WNBA Predictions

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So now that we have the rosters (as of now) I thought it would be fun to predict starting lineups for all 12 teams. Here are my picks.

Atlanta Dream

PG- Renee Montgomery
SG- Courtney Williams
SF- Tiffany Hayes
PF- Glory Johnson
C- Elizabeth Williams

Bench mob (significant minutes): Chennedy Carter, Shekinna Stricklen, Monique Billings, Kalani Brown

Chicago Sky

PG- Courtney Vandersloot
SG- Allie Quigley
SF- Diamond DeShields
PF- Jantel Lavender
C- Stefanie Dolson

Bench mob: I could see all of them playing in spurts honestly.

Connecticut Sun

PG- Jasmine Thomas
SG- Briann January
SF- DeWanna Bonner
PF- Alyssa Thomas
C- Jonquel Jones

Bench mob: Bria Holmes, Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis (breakout year alert), Brionna Jones, Natisha Hiedeman.

Dallas Wings

PG- Moriah Jefferson
SG- Arike Ogunbowale
SF- Satou Sabally (Rookie of the year threat)
PF- Kayla Thornton
C- No clue but most likely Isabelle Harrison or Astou Ndour

Bench mob: Allisha Gray, Harrison/Ndour, Katie Lou Samuelson, Megan Gustafson.

Indiana Fever

PG- Erica Wheeler
SG- Kelsey Mitchell
SF- Victoria Vivians
PF- Candice Dupree
C- Teaira McCowan

Bench mob: Natalie Achonwa, Tiffany Mitchell, Lauren Cox, Betnijah Laney and Julie Allemand (Wild guess).

Las Vegas Aces

PG- Kelsey Plum
SG- Kayla McBride
SF- Angel McCoughtry
PF- Aja Wilson
C- Liz Cambage

Going to go out on a limb and say either all 5 starters will average double figures or 4/5 with Plum just barely averaging under 10ppg.

Bench mob: Dearica Hamby, Jackie Young, Danielle Robinson. These 3 could be starters anywhere else so deep!

Los Angeles Sparks

PG- Chelsea Gray
SG- Kristi Toliver
SF- Candace Parker
PF- Nneka Ogwumike
C- Chiney Ogwumike

This is their most talented lineup but if they want to have a traditional wing, they’ll plug in Seimone Augustus and move Chiney to the bench.

Bench mob: Augustus, Brittney Sykes, Riquna Williams & Marie Gulich. Guard-heavy bench.


Minnesota Lynx

PG- Lexie Brown (Rachel Banham & Crystal Dangerfield will push her for this)
SG- Shenise Johnson
SF- Napheesa Collier
PF- Damiris Dantas
C- Sylvia Fowles

Bench mob: Banham, Mikia Herbert Harrigan, Dangerfield, Karima Christmas-Kelly (if fully recovered) & Cecilia Zandalasini. Kayla Alexander might get spot minutes as the only true post to back up Syl.

New York Liberty

PG- Sabrina Ionescu (ROY if not Sabally)
SG- Kia Nurse
SF- ?
PF- ?
C- Amanda Zahui B.

I could see Durr at SG & Nurse at SF or Rebecca Allen at SF but I have no clue how this lineup will play out. Wouldn’t be surprised to see Megan Walker and/or Jocelyn Willoughby crack the starting lineup either.

Bench mob: ????? Only players I think won’t be in much are Jazmine Jones, Leonna Odom & maybe Kylie Shook too but watch 1 out of those 3 will surprise us lol.

Phoenix Mercury

PG- Bria Hartley
SG- Skylar Diggins-Smith
SF- Diana Taurasi
PF- Jessica Breland
C- Brittney Griner

Bench mob: Shatori Walker-Kimbrough (will thrive in this system), Brianna Turner, Nia Coffey (if Sophie Cunningham doesn’t improve). Think Alanna Smith could be cut at some point. Overall weak bench, starters will play heavy minutes as usual.

Seattle Storm

PG- Sue Bird
SG- Jewell Loyd
SF- Alysha Clark
PF- Natasha Howard
C- Breanna Stewart

Bench mob: Jordin Canada, Morgan Tuck, Sami Whitcomb, Mercedes Russell & Crystal Langhorne. Might be the deepest bench.

