Monday, February 11, 2008

Change in the Air!


I spent last week in London, rushed back to the States to attend the Democratic Caucus on Saturday, all with a nasty cold that left me lying on the couch most of the day Sunday.

Today, I spent the morning trying to get caught back up with email and other unfinished work business. At lunch I finally settle down to get in the basketball news only to learn that my Storm were involved in the two biggest news bombshells of the last week in WNBA news.

Let me start with the emotional part. We lost two of our most consistent role players from last season, one of whom almost single handedly won the 2004 WNBA Finals for us. For this we got...well, nothing. We got the twin sister of a player who barely played for us last season and a draft pick which might or might not net us something valuable come April.

Now, if some of the mock drafts I have seen are right, and Candice Wiggins is available at the fourth pick...maybe this was not too bad. The Dream can let Betty be the go to scorer, and they needed an experienced guard to mix with their other, younger, expansion picks Haynie and Latta. The Storm could use the almost 6' shooting guard to compliment Sue Bird in the backcourt. The lack of backcourt length has been an issue for the Storm on the defensive end of the floor and this pairing would help quite a bit.

With Izi gone, that would likely move Katie Gearlds into the starting lineup unless Agler is able to woo a strong free agent along the lines of Swin Cash or Sheryl Swoopes. Either of those players would have to take lower pay than they made last year, but would be significant upgrades for the Storm at both ends of the floor. Both appear ready to leave their current teams and both are unrestricted free agents. I think it can work under the current cap to sign Sue and one of those two players in a championship bid. It would leave the bench with lots of youth, but rotations could work with a starting 5 of such great caliber. I could even live with Tanisha as the backup point under those conditions.

Burse, Robinson, New Player #1 (FA or 2nd round pick)
Jackson, Robinson, New Player #1 (FA or 2nd round pick)
Free Agent #1(Cash?, Swoopes?), Gearlds, Ely (?)
#4 Pick (Wiggins?), Gearlds, R Hodges
Bird, Wright

Wendy is done. I don't think Agler re-signs her. Ndaiye-Diatta was never going to be re-signed. Doneeka Lewis was not likely going to be signed either. Ely could be re-signed because of her ability to play the 3 or the 4 spot and her relatively small contract. The previous team had three max or near max players, with Betty and Izi gone, they should have enough for a third star to compliment Bird/Jackson. Defensive minded players who can shoot and cut are rare, but there are some out there in UFA land. Things could get really interesting.

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