After all the talk of the fantastic chemistry last season...the exodus begins. Swoopes was waived by the Storm on January 31st.
Just under one month later, Yolanda Griffith has signed with the Indiana Fever.
The Storm defense takes another huge blow. While JB is a strong offensive player and rebounder, she has never offered the kind length and commitment to rebounding and defense that made Yo the anchors for multiple, league leading, defensive teams including the 2008 Storm.
Additionally, it is now rumored that LJ has made the decision to sign...somewhere. Apparently, so has Tina Thompson. Many people are assuming LJ signs with Phoenix and Tina with LA, but there is not definitive word on that made public at this time. Theoretically there is a trade involved as well. A sign and trade that nets something in return for a loss of that magnitude lessens pain, but what can you get back for a player of that caliber?
I will withold my comments on the LJ part until we hear the final answer.
Losing Swoopes and Yo will definitely hurt the team's defensive capabilities, even in diminished physical capability these two women brought a wealth of defensive experience and intelligence to the floor for the Storm. Combined with Swin Cash, they created a strong blend of perimeter and post balance to complement 2007 Defensive Player of the Year Lauren Jackson. There is not a veteran free agent available to balance things out. Yes, the Storm will have some cap space to sign a top free agent, but the question is who that FA will be.