The first thing that’s asked by players when they first join the Utah Jazz is usually “What do I do in Utah?”
Fans will typically say things like hiking, fishing and Nickelcade. But that is not even close to the best time that they could be having. We all know that the real answer is ... probably top golf. At least that’s what all the players tend to show on their Instagram.
But if Top Golf is closed then the next best thing is Dungeons and Dragons!
Having years under my belt as a dungeon master, I can’t help but imagine how fun it would be to see Jazz players opening up the player’s guide and diving into a Dungeons and Dragons campaign.
But as that is not likely to happen, the next best thing is looking at how some of the Jazz players would fit into a Dungeons and Dragons setting.
Donovan Mitchell - Rogue
Donovan Mitchell is a flash on the court and inflicts an incredible amount of damage whether up from distance or at the rim. That’s how I see him handling a stray goblin or charging gnoll.
Mitchell is also an assassin with the ball and would no doubt be the same with a serraded dagger in a dungeon.
Mitchell’s strength is an underrated aspect of his game and is a big part of why he’s been able to be so good, so fast. He came into the league with a chiseled frame and a stout 210 pounds. That strength carried him into the playoffs and helped him power through defenders to become one of the best finishers in the league. Strength is also a measurement of athletics which Donovan obviously scores high.
Even though dexterity is probably Donovan’s most important attribute, his strength will help him use multiple tools and weapons that will help him succeed in adventures.
That’s the thing with stars, they have more tools to work with than other players. And the difference between superstars and stars is how well they put all those ability scores to use.
Donovan’s dexterity is through the roof. That is, it helps him get onto the roof in the night to scout the position of potential enemies.
On the court he uses it to perfection and it’s what would make him an incredible rogue. Remember when Donovan was the most acrobatic player on the floor against the New Orleans Pelicans and dropped 41 points? It was partly because he could get anywhere he wanted on the floor throwing daggers from every angle.
Donovan would do the same thing in the D&D world. How could you stop him from a quick roll into using his backstab ability!?
Donovan’s constitution isn’t going to be as high as other bigger players. Mostly because he doesn’t need it to be. Mitchell doesn’t spend too much time absorbing blows on the block.
But Donovan does play a lot of minutes and has proven to not be very injury prone. So he gets a higher than average constitution.
Unsurprisingly, Donovan Mitchell scores very high in intelligence. An underrated aspect to Mitchell as a player is his willingness to study film and gain advantages over opponents. You think he just magically finds a way to drop 40 on the Suns?
Well, the talent executes it but the intelligence gives you the roadmap to get there and there’s no one who better follows a gameplan than Donovan Mitchell.
Among other things, wisdom measures a player’s ability to understand and use the environment around them. Mitchell’s ability to see the floor as a rookie was remarkable. After a few months Mitchell’s looked like a 10-year vet. How many people forgot he was a rookie by the end of the year?
Mitchell will end up getting a higher wisdom score this season as he becomes an improved playmaker. For now he’ll just have to settle for only having incredible vision.
Charisma measures how well a player a player is able to influence and interact with others. If there is one thing Donovan Mitchell is able to do it’s positively affect others with his incredible likability.
Turn on Sports Center and you probably see a story about Donovan Mitchell making someones life better in some way. He’s also a master at influencing others in a positive way on social media. Donovan Mitchell is a superstar and a big reason is his larger than life personality.
Rudy Gobert - Necromancer
Rudy Gobert is a dominant force on the court. He brings an incredible mixture of basketball IQ, physical tools and Jordanesque competitiveness.
These attributes make him an underrated player on the court and would most certainly make him an incredible force in the realms of fantasy.
But for all the things Rudy Gobert is known for, the most overlooked is the amount of fear he puts in the opposing team. Opposing players avoid the paint protected by Gobert just like adventurers would a visit to the dark castle Gobert would likely reside in.
On Instagram we get regular reminders from Rudy that he has incredible abs. That’s why his score is as high as it is. Rudy’s strength is also a testament to how much work he puts in in the offseason.
But strength isn’t what makes Rudy special and it’s why it doesn’t need to be very high for him to succeed, it’s the length, agility and IQ. But the strength does help and gives Rudy better chances to succeed on acrobatic checks. He’s also strong enough to avoid being bullied in the post.
Rudy’s dexterity is incredible and will help him with all agility checks. Rudy’s length and size mixed with his ability to move around the court is a site to behold and is part of why he’s able to affect so many shots.
And even though dexterity isn’t completely necessary for a fearsome Necromancer, it will help in multiple situations where having a lightning quick second jump comes in handy.
Rudy’s constitution is very high because of his ability to dominate every big in the league. He’s also able to cast an incredible amount of dark magic at his enemies.
Few are able to mix Rudy’s ability to neutralize bigs on the defensive end while also being an offensive threat as a rolling big man on every possesion.