Washington Mystics

PG- Natasha Cloud
SG- Ariel Atkins
SF- Elena Della Donne
PF- Emma Meesseman
C- Tina Charles

Bench mob: Aerial Powers, LaToya Sanders, Leilani Mitchell, Tianna Hawkins & Kiara Leslie. One of the more deeper benches with quality depth!
 

bballnut90

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So now that we have the rosters (as of now) I thought it would be fun to predict starting lineups for all 12 teams. Here are my picks.

Atlanta Dream

PG- Renee Montgomery
SG- Courtney Williams
SF- Tiffany Hayes
PF- Glory Johnson
C- Elizabeth Williams

Bench mob (significant minutes): Chennedy Carter, Shekinna Stricklen, Monique Billings, Kalani Brown

Chicago Sky

PG- Courtney Vandersloot
SG- Allie Quigley
SF- Diamond DeShields
PF- Jantel Lavender
C- Stefanie Dolson

Bench mob: I could see all of them playing in spurts honestly.

Connecticut Sun

PG- Jasmine Thomas
SG- Briann January
SF- DeWanna Bonner
PF- Alyssa Thomas
C- Jonquel Jones

Bench mob: Bria Holmes, Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis (breakout year alert), Brionna Jones, Natisha Hiedeman.

Dallas Wings

PG- Moriah Jefferson
SG- Arike Ogunbowale
SF- Satou Sabally (Rookie of the year threat)
PF- Kayla Thornton
C- No clue but most likely Isabelle Harrison or Astou Ndour

Bench mob: Allisha Gray, Harrison/Ndour, Katie Lou Samuelson, Megan Gustafson.

Indiana Fever

PG- Erica Wheeler
SG- Kelsey Mitchell
SF- Victoria Vivians
PF- Candice Dupree
C- Teaira McCowan

Bench mob: Natalie Achonwa, Tiffany Mitchell, Lauren Cox, Betnijah Laney and Julie Allemand (Wild guess).

Las Vegas Aces

PG- Kelsey Plum
SG- Kayla McBride
SF- Angel McCoughtry
PF- Aja Wilson
C- Liz Cambage

Going to go out on a limb and say either all 5 starters will average double figures or 4/5 with Plum just barely averaging under 10ppg.

Bench mob: Dearica Hamby, Jackie Young, Danielle Robinson. These 3 could be starters anywhere else so deep!

Los Angeles Sparks

PG- Chelsea Gray
SG- Kristi Toliver
SF- Candace Parker
PF- Nneka Ogwumike
C- Chiney Ogwumike

This is their most talented lineup but if they want to have a traditional wing, they’ll plug in Seimone Augustus and move Chiney to the bench.

Bench mob: Augustus, Brittney Sykes, Riquna Williams & Marie Gulich. Guard-heavy bench.


Minnesota Lynx

PG- Lexie Brown (Rachel Banham & Crystal Dangerfield will push her for this)
SG- Shenise Johnson
SF- Napheesa Collier
PF- Damiris Dantas
C- Sylvia Fowles

Bench mob: Banham, Mikia Herbert Harrigan, Dangerfield, Karima Christmas-Kelly (if fully recovered) & Cecilia Zandalasini. Kayla Alexander might get spot minutes as the only true post to back up Syl.

New York Liberty

PG- Sabrina Ionescu (ROY if not Sabally)
SG- Kia Nurse
SF- ?
PF- ?
C- Amanda Zahui B.

I could see Durr at SG & Nurse at SF or Rebecca Allen at SF but I have no clue how this lineup will play out. Wouldn’t be surprised to see Megan Walker and/or Jocelyn Willoughby crack the starting lineup either.

Bench mob: ????? Only players I think won’t be in much are Jazmine Jones, Leonna Odom & maybe Kylie Shook too but watch 1 out of those 3 will surprise us lol.

Phoenix Mercury

PG- Bria Hartley
SG- Skylar Diggins-Smith
SF- Diana Taurasi
PF- Jessica Breland
C- Brittney Griner

Bench mob: Shatori Walker-Kimbrough (will thrive in this system), Brianna Turner, Nia Coffey (if Sophie Cunningham doesn’t improve). Think Alanna Smith could be cut at some point. Overall weak bench, starters will play heavy minutes as usual.

