It’s been interesting watching the players during the tournaments. As many have noticed, I posted a pick list as the regular season ended (2009 WNBA Draft – Pre-tournament Scout). It generated a lot of comments in email, in other fora that linked to the post, and a rather lengthy chat session.
Now, having seen the players playing outside of their conferences at season’s end, as well has having more information concerning WNBA team needs, and factoring the comments from around the web about my previous post, I’d agree that the list needs some tweaking.
I’m keenly aware of the ramifications of having an 11-person roster. That is going to effect some of the choices teams will make this year that they might not make if they had the extra spots. There are too many outside factors I don’t know (interest/availability of foreign players, whether LJ is going to Seattle or Phoenix, if a team is looking for something not immediately obvious, etc.) So just a few comments as an addendum to my previous post.
I think Marissa Coleman improved her stock a bit. People are now mentioning her as a possible #1 pick. I still think it will go to McCoughtry on the basis of one item on her resume: defense. She has a better history as a defender than Coleman does, and for most teams defense trumps offense. On the other hand, Meadors has said that she’d like to fill a guard spot first. Since she’s also going for versatility, Coleman could possibly get the nod (though Montgomery is an outside possibility).
I probably got more venom slung in my direction in my thought that Courtney Paris won’t go #2. The fact is that her size is an issue, especially with an 11-person roster and considering the style of play of many WNBA posts nowadays.
Washington will want a scorer (who doesn’t?), but one that can play inside since they have more than enough outside threats. I still don’t think it’s in their best interest to pick CP3, but I’d have them maybe go for Kia Vaughn or Chante Black though I think they’ll take the easy pick and get Courtney.
As before, I think Chicago still goes for Renee Montgomery because they need a point guard to feed all of their front court scorers.
Minnesota has a lot of choices to make early on this year. My feeling is if Detroit is going to make a trade deal, it will be for this position so they can get Toliver (who Laimbeer wants). If I’m a GM, I don’t make a deal with Detroit because when has one of those ever turned out good for anyone other than Detroit? No, I pick one of the Parises. If I’m replacing Ohlde, I pick Ashley; if I’m backing up Anosike, I pick Courtney.
Phoenix gets Kristi Toliver. Their off-season moves not only hint at them wanting K.T., and there’s been some background-noise talk of that being a possibility as well. Kristi has said outright that she wants to play for Phoenix…that it’s the best fit for her. I’ve made no bones about my preference about K.T. in Phoenix. If Annie is smart, she’ll try to make a deal with Washington or Chicago to get K.T. along with an agreement from Minnesota not to poach the pick that’s being exchanged.
I still feel that Indiana needs a PG to be mentored by Bevilaqua pending Tully’s retirement. I’m still going to go with Briann January as the best guard available.
And now we’re really at the point where picking gets very dicey. A lot depends on what those first six teams have done to this point. From my previous list, I’d probably drop Zellous and Boddie to a later round and bump up Gant and Wisdom-Hylton. Bonner is a wild card. Her (lack of) size is a problem, but if she’s drafted as a 3(plus 2/4), maybe not so much. It depends a lot on team needs.
With these later stages, we are very much at the mercy of the decision between drafting the best player available, or drafting for position. Frankly, I’m seeing it as quite a muddle from here on out. There are still a lot of good and versatile players to be gotten, but their limitations become more and more of a concern.
The fact is that this isn’t a very strong draft year…which is probably a good thing considering the reduction of two spots on rosters combined with the folding of the Comets. Even at the top of the draft, there are arguments that can be made for different players getting chosen #1. Most years it isn’t like this. Usually the top three (at least) are so obvious that pundit guesswork doesn’t start until further down the draft order.
It’s going to be interesting. After all, going into the draft, you have teams like Washington carrying 17 players. Add in their 4 draft picks and that means the Mystics will have 21 players competing for 11 spots. Doesn’t seem like they’ll be taking more than one rookie (if any)…the same that can be probably said of most of the teams.