Thursday, February 28, 2008

A Done Deal!!!

By UNANIMOUS decision, the WNBA approved the sale of the SEATTLE Storm to Force 10 Hoops. They were able to share the 1199 signatures from the petition, the loud show of political support from the city and state, as well as point to increases in ticket sales over the past six weeks.

Thanks to the fans of the team (the new ownership especially) we now are able to look forward to many more seasons of exciting WNBA basketball here in Seattle. I even got a special thank you out of League President Donna Orender during yesterday's live chat on She thanked the people of Seattle for stepping up and showing the special kind of bond a WNBA team can have with its community.

As Scott said over at, it is time to party.

We still need to sell 8 more seats to meet our goal of twenty season tickets donated by fans to underprivileged kids. Quit waiting and help us get there...

Monday, February 25, 2008

The Swin Cash Trade

I was out all last week on vacation and had no internet access where I was staying. Blogging from a coffee shop with two screaming kids does not work too well, so I have been entirely offline despite the big trade of the number 4 pick in this year's draft for veteran Swin Cash from the Detroit Shock.

Lambier was smart and cored Cash to ensure that he would get something in return for a player he knew had market value, but that he no longer wanted on his roster. Seattle, on the other hand, apparently wants to win now and not wait for draft picks to mature.

This trade essentially means that Seattle got Roneeka Hodges and Swin Cash for Izi. That isn't too shabby of a deal. I like how Cash has the potential to compliment the Storm leaders like LJ, Sue and JB. She is an athletic cutter who can hit a nice mid-range jumper. As a result of her injury in 2004, she has lost some speed and some explosiveness that she utilized earlier in her career. She is still a lengthy defender who should fit in well with the existing offensive players. I consider her an upgrade to Izi. She doesn't shoot the three point shot, but we still have Bird and Gearlds for that. Betty needed the ball in her hands and Izi was a transition scorer or spot up shooter. Swin works well in a multi-star system and moves well off the ball. She will give Coach Agler different set of options offensively and will improve perimeter defense. Izi had better range and was a better overall shooter, but the benefits to the Storm will come in defense and the different look for the offense.

The numbers back up my initial thoughts.

Izi's three point shooting gave her a better overall Effective Field Goal Percentage (eFG%) in both of the last two seasons, though their actual shooting percentages were fairly identical. Cash offered a significantly better Stop Percentage and Defensive Rating though we have to remember that the weakness of current defensive individual statistics means that Detroit as a team offered significantly better defensive ratings that would swell Swin's individual numbers. Last year was Swin's worst year, and it marked a year where Izi still only just produced as many points per game (with assists weighted into the equation) as did Swin. Swin also seemed to work better with a passer like Riley in the post rather than Ford and Braxton/Feenstra. Here numbers have dropped since Riley was traded. Both LJ and JB have shown the ability to pass from the high post, which is what Riley used to offer for Detroit.

When I look at the numbers for Swin in the past two seasons, however, I also try to look at them with the caveat that she was unhappy playing in a system that has made her less relevant over time. Swin was the centerpiece of the 2003 championship team with a rising Nolan and Ford and a declining Riley. After her 2004 injury, Nolan and Ford became the centerpieces of the franchise and Cash and Riley were slowly pushed out of the picture. I don't think we will see the Cash of 2003 next year, but I don't expect the Cash of 2007 either. I expect to see her play better than we have seen her play over the past few years and fit in well with her new team. There are a lot of things that Cash did that annoyed our players in the past, but thankfully, now she will be inflicting them on our opponents.

Welcome to Seattle, Swin.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Swin Cash to replace Izi?

Swin Cash told the Detroit Free Press that she believes she will be traded on Tuesday to Seattle for "future" draft picks.

If true, the Storm would get a solid defender with speed and length who can score consistently. Swin has a nice midrange game and is a cutter, something Seattle has not really had in the past. The question is whether the future picks include the upcoming #4 pick in the draft or picks in coming years. It seems odd that Detroit would trade for nothing this year, but we will have to wait and see next week.

I had hoped to see a player of the caliber of Cash or Swoopes picked up in the offseason, (though I would rather have had Swoopes) so this marks a solid first step, and an upgrade for the Storm. As much as I loved Izi, Cash is a better all around player and has championship experience. She is also very familiar with Bird having played with her at Connecticut and with Team USA. She will make a capable second/third score for the Storm, meaning she can improve the three spot AND replace Betty's scoring. She can't play both positions at the same time, so we still need a two guard.

Hopefully the Storm still have room to pick up one more big player in free agency if they have indeed given up the #4 pick. We still need defense and length at the two guard spot. I think a player in the mold of Katie Douglas (UFA with the Sun) would be perfect, but I don't see her coming West. It is going to be an exciting week.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Support Our New Local Ownership!

This is your chance to take one more step beyond buying your own tickets and Storm merchandise.

Stormfans are trying to raise $3,600.00 to buy 20 season tickets for donation to children who wouldn't otherwise have an opportunity to see professional basketball.

Support the owners.

Support the kids.


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.