Seattle Storm

PG- Sue Bird
SG- Jewell Loyd
SF- Alysha Clark
PF- Natasha Howard
C- Breanna Stewart

Bench mob: Jordin Canada, Morgan Tuck, Sami Whitcomb, Mercedes Russell & Crystal Langhorne. Might be the deepest bench.

Washington Mystics

PG- Natasha Cloud
SG- Ariel Atkins
SF- Elena Della Donne
PF- Emma Meesseman
C- Tina Charles

Bench mob: Aerial Powers, LaToya Sanders, Leilani Mitchell, Tianna Hawkins & Kiara Leslie. One of the more deeper benches with quality depth!
Solid list, thanks for sharing.

Couple of thoughts:
1. Diggins is definitely the PG for Phoenix. Hartley, if she starts, will be more of a SG. I think Walker-Kimbrough i a better player than Hartley, but they paid a crap ton for Hartley so she may get the starting nod. Also would not be surprised if Turner supplants Breland.

2. Guessing Chiney comes off the bench and Augustus starts.

3. Whether Bill goes with Young, Robinson or Plum is a big question mark. Plum really struggled much of last year but did very well playing the point at the end of the year. Young could thrive in her 2nd year, although I think she's better suited on the wing in a similar role to the one she had at Notre Dame. DRob is probably the best true PG but is a little older and on the downward trajectory.

4. Also, for Mystics, guessing a big question mark is if Meesseman decides to come over/is able to come. Applies to other foreign players, too.
 

nwhoopfan

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Just a few thoughts. Lavender the best Chicago can do at the 4? She can be a decent sub but really not good enough to be a starter I don't think. I'd probably go with either Stevens or Parker. Plus they have rookie Hebard? That's a bit crowded, somebody isn't going to be playing much in that frontcourt rotation.

I'm really not a fan of Ruffin-Pratt for LA, but you have her not even in the rotation? She's been a starter there for several years. I honestly don't see them starting both Ogwumikes and Parker, even though it puts the most talent on the floor. Bring Chiney off the bench, have at least 2 of them in the game most of the time. The starter at the 3 might be kinda by default. TRP brings more defense and Augustus even in her twilight brings more offense. Also Wiese will probably be in the guard rotation too. I forgot about Sykes joining them, that's a pretty crowded rotation as well.
 

bballnut90

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Lavender did a very good job in her role last year for Chicago--10 points, 7 boards, shot 49%. Not spectacular, but she is steady. Parker is a bigger, more physical player who I think is better suited as a backup since they have a similar player in Dolson.

Stevens has tremendous upside but didn't show any development last year. At 6-6, she's too perimeter oriented IMO. I think she absolutely could break into the starting lineup if she's improved but I think she'll also be off the bench. Hebard could be an absolutely perfect fit with this roster but she's just a rookie and will need to adjust to playing against bigger, more physical players. I think it may take her a year (if we have a season).

My guess is Stevens or Hebard is the one who doesn't get a lot of playing time. Stevens is kind of in a weird spot, I think this season is make or break for her. Hebard I think is going to be a very good pro but could see her spending much of the year in a more limited role.


I do agree Ruffin-Pratt is definitely a rotation player. My guess is the rotation is:
Front Court: Parker, Nneka as starters, Chiney off the bench and Gulich/Anigwe in a more limited role

Wings: Toliver and Augustus start, Sykes/Williams/TRP are contributors off the bench. Limited role for Wiese. If Augustus isn't healthy or has declined a lot, Sykes or TRP step into starting lineup and Wiese gets a few more minutes but I can't see her playing close to 20 mpg with 4 players ahead of her.

PG: Gray, Toliver backs her up.

LA on paper looks extremely good but the Fisher situation is a bit perplexing, and a lot of their roster is pretty old. Augustus is 36, Parker 34, Toliver 33, Nneka/Riquna are going to be 30. There really isn't any high level young blood on this team besides maybe Sykes.
 
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Solid list, thanks for sharing.

Couple of thoughts:
1. Diggins is definitely the PG for Phoenix. Hartley, if she starts, will be more of a SG. I think Walker-Kimbrough i a better player than Hartley, but they paid a crap ton for Hartley so she may get the starting nod. Also would not be surprised if Turner supplants Breland.

