The NBA is officially in the bubble on Disney World propery, getting ready for the return of the league on July 30th. In honor of this rare situation and the option of teams adding replacement players, we decided to take time to have some fun and see what it would be like if NBA teams could draft a Disney character for their team to use on the court. This is serious stuff!
The draft order was randomly selected and the only rule was that teams must choose an original Disney character, not franchise characters from Star Wars or Marvel. So we gathered our NBA writers that have respective teams in the bubble together and held a Disney character draft.
Here are the very important results:
1. Milwaukee Bucks - Robin Hood
Not only can he serve as a primary floor general, controlling his on-court compatriots with leadership skills sharpened on commanding a forest of misfits to upend the ruling class. He’ll run point, and there won’t be any questions about his ability to nail shots from deep, whether he’s slinking around picks like he’s climbing trees in a forest or just pulling up from the halfcourt logo before defenses know what hit him. Should Eric Bledsoe falter at all in the postseason, Bud has a tried and true replacement for him. I’d even venture to guess Hood may get the call sooner rather than later in the starting lineup.
- Adam Paris, BrewHoop (Read the full breakdown here)
2. Houston Rockets - Jiminy Cricket
If you thought the Rockets were small before, wait till you get a look at their newest addition. Doubling down on #PocketRockets, Houston not only added the smallest player in the draft but also one of the most dynamic. Crickets can jump over 50 times their body length, making them one of the animals kingdom’s most prolific leapers. The lob game that left James Harden when Clint Capela was traded just might return with this draft pick.
In addition, Jiminy has one of the highest basketball IQs in this draft class. Being that he’s actually just the embodiment of a conscience, he always knows the right decision to make on the court.
- Darren Yuvan, The Dream Shake (Read the full breakdown here)
3. New Orleans Pelicans - Simba
While Jrue Holiday, Derrick Favors and JJ Redick are a nice collection of veterans, none have an NBA championship ring sitting at home. In addition, the upcoming slate of contests will present an unprecedented challenge. There will be no crowds to create much needed momentum for players. The basketball courts at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports Complex will be unfamiliar terrain. And as we’ve learned in recent days, the Pelicans will be without at least two key figures (Jeff Bzdelik and Jamelle McMillan) on Alvin Gentry’s coaching staff.
- Oleh Kosel, The Bird Writes (Read the full breakdown here)
4. Utah Jazz - Maui
Maui? Are you kidding me? A shapeshifter fell this far? The Utah Jazz select Maui, Demi-God of the Wind and Sea, Hero of Men, and stretch four of Quin Snyder’s dreams.
Need someone to guard the perimeter? Boom. Shapeshift. Need switch onto a wing? Boom. Shapeshift. Need someone to take over in the paint? Boom. Shapeshift. AGAIN. This guy is the total package and sure to be a hit knowing Utah’s connection with the Polynesian islands.
- Mychal Lowman, SLC Dunk (Read the full breakdown here)
5. Miami Heat - The Beast
His enormous ultra-athletic frame alone would be an intimidating presence in the paint, freeing up the Heat’s shooters on one end of the floor while also racking up blocks and rebounds on the other side. Whether he’s paired alongside Bam Adebayo to form a truly fearsome duo or in relief off the bench to boost the second unit, it’s a good problem to have for Erik Spoelstra and his coaching staff to see where he best fits before the games start up.
- Surya Fernandez, Hot Hot Hoops (Read the full breakdown here)
6. Washington Wizards - Mickey Mouse
This team is in desperate need of a sorcerer heading into Florida as the “cupcake” team of the field — Who else can be better than the OG of OG’s? Mickey by himself is a jack of all trades, like Bradley Beal is as a guard for Washington. Mickey can do everything on the court pretty well against smaller players. But I get it. He’s a mouse. That’s when his sorcerer hat (from Fantasia) comes in. Here, he can magically help his teammates in the post in the form of giving them a skill boost, or maybe he can magically grow himself!
- Albert Lee, Bullets Forever (Read the full breakdown here)
7. Los Angeles Lakers - The Genie
Genie is the perfect pick for the Lakers at No. 4, because he is one of the most versatile players in this draft. With the ability to change size at will and stretch and teleport himself all over the court, Genie is exactly the type of versatile contributor that will allow the Lakers to make up for any loss with his ability to play any position. Honestly, given the scope of his powers and abilities, the Lakers may have just created an unstoppable big three.
