Last year, we had a Community Draft where we all decided together to pick who we would take if we were the General Managers of each WNBA team picking in the first round. Here are the rules:
- We will post each weekday (except around the NCAA championship game on Monday April 6 and Tuesday April 7) to give a team synopsis. Today, we'll be in the Seattle Storm's shoes since they have the first selection.
- Vote in our poll! All poll results will expire at 12 p.m. Eastern Time the following day, even for Friday posts! The initial poll will have ten players, and we'll refresh the list based on your comments, or among the staff.
- We strongly encourage you to comment as well. This year's draft isn't particularly star-studded, so unpredictability is to be expected. :)
Enough stuff about rules, let's talk about the Seattle Storm.
You are Alisha Valavanis, the President and General Manager of the Seattle Storm. After a 2010 championship run, the Storm gradually declined through several years of mediocrity as your predecessor Brian Agler made multiple trades to acquire veterans at the expense of youth development. In 2014, just a few months before you were hired, he acquired All-Star forward Crystal Langhorne in exchange for his 2013 and 2014 first round picks to the Washington Mystics.
I hate to recap the aftermath on a monthly basis, but one of those Storm draft picks became an All-Rookie player and had the best play ever of anyone in an Inova Mystics uniform:
Because that player had a good season, while your team didn't, an infamous meme was also created at your team's expense:
So after your 12-22 season in 2014, you decided to head the Storm off into a younger direction after you were blessed with the #1 pick in this very draft. But there were also many other changes. Agler took the head coach position with the Los Angeles Sparks, and you promoted assistant coach Jenny Boucek to replace him. You made moves to keep key younger players like Alysha Clark. You acquired more impactful young players like the #3 overall pick which we'll talk about on Friday. And you let go of multiple veterans like Temeka Johnson and Camille Little.
That isn't to say that all the vets are gone. You still have franchise player Sue Bird and Langhorne, the latter of whom could yield you more young assets, but you're not trading her right now until you know who your first pick is. Bird, of course, is the definition of the Storm franchise and will be as strong of a mentor to the kids as anyone until she retires.
TL;dr version: Your team is younger and won't be able to compete with the best Western Conference teams this year. But your rookie draft picks -- and your potential young franchise star in 2016 -- could make this team a force for years to come once again. That, and this future meme of redemption you're dreaming about:
is your long term goal -- but okay, that was an exaggeration. :)
You're not trying to get back at the Mystics over one player or two. There are bigger goals in mind than that. You're trying to get this team back to its winning ways over the long haul.
But either way, you and the Storm will never, EVER be "Bria Hartley-ed" again while YOU are the captain of the ship!
Don't be celebrating too much though right now. Remember, that graphic is from the future. You still have more planning and execution to do in order to make sure that happens though. :)
Depth Chart before draft picks
If the season started today, and you had no draft picks, this is what your rotation would probably look like:
Your starting backcourt plus Langhorne doesn't look terrible, but it's clear that your team has some major depth issues. Let's get to the most pressing need right now.
Primary need: Post players
From this depth chart, it's clear that your team lacks talent at forward and the post positions. Besides Crystal Langhorne, you're not exactly sure if anyone is a starter or even a rotation-level option.
The guard position isn't that deep either, but the lack of post depth is pretty scary. And no, you're not seriously thinking that Lauren Jackson is going to save your team.
Which players could be a good fit for the Storm at the #1 spot?
This class isn't the 2013 or 2014 Draft where there are multiple star-level talents. But you still have serviceable options at the #1 and #3 picks. Reshanda Gray of Cal, Elizabeth Williams of Duke, or Isabelle Harrison of Tennessee could be a nice long term fit. But then you have to wonder how she can fit with Langhorne unless you plan on trading her soon in a separate deal.
Who do you pick at #1?
So that's it. Now it's your time to vote in the poll below. We're going to assume that you aren't trading the number one pick away. So select who you'd pick if you're Valavanis, who has a tough, but potentially exciting future ahead leading the Storm to its next era.
Also, add comments to support your opinions! And feel free to say which player should be added on the Draft Board tomorrow.
POLLING CLOSES AT 12 P.M. ON THURSDAY, MARCH 26! Soon after that, the Tulsa Shock get a chance to select in the Community Mock Draft.