into the season six future? Roy Hibbert on the move to King’s Landing West, setting the stage for a triumphant return from Hodor!

SparrowLyles

With the 12th pick in the Game of Thrones NBA draft, the Utah Jazz (The Sept) select: Trey Lyles as High Sparrow.

Okay, this has game-changer written all over it – the High Sparrow has the entire kingdom either locked up or nude-struttin’. And we are feelin’ that big time.

  • This character alignment is primarily motivated by location. Utah, respectfully, is the land of LDS and the Mormon midpoint. Some might even say it’s the Sept, a religious hub where faith in following runs supreme.
  • Both of these characters were surprise game-changers, and represent true X-factors in their respective situations. High Sparrow traveled the realm on his mission, gaining followers and amassing a position of power in servitude. Trey Lyles, awkwardly, is being brought in to potentially play a stretch 4 after shooting in the 30’s from the field at Kentucky, with a paltry 17% from three. Trey needs the grace of God to pull that off.
  • But wait; let’s play this out a bit. Let’s say Trey forms a powerful alliance with his up and coming teammates and transforms his game into the versatile big that complements Favors and the Stifle Tower. Lyles can quickly elevate the Jazz to a playoff team that could even challenge a top seed, crushing the hopes of a team like G-State from retaining the throne.

WormDevin

With the 13th pick in the Game of Thrones NBA draft, the Phoenix Suns (Yunkai) select: Devin Booker as Grey Worm.

Attention: Homer pick – these guys are Suns fans – this better be good. Game faces, engaged.

  • First and foremost, have you seen these guys side by side? Both of them have either taken a lifelong vow to shave every two hours or they just naturally do not produce body hair and both have the skin color of a caramelized goddess. I’m pretty sure Grey Worm can stunt double for Devin Booker on hard drives through traffic without a trace. In fact, Grey Worm could call in Devin for the old bait and switch for Missandei…. Heyooooooo.
  • Grey Worm is a fearless leader, an ultimate fighter, and a passionate loyalist – all traits that we, as Suns fans, are cautiously optimistic that Devin Booker will bring to the table as he develops into a franchise cornerstone. While these characters had different upbringings, they have both arrived at a place where they can make a difference. Sure, Phoenix is still on the outside looking in right now, same as Khaleesi’s crew, but they’re within striking distance.
  • We see Phoenix and its barren desert as the Slaver’s Bay (Yunkai) of reality, the homeland of Grey Worm. The Land of the Sun will act in much of the same capacity in Devin’s development, helping him grow into a sharpshooting, athletic wing that leads the Suns to the throne. Homer alert, homer alert.
  • Editor’s note: Why, LaMarcus? Just, don’t. We need time.

DanyPayne

With the 14th pick in the Game of Thrones NBA draft, the Oklahoma City Thunder (The Fields) select: Cameron Payne as Danaerys Targaryen.

You must be thinking – “Oh damn, it’s the Khaleesi. This is a major-league endorsement for Mr. Payne. Tell us more.” We shall.

  • Last we saw our dear, beautiful, “girl next door,” Dany, Dorthraki in fields somewhere on the outskirts of Mereen was encircling her. This location aligns perfectly with OKC – so let’s explore the similarities between Cameron Payne and Khaleesi. Both characters come from humble beginnings en route to prime time. C-Payne killed it in Mid-Major land, just as Khaleesi waded through Slaver’s Bay and Dorthraki-baby flames before reaching power.
  • With OKC’s pick of Payne, we see an instant injection of Dany-esque leadership, passion, and propensity for helping others. Both these characters have an undeniable chip on their shoulder, and are clearly game-changers in the entire landscape of the realm, with true throne implications. These characters are the people’s choice.
  • Not to mention, Payne joins two absolute beasts with Dragon-like power, in Westbrook and Durant, just spittin’ fire and finishing with unbridled ferocity. Fueled by Payne’s prowess, look for OKC to set the league on FIRE and serve as true catalysts in the saga.
  • Finally, if history is any indication, we wouldn’t be surprised if Devin Booker chooses to sign with OKC just as he reaches a whole new standard of excellence, matching the story-arc of Grey Worm.

With the 15th pick in the Game of Thrones NBA draft, the Washington Wizards (King’s Landing) select Kelly Oubre as Sir Loras Tyrell.

Let’s be honest, we were all a bit jealous of Oubre’s shoes on draft night. They were flashy, bold, and reminiscent of everything that embodies Sir Loras Tyrell. In Kings Landing, Tyrell is talented but lives a life of high risk. Obviously Oubre has the talent for success in the league, but does he have the basketball IQ for success? One NBA GM described Oubre as “basketball illiterate”, so perhaps the risk falls more onto the Wizards in this case.