- Harrison Faigen, Silver Screen & Roll (Read the full breakdown here)
8. Sacramento Kings - Hercules
Upon arrival, Hercules is expected to start alongside De’Aaron Fox, Bogdan Bogdanovic, Harrison Barnes and Richaun Holmes. Standing at 6’5”, Hercules, or “Herc,” is probably better suited to play the 1 or 2, but he has the strength to play the 3, 4 or 5, similar to Zion Williamson.
In addition to Hercules, the Kings are working to bring Hercules’ personal trainer Philocetes, or “Phil,” onto their training staff, according to a league source. Hercules credits Phil for all of his success to date, and the Kings could always use a player development coach.
- Christian Rivas, Sactown Royalty (Read the full breakdown here)
9. Phoenix Suns - Tarzan
The strategy was simple: we needed to replace the services of Kelly Oubre, Jr.
He’s quick. He’s agile. He has a killer wingspan. He adds toughness and a mean streak to the Suns roster. He’s high-flying and strong as hell. He hangs out with apes, so you know he and the Suns Gorilla would get along splendidly. Tarzan is made for the NBA. He is a steal at #9.
- John Voita, Bright Side of the Sun (Read the full breakdown here)
10. Brooklyn Nets - Moana
Yeah, the Nets need help. Lots of help. Especially when it comes to bigs. Soooo, I went and drafted the Nets the biggest Disney character I could: Moana. The biggest, you say? Yeah, the biggest. According to Google, Moana measures at 7-feet, 6-inches tall. Say it again. 7-feet, 6-inches tall. And, with speed.
- Tom Lorezno, Nets Daily (Read the full breakdown here)
11. OKC Thunder - James P. Sullivan (Sully)
James P. Sullivan would be the perfect addition to an already-stacked Oklahoma City Thunder team because the man is scary with a sweet soul that could light up any defense. Also, watching him throw alley-oops would be fun to watch.
Sullivan is also 7’6, which in NBA terms is huge to have on a team. He could block a lot of baskets and throw the basketball down the court with ease and could easily score on everyone without much effort.
Sullivan would fit perfectly in with the Thunder because he has a laid-back attitude and I could definitely see Steven Adams and him being best of friends and scaring other teammates with each other.
- Sarah Dewberry, Welcome To Loud City (Read the full breakdown here)
12. Orlando Magic - Peter Pan
As the proven leader of the Lost Boys, Peter Pan also gives the Magic’s young core some valuable leadership they’ll need while transforming into a contending team. And just think of what some of Peter’s Pixie Dust could do for the Magic’s crucial but plodding players like Nikola Vucevic and Evan Fournier.
- Mike Cali, Orlando Pinstriped Post (Read the full breakdown here)
13. San Antonio Spurs - EVE (a.k.a. Eva)
What Disney character better to represent Pop’s crew than EVE, the Extraterrestrial Vegetation Evaluator that wins the heart of the titular WAL-E?
EVE goes about her business with a calm, seemingly detached efficiency that belied the passion inside, but when the moment was big enough, was able to cut loose. EVE wreaked havoc on an abandoned shipyard in her frustration. EVE rebuilt WAL-E and sparked him back to life.
14. Toronto Raptors - Alice (Alice in Wonderland)
The on court stuff is obvious. Girl has magic mushrooms, given to her by her chain smoking caterpillar bud, that help her grow quite tall, which seems useful for basketball to me. With Marc Gasol deep in the throws of his mid-thirties and Chris Boucher being more of an erratic four than a steady back-up five, post-shrooms Alice fits as a rim protecting reserve who can give you 10 minutes, even while rocking dress flats. A 2019 Sixers team with such a reliable back-up may have beaten the Raptors in round two.
