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2021 WNBA Draft Preview: Will the Seattle Storm feature a rookie on their roster?

The Seattle Storm have a nearly full roster and already have a good mix of veterans and youth. The Storm might draft a player for the future. Trades should also be on the table given the number of picks they have in the draft.

Las Vegas Aces v Seattle Storm - Game Three
The Seattle Storm won the franchise’s fourth WNBA title in 2020. Drafting for the future might be the best path.
Photo by Stephen Gosling/NBAE via Getty Images

The Seattle Storm finished 18-4 in 2020 and won the franchise’s fourth championship. The Storm will look very different to fans as two key starters, Alysha Clark and Natasha Howard, left via free agency. Despite those departures, Seattle features a trio of stars in Breanna Stewart, Jewell Loyd, and the ageless Sue Bird.

Picks: 11, 18, 23, 35

Needs: small forward/draft and stash

The Storm have 11 players on their roster with an additional three players signed to training camp contracts. It would be surprising to not see some trades happen for Seattle. The Storm have a good mix of All-Star talent and youth already on the roster and will be pressed to find playing time for a rookie. That said, there are a few players that could end up in camp with Seattle.

Shyla Heal is a player that could be taken at the back of the first round or in the second round. The 19-year old has been a pro in Australia since the age of 14 and has a ton of talent. She is a smooth finisher around the rim and can shoot from deep with ease. There is no guarantee that Heal will be moving over to the WNBA right away. Even if she never plays for the Storm, Heal’s rights could provide value for them.

The back of the first round seems like a good spot for Michaela Onyenwere. If she improves her 3-point game, she could be a very good replacement for Alysha Clark. Onyenwere is coming into the league as an astute defender and could fit in nicely with the Storm. Her college skillset translates better as a wing than a power forward which could provide some additional depth for the Storm.

The Storm are set up to be active in free agency in 2022, but, given their current talent, they will likely be drafting near the back of the draft. The Storm will not necessarily be drafting for need but taking the best available player who they think might be a good fit for their roster.