Just like Rudy is always underestimated on the floor, enemy adventurers always think they can just enter Rudy’s castle and win, but the pikes surrounding Rudy’s castle aren’t all filled with the heads of his enemies for nothing!
Rudy is one of the most underrated students of the game. Don’t believe me? Next time the Jazz play on national TV pay attention to how many the national announcer will mention his wingspan and standing reach. Then count how often they talk about his on-court intelligence.
While Rudy’s wingspan is certainly one of the major reasons Rudy is special, it’s his intelligence that helps him be such a dominant force. He knows the opposing teams gameplan, he knows their weaknesses and then he uses his physical tools to take advantage.
This intelligence will help Rudy in Dungeons and Dragons because he’ll know his strengths and use them with cold efficiency just like when he ends opposing players existence at the rim.
Probably the savviest center in the NBA, Rudy Gobert is able to guard multiple players during a pick and roll. He’s also knows exactly how long he can stick to his man before rotating at the last second to make a monster weakside block. His knowledge of court spacing and players around him makes him such a dominant force.
In the Forgotten Realms, Rudy Gobert will be a fearsome enemy to anyone who dares enter his castle. His knowledge of the arcane will be just as strong as his knowledge of disrupting a pick and roll.
Rudy is an underrated charmer with his dry humor and Instagram videos of ducks and abs. But where Gobert’s charisma is stronger is his use of intimidation. Remember, there are multiple ways to influence others and intimidation can sometimes be the strongest use of charisma.
Never forget how many times Rudy has stared down opponents or not backing down whenever an someone gets spicy at the end of games.
Joe Ingles could play multiple classes just like he plays multiple positions for the Jazz. I was thinking of possibly making Ingles a Bard, but his shooting and playmaking is far too potent so the do-it-all Ranger works best. Especially when you consider the sharpshooting.
Rangers are also one of the savviest classes requiring a high amount of wisdom and charisma to be effective, all of which Ingles has in droves.
When it comes to brute strength, Ingles isn’t as strong as other players like Derrick Favors and Jae Crowder, but what helps him overcome it is his sheer size. Ingles is a tall 6’8” and uses his size in creative ways to stop defenders.
In battle, Ingles will sometimes use strength but will more often use his abilities to help take down the enemy. Just like on the court you don’t see Ingles backing someone down in the post, he prefers to bury a three or take them apart with precision passing.
Probably the least dexterous person on whatever basketball court he steps on, Joe Ingles is the league leader in making people look like they got schooled by a laboratory director. But Ingles does have surprisingly good lateral movement which is why he does score some points.
And since Dexterity does effect shooting with a bow, he gets points for that as well. But there are whispers that Ingles is secretly a magic user which helps him up his percentages. It’s also helpful when he uses the arcane in Dungeons and Dragons, as well.
Ingles will stand up to anyone and is willing to take a punch in the name of getting someone a technical. He’s also a big body that will take a lot of punishment guarding strong perimeter players.
That being said, he also will tend to wear down as the season goes along if he plays too many minutes which takes away some points from his constitution score.
But what makes Ingles so durable is the fact that he knows when to pick his spots and what his limits are as a player. That’s what’s helped him become an NBA iron man. And it’s also what will help keep him alive in the realm of fantasy. You won’t see Ingles take on a fight he isn’t ready and prepared for.
You could make a case that Joe Ingles has the highest basketball IQ in the NBA. His knowledge of the game and different systems is unmatched. He’s able to see the plays before they happen and he uses that knowledge to teach others as well. This is part of why Ingles would make a great addition to any dungeon group. You’ll always have a tactical advantage with Ingles on your team.
Just look at Joe Ingles and you’ll get the feeling he knows more than what he’s letting on. His deep basketball knowledge, and the use of that knowledge in practical ways on the court, has made him a potent threat in the NBA.
Ingles doesn’t have the dexterity and strength of other stars in the league, but his wisdom and intelligence far outpaces anyone he’s lined up against. He’s a coach on the floor.
In Dungeons and Dragons, Ranger Ingles will be just as potent. That wisdom has also allowed him to find ways to hone his sharpshooting. He’ll do anything it takes to make the perfect shot, or dagger throw. If that includes using dark elements, so be it!
Ingles is the life of the party. It’s why at higher levels, Ingles will probably multi-class into a Ranger-Bard hybrid. It’s also not hard to see Ingles being the best storyteller of the party in the tavern after a great adventure.
Joe Ingles will always be the best friend of everyone on the team with his ability to connect. This charisma transfers to places like Blackmoor in excellent ways. Whether it’s tipping off a guard or getting a dimwitted troll to do his bidding, Ingles’ charisma will always be one of his strongest traits.
I may never have the opportunity to play dungeons and dragons with Jazz players looking for a great time, but at least now we know it would go very well!