- Sean Woodley, Raptors HQ (Read the full breakdown here)
15. Los Angeles Clippers - Elastigirl
Elastigirl truly has no ego and is exactly the kind of hero who can easily slot in with an established team. She comes from a family of superheroes, so she is used to working together instead of going rogue. Elastigirl is willing to let others shine, which she does with Mr. Incredible, but she also has the capacity to take a leading role, like when she battles the Screenslaver. She has an acute understanding of how best to optimize the talents of others and bring our their peak performances, which Violet would surely attest to. A player who is comfortable sitting on the bench but always stays ready — after literally years of inaction, in one instance — is a crucial piece of a championship team.
- Sabreena Merchant, Clips Nation (Read the full breakdown here)
16. Denver Nuggets- Mr. Incredible
Mr. Incredible may have some selfish tendencies at times, but he’s at his best when he’s working within a team concept. Nikola Jokic is the brains behind the operation while Jamal Murray is often the tip of the spear. Sometimes you need a hammer though, and that’s what Mr. Incredible provides the rotation: brute force power and athleticism.
- Ryan Blackburn, Denver Stiffs (Read the full breakdown here)
17. Portland Trailblazers - Mufasa
Mufasa is clearly the most NBA-ready character in this draft class. We anticipate he’ll be able to lift teammates to new heights with his fantastic physique and off-the-charts leadership skills. Once he gets his footing, he’ll be a fantastic voice in the locker room. We suspect he dropped so low because he’s a bit shaky running the break and makes questionable decisions in traffic, but with help from the coaching staff, he should develop those skills as his career progresses. At the end of the day, we feel quite confident that we got the steal of the draft.
- Dave Deckard, Blazer’s Edge (Read the full breakdown here)
18. Memphis Grizzlies - Elsa
On the floor, Elsa ices out everything around her. She can be a lockdown defender, freezing ball handlers (literally) while creating opportunities in transition for a Grizzlies team that wants to run. As a help defender, she can assist players like Jonas Valanciunas who may struggle with stretch fives by not allowing those bigs to get to their spots on the pick and pop. She has ice in her veins and will not allow for any proverbial storm raging around the Grizzlies to impact them.
- Joe Mullinax, Grizzly Bear Blues (Read the full breakdown here)
19. Philadelphia 76ers - Air Bud
he Philadelphia 76ers go a bit unconventional here selecting a dog who can not talk, does not have superpowers, and is not an animation, like the other players selected in this draft. However, Air Bud has one thing that I’ve yet to see from any other prospect: game film.
A golden retriever with two-way ability, Air Bud gives Philly a wing who can hound opposing ball-handlers on defense and provide some much needed energy on the offensive end. He also figures to serve as quite a fine complement to Ben Simmons in the transition game.
- Kevin F. Love, Liberty Ballers (Read the full breakdown here)
20. Boston Celtics - Yen Sid
Remember in the movie Fantasia? Mickey is a sorcerer’s apprentice and gets into all kinds of hijinks when he borrows the wizard’s magic hat? Yen Sid is the wizard. So why him and not some more popular figure? Well, like any good drafter I did my research.
There are few Disney characters out there with the magical powers of this wizard. In fact, based on a thorough internet search of about 5 minutes, I concluded that Yen Sid is right up there with the Genie and Maleficent as the most powerful characters in the Disney cannon.
- Jeff Clark, Celtics Blog (Read the full breakdown here)
21. Dallas Mavericks - Kronk
That’s right, Kronk, from the criminally underrated film, the Emperor’s New Groove.
Why Kronk you ask? Well, for one, the Mavericks could use some size. With Willie Cauley-Stein opting out of Orlando for personal reasons, Dallas has a thin front court. Though he should be considered an emergency option in Orlando, Dallas needs a banger, a guy who will play hard and do the dirty work and not need recognition and the spotlight.
- Kirk Henderson, Mavs Moneyball (Read the full breakdown here)
22. Indiana Pacers - Trusty (Lady and the Tramp)
Though he may be getting up there in years and doesn’t boast superhuman strength like Hercules, the dead-eye shooting of Robin Hood, or Maui’s thicc frame, Trusty arguably best reflects the three —admittedly, somewhat corny — tenets of Indiana’s culture: toughness, togetherness, and...wait for it..trust. I mean, c’mon, it’s right there in his name.
- Cailtin Cooper, Indy Cornrows (Read the full breakdown here)