With the 16th pick in the Game of Thrones NBA draft, the Boston Celtics select Terry Rozier as Stone Man (Valyria)

The stone men of Valyria are ruthless as they defend what remains of their home. That is exactly the type of tenacity that the Celtics are praying Rozier can bring to this fallen empire. With a defensive prowess that mirrors a raging Stone Man, the odds are good that this boulder will be an integral part of the monster Danny Ainge is creating.

With the 17th pick in the Game of Thrones NBA draft, the Milwaukee Bucks (The Wall) select Rashad Vaughn as Edison.

What did Jon Snow need during the Battle of Castle Black? Role players! He needed Grenn to go giant toe-to-human body against the invading Wildling and he needed Eddison to step up and lead the sharp shooters atop The Wall. Now that the Bucks have Monroe and Parker, they are contenders who need role players. That is where Rashad will do his best Eddison impression and use his sharp shooting abilities to support his new star studded cast.

With the 18th pick in the Game of Thrones NBA draft, the Houston Rockets (Lord “Land” of Light) select Sam Decker as Melisandre.

“God has a plan.” These are the words of Sam Decker on draft night. So does this mean Houston, or the “Land of Light”, is peering through the flames and searching for some sorcery to get the past the Splash Brothers? If Decker’s performance in the tournament last year is any indication of what kind of magic he can bring to the court, then the Rockets are going to have their hands full with this streaky play maker.

With the 19th pick in the Game of Thrones NBA draft, the New York Knicks (King’s Landing East) select Jerian Grant as Eddard Stark.

Courage to challenge a Mad King, patience to teach his children to lead with integrity, and absolute belief in the greater good – this is Eddard Stark.

Courage to take on the undefeated Kentucky Wildcats, patience to lead his team with integrity, and absolute believe in his own ability to succeed – this is Jerian Grant.

Both come from a storied family lineage, the Starks of Winterfell and Harvey-Horace combo of the NBA. Both have established themselves as highly intelligent, born leaders, and fearless competitors despite having to battle stronger opponents. The one question begs to be asked is, will Kristaps “Joffrey” Porzingis cut the head off of Grant’s career before he can triumph in the NBA?

With the 20th pick in the Game of Thrones NBA draft, the Toronto Raptors (The Cave) select Delon Wright Grant as Bran Stark.

Three years ago no one was talking about Delon Wright. The 6’5” guard for some junior college team in San Francisco was not a player of the year candidate and certainly not an NBA first rounder. Then he transferred to the Pac-12 and made Utah and instant tournament team. Much like Bran Stark, whom is still looking to find his own identify, Wright is still discovering his own potential. Will Wright become the dark horse Rookie of the Year? Will Bran become warg himself into the Iron Throne? Only time will tell.

With the 21st pick in the Game of Thrones NBA draft, the Dallas Mavericks (The Fields) select: Justin Anderson as Khal Drogo.

As a member of the Mavericks, Justin Anderson immediately becomes a man among horses. Like Khal Drogo, Anderson is a versatile beast that can bang down low or swoop as a swingman. He’s defensive minded but can finish with authority as he wields the power of his burly frame.

With the 22nd pick in the Game of Thrones NBA draft, the Chicago Bulls (Braavos) select: Bobby Portis as a Faceless Man.

Called to the Financial District of Westeros, Portis takes his versatility and power put-back slams to a title contender. Here’s what we know: Portis had a troubled childhood where he oft stood up against his mother’s abusive boyfriends. He fought for a greater good, filling the need of the moment, just like the Faceless Men of the House of Black and White.

With the 23rd pick in the Game of Thrones NBA draft, the Brooklyn Nets (King’s Landing East) (via trade) select: Rondae Hollis Jefferson as Bronn.

These guys are ferocious warriors, mercenaries on the battlefield. With an explosive first step and swift sellsword swagger, these dapper dandies are agile, rangy, and have a motor for days. Don’t blink, because you might miss them flashing a sterling smile before they finish you.

With the 24th pick in the Game of Thrones NBA draft, the Minnesota Timberwolves (Winterfell) select: Tyus Jones as Arya Stark. (via trade)

Just like Arya, Tyus is small in stature, big in heart and clutch when pressure is most intense. There’s also an undeniable connection between characters here. Much like Arya and the Hound found themselves on an epic journey; Jahlil and Tyus have been partners in adventure as well. Unlike Arya and the Hound, whose relationship ended in temper-fueled disaster, Tyus and Jahlil joined forces to bring Duke a national title. In the NBA, both characters face incredible challenge in the next chapters of their stories.

With the 25th pick in the Game of Thrones NBA draft, the Memphis Grizzlies (Pyke) select: Jarell Martin as Theon Greyjoy.