2. Guessing Chiney comes off the bench and Augustus starts.

3. Whether Bill goes with Young, Robinson or Plum is a big question mark. Plum really struggled much of last year but did very well playing the point at the end of the year. Young could thrive in her 2nd year, although I think she's better suited on the wing in a similar role to the one she had at Notre Dame. DRob is probably the best true PG but is a little older and on the downward trajectory.

4. Also, for Mystics, guessing a big question mark is if Meesseman decides to come over/is able to come. Applies to other foreign players, too.
Thank you! Just wanted to discuss this on here with you all.
1. Yes I agree @bballnut90, Skylar should be the PG. Just wasn’t sure if Hartley would play PG since she’s done that some in the league & at UConn, & that would give Skylar more reign to score more at SG but Skylar will get hers regardless so yep I like this lineup. & yes I think Walker-Kimbrough has a higher ceiling but same as you thought figured Sandy would start Hartley... thinking WK can eventually overtake Hartley though.

2. Yep this makes logical sense but if Augustus doesn’t provide much as far as veteran leadership (which I doubt), I could see Sykes sliding in or that big lineup I alluded to.

3. I think Plum has to start based on last year’s playoff run. She looked like All-American Kelsey against the Mystics. If Young starts, I could see her at the 3 over McCoughtry- if McCoughtry is not 100% still or tries to be a one-man show.

4. Yep if Meesseman doesn’t come, then I think Leilani slides in the starting lineup.
 
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Just a few thoughts. Lavender the best Chicago can do at the 4? She can be a decent sub but really not good enough to be a starter I don't think. I'd probably go with either Stevens or Parker. Plus they have rookie Hebard? That's a bit crowded, somebody isn't going to be playing much in that frontcourt rotation.
I was going off of last year where she was a starter I believe and putting up career numbers, or was that the year before. Can’t remember but yep I agree the bench will have tons of depth in the front court!
I'm really not a fan of Ruffin-Pratt for LA, but you have her not even in the rotation? She's been a starter there for several years. I honestly don't see them starting both Ogwumikes and Parker, even though it puts the most talent on the floor. Bring Chiney off the bench, have at least 2 of them in the game most of the time. The starter at the 3 might be kinda by default. TRP brings more defense and Augustus even in her twilight brings more offense. Also Wiese will probably be in the guard rotation too. I forgot about Sykes joining them, that's a pretty crowded rotation as well.
I was thinking that Sykes & Augustus would steal a lot of Ruffin-Pratt’s minutes this season. & LA typically doesn’t go very deep unless starters are out.
 

Dillon77

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Solid list, thanks for sharing.

Couple of thoughts:
1. Diggins is definitely the PG for Phoenix. Hartley, if she starts, will be more of a SG. I think Walker-Kimbrough i a better player than Hartley, but they paid a crap ton for Hartley so she may get the starting nod. Also would not be surprised if Turner supplants Breland.

2. Guessing Chiney comes off the bench and Augustus starts.

3. Whether Bill goes with Young, Robinson or Plum is a big question mark. Plum really struggled much of last year but did very well playing the point at the end of the year. Young could thrive in her 2nd year, although I think she's better suited on the wing in a similar role to the one she had at Notre Dame. DRob is probably the best true PG but is a little older and on the downward trajectory.

4. Also, for Mystics, guessing a big question mark is if Meesseman decides to come over/is able to come. Applies to other foreign players, too.

Thanks to @LowkeyX for compiling initial list and you for giving insights on a number of teams. A few reactions:

Las Vegas Aces:
- Think Plum will start off as PG, but Robinson wasn't brought in to sit on the bench.
- Like you, I think Young should be put back at that tall guard/wing slot, which she excelled in at ND. It allows her to showcase her numerous talents, which is a talent in it's own right.
- Don't be surprised if Lindsay Allen at PG starts getting minutes over the course of the year. She's fully recovered from her ACL, has improved her outside shooting and had a fantastic Aussie season. She has still not forgotten how to get the rock to the main hurlers and thats' important with this team.

