By Dan Karl/For The Sporting Nation
The WNBA draft presented by State Farm was held on Thursday, April 13.
This draft is different than past drafts according to Rebecca Lobo, a WNBA analyst.
“It’s a solid draft,” said Lobo, “it’s interesting because if all of the players who could have declared, had declared, it would be considered a much deeper draft,” said Lobo.
LaChina Robinson, a WNBA analyst said, “I don’t think there’s going to be one player who comes in and blows anybody away. But I think we have some very talented pieces that can come in and get their team over the hump to get into the playoffs,” said Robinson.
There are also some intriguing aspects of this draft too, according to Chicago Sky Head Coach Amber Stocks.
“We have shooters at multiple positions,” said Stocks. “Not only the perimeter players, but the bigs are shooting very impressive percentages beyond the three-point line, which contributes to how hard players are working now.”
The San Antonio Stars held the first overall pick in the draft this year. Kelsey Plum, a guard from Washington, was the consensus projected No. 1 overall pick but not necessarily a need for the Stars, who have a plethora of guards including Moriah Jefferson and Kayla McBride.
“I think Kelsey Plum has too much value not to go number one,” said Lobo.
Plum did indeed go to San Antonio, though there was a question come draft night is if the Stars woould keep the first overall pick, or trade it to another team.
Other top prospects that were expected to go in the first round included Shatori Walker-Kimbrough (No. 6 to Washington) and Brionna Jones from Maryland (No. 8 to Connecticut); Alaina Coates (No. 2 to Chicago) and Allisha Gray (No. 4 to Dallas) from South Carolina; Alexis Jones from Baylor (No. 12 to Minnesota) and Nia Coffey from Northwestern No. 5 to San Antonio).
The Dallas Wings looked to heavily rebuild through this draft, as they held the number three, four and 10th picks.
“The draft is going to be a huge factor for us,” said Fred Williams, the head coach of the Wings. “There is definitely a variety of talent we can select from.”
Jones, a native of Texas said, “I would feel right at home,” at the thought of playing for the Wings next season. Yet she went to the Lynx.
Unfortunately for Jones, there were some questions regarding her health leading up to the draft. She missed some time towards the end of the season with a bone bruise on her knee this year. In addition, she’s had surgery on both of her knees in the past.
“I feel fine, I’m ready to go, I’ve been working out,” said Jones.
While Jones and others may be ready and excited for the draft, Walker-Kimbrough sought out advice from her coach at Maryland, Brenda Freese.
“She told me not to overthink it, to trust the process and at the end of the day, it’s just basketball.”