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WNBA Draft Preview: The Connecticut Sun look to build on their breakout 2017 season

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The Connecticut Sun returned to the playoffs for the first time since 2012 under Curt Miller’s leadership. They finished with a 21-13 record and earned the fourth seed in the playoffs. Though they lost in the second round to the Phoenix Mercury, it’s hard to call this team a disappointment. The Sun’s young core of Jonquel Jones, Alyssa Thomas, and Jasmine Thomas all made significant strides and earned invitations to the 2017 All-Star Game.

Now, Connecticut looks to build on last season’s success and this time, the Sun hope to make some real noise in the WNBA Playoffs.

Team Stats

Offensive Rating: 106 (3rd)

Defensive Rating: 100.4 (4th)

Pace: 97.3 (1st)

The good - The Sun played at the league’s highest pace, but also had an above average offense and defense. With a young roster that plays fast, we often see the defense slacking off. Not with Curt Miller’s squad.

The bad - A team that wins 20 regular season games doesn’t have too many bad things on the stat sheets. But the Sun were poor free throw shooters at 74.2 percent. Alyssa Thomas was the most egregious offender, where she only made 114 of 201 free throws (56.7 percent). Yikes!

What have the Sun done in the offseason?

Key Departures: Lynetta Kizer left to the Lynx.

Key Additions: Connecticut acquired Cayla George from the Phoenix Mercury and signed their second round pick from last year, Leticia Romero.

The Sun also signed Kelsey Griffin, Betnijah Laney, and Jessica January in free agency, but all either haven’t played in the WNBA for some time, or weren’t regular rotation players.

Re-signings: Alyssa Thomas and Shekinna Stricklen signed their sophomore contracts to solidify their young core.

The Sun’s draft picks

The Sun have the 9th pick, the 15th pick in the second round from the Dream, and the 33rd pick in the third round.

What do the Sun need?

Connecticut has a young core but played pretty tight rotations. With two-time All-Star power forward Chiney Ogwumike coming back after missing all of last season (and even all of 2015), this team looks set in the post, even with Kizer leaving. There are no sore positional needs per se, but the Sun can use more three point shooters at the wing and forward positions so they can stretch defense out a bit more.