The Draft is over and, like any other year, the teams had a great selection of players to choose from. The #ThreeToSee, as expected came out with the first 3 draft picks. From their, it was all jumbled. You’ll see in this blog whether I think teams made the right choice and what they can do to insure their decision won’t backfire.
It seems like there’s always that one team that has the opportunity to make a good draft choice and at the last second they pick someone else. This year, and unfortunately for them, and last year that team was the New York Liberty. The Liberty’s Coach Bill Laimbeer talked about adding Kelly Farris to his season since he knew she was going to be in the draft. He talked about how she would help the team’s defense. Farris wasn’t a huge player in college. She had her moments where she had big plays but her defense was always solid. Laimbeer likes hard work and toughness and she is definitely the perfect example for both of those qualities. The Liberty had a lot of options and I don’t believe they capitalized. They had the option to pick A’Dia Matthies who is a versatile guard from Kentucky. She is a good three point shooter and adds another element to the floor. Another good pick for the Liberty would have been Layshia Clarendon. She might be one of the best shooting guards in the draft this year but she is definitely under estimated. The Liberty had options with the 5th overall. Instead of going with a versatile guard, they went for another big player and chose Kelsey Bone. She’s a good player don’t get me wrong but maybe not the right piece for the Liberty puzzle. We’ll see during the season how that works out for them.
The Phoenix Mercury had the first pick in the draft. Everyone knew who they were going to pick when they saw the lottery results. Phoenix picking Brittney Griner is a no brainer but they definitely could have done better and found a better fit for their team. Griner is one of the bigs that were in this draft. She did a great job in college shutting people down and blocking shots but that’s definitely not gonna happen in the league. Griner reminds me of Sylvia Fowles. Fowles was a great shot blocker in college and she had a couple dunks but once she came to the league, she had to go up against veteran post players. These veterans may not be swatting balls and dunking but they aren’t easy. Griner is a slow player and her defense isn’t that great. Phoenix has one of the best defenesive teams and they like to have a quick paced game. Griner just doesn’t fit right now. If I were Phoenix, I definitely would have chosen Elena Delle Donne. She is a guard/forward that can literally play anywhere on the floor. Yes the Mercury needed a post person but having a versatile forward is just as good. Delle Donne can shoot the outside jumper, hit some 3s, and can drive in and post up a player. She’s a threat anywhere on the court and off the court. She is just as threatening on the floor as she is on the bench. I can’t guaruntee the success of Griner but the Mercury team would’ve had a better go with Delle Donne.
The Tulsa Shock picking up Skylur Diggins is no shock to me. During the offseason, they picked up Candice Wiggins from the Minnesota Lynx. Diggins and Wiggins have been fighting to play with each in the league for years and it’s now reality. These players have the same style of play and they will mesh well together. Tulsa has a lot of newer plays on their roster making them a young team. Even though they are a young team, they could definitely have a great season. They’ve got everything they need! Kayla Pedersen, Glory Johnson, and Amber Holt will still be a great Forward trio. Pederson did great adding a little bit of outside range for the Shock and Johnson is a forward that plays like a guard. The Shock backcourt is great now being filled with Diggins and Wiggins. These two will be a force coming down the court on a fast break. This is going to be a quick paced and scrappy team.They may not have size but their speed is incredible!
The Los Angeles Sparks going into this draft didn’t need anything particular. They had a really great team last year, they lost a few players but they gained so much more in Lindsay Harding. The Sparks had the 10th pick and they chose A’dia Matthies. Matthies has set so many records for her school and led her team to the winningest season. The Sparks have a great back court and Matthies will add depth and a spark off the bench. There is no one on this Sparks team that doesn’t have the ability to stand out and Matthies is no exception. The Sparks are going to do very again this season especially with this new addition.