Flanked by large impetuous ships as part of the Iron Islands fleet (Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol), Jarell Martin shares many similarities with the pre-Reek Theon Greyjoy. This guy is a problem waiting to happen – he’s got a propensity for flashy finishes but doesn’t seem to have the wherewithal to sustain long term. (This just in, Jarell Martin already has a foot injury.) Let’s see how he fairs against the Ramsay Bolton of the league – Joey Crawford.

With the 26th pick in the Game of Thrones NBA draft, the San Antonio Spurs (Secret Lab in King’s Landing West) select: Nikola Milutinov as The Mountain-stein.

The evil empire of the Spurs drafted Nikola to store him abroad, incubating, and marinating in Tywin Lannister’s (Gregg Poppovich’s) secret sauce. He’ll surely come back after his hiatus to take Westeros by storm. As Suns fans, we admit this is inevitable. The kid is already a fucking beast, and he’s just going to get meaner and more badass with time. Suns out, guns out.

With the 27th pick in the Game of Thrones NBA draft, the Los Angeles Lakers (King’s Landing West) select: Larry Nance Jr. as King Tommen Baratheon/Lannister.

After his reckless 2012 Tweet, Larry Nance Jr. has essentially taken a vow of silence, similar to that of King Tommen’s heroic stand in his bedroom as his mother, Cersei (Kobe), completes her walk of shame. Despite Tommen’s storied lineage (and his daddy’s dunks), he doesn’t have “game changer” written all over him. In fact, when he was selected, everyone was like, “Oh, okay.”

With the 28th pick in the Game of Thrones NBA draft, the Boston Celtics (Old Valyria) select: RJ Hunter as Jonah Mormont.

First and foremost, both these characters have famous fathers that impacted the Game’s history (In our humble opinion, the tourney’s best moment was RJ’s dad celebrating the game winner on his stool). Not to mention, Jonah’s “what happens in Valyria, stays in Valyria” policy was thwarted by Greyscale – but don’t worry, RJ simply calls this “shooter’s touch” as he looks to elevate Valyria back to its historic empire.

With the 29th pick in the Game of Thrones NBA draft, the Brooklyn Nets (King’s Landing East) select: Chris McCullough as Sansa Stark.

While not a strong contender for the “physical resemblance” award, the personality profile links are strong in these characters. Both epitomize stories of perseverance. Everything went wrong for Chris at Syracuse as he torn his ACL and saw his dreams being dashed, similar to Sansa’s romantic adventures in King’s Landing and Winterfell. But alas, they’ve overcome these damning challenges and showed impenetrable pride and are taking matters into their own hands.

With the 30th pick in the Game of Thrones NBA draft, the Golden State Warriors (The Iron Throne) select: Kevon Looney as Margery Tyrell.

Hailing from the beautiful campus of Highgaarden UCLA, both characters possess a sweet smile and in Kevon Looney’s case, an even a sweeter game, averaging a near quadruple double in high school. Both characters plummeted from grace, as Margery was imprisoned and Looney fell down the draft board. Ultimately, we believe they’re armed with secrets and seductive talent, and they’ll find a way to contribute to the throne’s rule.

So what have we discovered by transforming the NBA into the Game of Throne? What kind of monster have we created? Well, here’s what we know:

  • The NBA is in for one hell of a season next year. Not only is there a tremendous crop of fresh talent coming into the league, but also, the existing storylines are so intriguing that even Mr. R. R. Martin would be proud. The triple White Walker threat of LeBron, Kyrie, and K-Love returning with full strength: Winter is coming. The never-ending wisdom, the deadly shot of Stephen-Ygritte-Curry looking for another title (you know NOTHING Emmanuel Mudiay…), and the list just goes on and on.
  • The NBA equivalent of Varys is Adam Silver, and with the influx of talent coming in to contend for a place on the Hardwood Throne, he will most certainly need all of his spies to be on their A-game.
  • David of House Stern, the first of His name, King of Controversy and Individual Superstardom, Lord of Easteros and Westeros and protector of the Game won’t be here to instill tyrannical fear into the minds of recently drafted players. Thank the gods.
  • This year’s draft picks need to be weary of who to trust. This isn’t college anymore and the little pond where these players were big fish just turned into an ocean full of sharks. There will always be a Littlefinger, Lord Baelish, out there trying to take you down a peg – cough Skip Bayless Our recommendation you ask? Find someone trustworthy; someone wise who knows the ins-and-outs of the game . . . Grand Maester Dick Bavetta comes to mind.

About the author

Wheelhouse Factory

Some articles are simply too much for one writer. Sometimes it takes a team of dedicated twenty-somethings to deliver something special. That's why we occasionally use the power of numbers to our advantage and team up to tackle the big issues.