Phoenix Mercury:
- Diggins will start at PG.
- I'm still kind of scratching my head on the Hartley signing (really, the contract) unless Sandy thinks they have a major run to make this year.
- BTW,Sophie Cunningham had a good Aussie season but that all depends on how much time DT is on the court.
- brianna Turner was the second best player in the Aussie league (after Kia Nurse) this year. I fully expect her to get major minutes and she'll help Griner a lot on the defensive and rebounding ends. She does not need the ball a lot (she'll find it), which is a good thing on that team. Her mobility continues to improve as she gets away from that ACL, which will translate into even better defensive matchups and her ability to drive to the hoop.

LA Sparks:
- I feel like this is similar to one of those baseball teams where George Steinbrenner would get a bunch of veterans, hire a guy like Bob Lemon to manage and say, "go win a championship."
- If healthy and if there are enough balls, this team can score. And Derek Fisher won't have to do any player development because there are no young 'uns on this team.

- Dallas:
- Outside of Arike and Sabally, there are a lot of possibilities here.
- MoJeff should start, but let's see how she is (man, it's been awhile since she played). Good back-up with Harris.
- Think Izzy will start, but there's something about Gustafson and her resilience that tells me she might force herself into playing time.
- If Sabally is a floater on offense, can KLS and Alarie adapt? Can they play wing defense?

Will ponder other teams....
 
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Thanks to @LowkeyX for compiling initial list and you for giving insights on a number of teams. A few reactions:

Las Vegas Aces:
- Think Plum will start off as PG, but Robinson wasn't brought in to sit on the bench.
- Like you, I think Young should be put back at that tall guard/wing slot, which she excelled in at ND. It allows her to showcase her numerous talents, which is a talent in it's own right.
- Don't be surprised if Lindsay Allen at PG starts getting minutes over the course of the year. She's fully recovered from her ACL, has improved her outside shooting and had a fantastic Aussie season. She has still not forgotten how to get the rock to the main hurlers and thats' important with this team.

Phoenix Mercury:
- Diggins will start at PG.
- I'm still kind of scratching my head on the Hartley trade unless Sandy thinks they have a major run to make this year.
- BTW, Cunningham had a good Aussie season but that all depends on how much time DT is on the court.
- Turner was the second best player in the Aussie league after Kia Nurse this year. I fully expect her to get major minutes and she'll help Griner a lot on the defensive and rebounding ends. She does not need the ball a lot (she'll find it), which is a good thing on that team.

LA Sparks:
- I feel like this is similar to one of those baseball teams where George Steinbrenner would get a bunch of veterans, hire a guy like Bob Lemon to manage and say, "go win a championship."
- If healthy and if there are enough balls, this team can score. And Derek Fisher won't have to do any player development because there are no young 'uns on this team.

- Dallas:
- Outside of Arike and Sabally, there are a lot of possibilities here.
- MoJeff should start, but let's see how she is (man, it's been awhile since she played). Good back-up with Harris.
- Think Izzy will start, but there's something about Gustafson and her resilience that tells me she might force herself into playing time.
- If Sabally is a floater on offense, can KLS and Alarie adapt? Can they play wing defense?

Will ponder other teams....
You are certainly welcome @Dillon77 . This gives us some excitement until the season starts (hoping it does even if it’s without fans). The fun part will be seeing how the lineups actually turn out.
 

CamrnCrz1974

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Phoenix Mercury

PG- Bria Hartley
SG- Skylar Diggins-Smith
SF- Diana Taurasi
PF- Jessica Breland
C- Brittney Griner

Bench mob: Shatori Walker-Kimbrough (will thrive in this system), Brianna Turner, Nia Coffey (if Sophie Cunningham doesn’t improve). Think Alanna Smith could be cut at some point. Overall weak bench, starters will play heavy minutes as usual.

Phoenix Mercury:
- Diggins will start at PG.
- I'm still kind of scratching my head on the Hartley trade unless Sandy thinks they have a major run to make this year.
- BTW, Cunningham had a good Aussie season but that all depends on how much time DT is on the court.
- Turner was the second best player in the Aussie league after Kia Nurse this year. I fully expect her to get major minutes and she'll help Griner a lot on the defensive and rebounding ends. She does not need the ball a lot (she'll find it), which is a good thing on that team.

@LowkeyX , I have to respectfully disagree regarding Alanna Smith.

--- First, Smith had surgery on her right ankle in August 2019. She was not able to show her skillset or demonstrate why she was picked 8th in the 2019 WNBA Draft.

