The Dallas Wings (7-8) announced on Wednesday that they had signed guard Odyssey Sims, and released guard Jasmine Dickey and rookie forward Ashley Joens in corresponding moves. The Wings also released center Kalani Brown from the emergency hardship contract she was on, and re-signed her to a new emergency hardship contract on Thursday.
Sims, who the Wings signed to an emergency hardship contract earlier in June, appeared in four games for the team while point guard Crystal Dangerfield was recovering from an ankle injury, averaging 4.8 points and 5.8 assists in 20.9 minutes played per game. She was then released from that contract when Dangerfield was cleared to return.
Brown, meanwhile, has played a critical role since originally being signed in late May. At 6-foot-7, Brown was an ideal candidate to fill the void left by Teaira McCowan, who missed several games with an ankle injury and then had to report to the Turkish National Team to compete in the 2023 FIBA Women’s EuroBasket tournament. Brown played well in McCowan’s absence, and though McCowan is now back with the Wings, Brown is still getting opportunities to contribute; on the season, she’s averaging career highs in scoring (7.9), rebounding (7.2) and minutes played (21.2), and has recorded three double-doubles.
The series of moves bookended a month that was, suffice to say, an up-and-down one for the Wings. Dallas went 4-7 in June, and while the Wings are by no means out of the playoff race — they currently sit at No. 5 in the WNBA standings — it’s clear they could stand to improve in several areas. Three losses to the Los Angeles Sparks (who the Wings are currently half a game ahead of in the standings) exposed an inconsistent Wings offense that is prone to faltering late in games, while the team’s defense was similarly inconsistent, allowing just 89 points per 100 possessions in four wins but 106.2 points per 100 possessions in seven losses.
Adding Sims should, in theory, help stabilize the Wings’ guard rotation, and add an extra scoring punch off the bench. Dallas head coach Latricia Trammell has been relying heavily on Dangerfield as a starter, which may very well continue, in part because of second-year guard Veronica Burton’s individual offensive struggles. In her last eight games, Burton has played more than 20 minutes only once, and is averaging just 1.4 points on 14.3 percent shooting from the field during that span; how the Wings’ backcourt minutes are distributed in the coming games will be something to watch as the team tries to get back above .500.
What’s next for the Wings
Advancing in the standings may be easier said than done, however. The Wings have more than their fair share of difficult matchups in July, starting with a game against the Washington Mystics (9-6), who defeated Dallas back on June 2. The Wings will then play a pair of games against the defending champion Las Vegas Aces (14-1) on Wednesday, July 5 and Friday, July 7 before things ease up a tad against the Indiana Fever (5-10) and the Minnesota Lynx (6-9).