With the re-signing of Crystal Langhorne and Mercedes Russell, the Seattle Storm have their championship roster intact. But this leaves some questions as to what moves the team will be making as the offseason moves forward.
The team will bring in rookies from the upcoming draft and also has a player returning in Ramu Tokashiki, who sat out the 2018 season to train with the Japan Women’s National Team ahead of the the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup 2018.
Tokashiki saw a decline in minutes over her three seasons with the Storm (2015-17), from about 20 minutes to 12 minutes per game, so it will be interesting to see what role she’ll have with the team moving forward.
Unless the Storm strike a trade deal prior to training camp, Tokashiki will likely be in training camp. The front office could make their assessment about how she will fit with the current roster and decide from there.
The difficulty of these decisions increases for Storm CEO and General Manager Alisha Valavanis and Head Coach Dan Hughes with the 2019 WNBA Draft. Although drafting at the bottom of the order, plenty of players could provide viable contributions for the Storm this year.
There are no clear team needs given the talent of the roster, but adding a guard like Sophie Cunningham, out of Missouri, or another big-time post player like Napheesa Collier, out of Connecticut, would be hard to pass up.
Seattle is clearly in an enviable position. But the moves will definitely impact the team given the small rosters of the league with one or two players possibly being the difference down the stretch.
The Storm will have to address these issues prior to their campaign to repeat as champions in 2019.