--- Second, Smith was a member of Australia's 2018 WC team (that won the silver medal). The head coach of the Opals is Sandy Brondello. I do not see Smith being cut, certainly not this year.

--- Finally, Phoenix is under tight salary cap restrictions, in part because of the exorbitant amount paid to Bria Hartley in free agency (she is making $185,000). Frankly, I think is the "Larry Johnson/New York Knicks" situation, where the team was bidding against itself. The tight cap restrictions are why Phoenix has 11 players on the roster, not 12. Smith is making $57,000 on a rookie deal, so she is incredibly cheap to have right now, on a cash-strapped team.

As for the other observations...

--- Last year, Brianna Turner demonstrated a tremendous ability to defend more mobile forwards. While she was not always able to shut down the players she was defending, she made life very difficult for them. As an example, she defended Elena Delle Donne and was keeping up with her - while Delle Donne made shots, Turner had a hand in her face, which is really great from a rookie - being able to keep up and make life hard on the opposing team's best player.

--- With Jessica Breland, there are a few options. Breland did not shoot all that well in her two years in Atlanta, but the Dream was an unbalanced team (especially last year, as the Dream shot a league worst 29.0 percent from three). Phoenix was not much better (32.5 percent), but that was with Diana Taurasi - the league's all-time best three-point shooter (in terms of made threes) - missing the overwhelming majority of the year (as a contrast, Phoenix shot over 36.0 percent from three in 2018 and was 2nd in the league in made threes). And with Griner's ability to step into the mid-range, Breland can operate closer to the basket if needed or find herself open for free throw line jumpers if Griner is operating down low.

--- On offense, Turner needs to be more of a viable threat from mid-range, which is the next stage in her development. But she is highly efficient without needing the ball in her hands (as @Dillon77 noted). But, as I noted above, she fit well with Griner last year (and made the All-Rookie Team) and will likely fit well with Breland.

--- As for the starting lineup, I am not sure Hartley starts, despite her high salary - or, if she does start, she may not do so for the entire season. Outside of Hartley, Phoenix does not have a viable backup point guard, other than moving Taurasi over there (which would require DT to play heavy minutes). I could see Cunningham starting (with Diggins, Taurasi, Griner, and Turner/Breland), depending on her ability to defend.
 
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So when does Cox take over the 4 spot for Indiana. You don't draft top 3 to ride the bench. Surely the Fever won't make the same mistake as last year where they didn't play McCowan much till the last 1/3 of the season.
 
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Chennedy Carter will start for the dream just because— maybe replace Renee I’m not sure. I think they picked Carter to eventually become to the new face of the franchise.

Chiney won’t start for the Sparks, she hasn’t been the same player since her college and early WNBA days.—Gray, Toliver, Augustus(just because of her namesake even though she’s not as affective), N. Ogwumike, Parker

Cox will be in the fevers lineup. They may bring Vivians off the bench because she’s coming off injury but they need Cox for their defensive identity. It will be hard for teams to score insides with McCowan and Cox together.

I think Plum will be out of the Vegas lineup. Not sure how the lineup will look, but Angel won’t be coming off the bench.

I think the Liberty will go Ionescu, Durr, Nurse, Zahui B, Stokes ..they also have Layshia Clarendon the oldest player on the team who will probably get minutes.
 

nwhoopfan

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Thanks all, I didn't pay enough attention to how Lavender played with Chicago last season. I was basing my opinion off of what I'd seen of her w/ LA the last several seasons.

I hope Plum gets the chance to be the starting PG for LV after the way she played in the post season last year. If she reverts to her form from the regular season, then I can see them going in a different direction.
 
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Cox may come off the bench originally for the Fever and see if she gets the hang of it. She is likely viewed as the replacement for Dupree.

I hope Vivians makes a full comeback. She played pretty well after the early games of her rookie year. She probably won't be a star in the league but like another former MSU player named Tan White she has the tools to hang around for a long time if healthy.
 
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Dallas will be an interesting team to watch. I'd like to see them experiment with Sabally playing PF over Thornton. Last year Thornton shot 34% and 27% from 3, which is highly inefficient for a PF. As a Samuelson fan, I'd like to see them go with her on the wing instead. I think she could be the perfect role player in the W.

PG- Jefferson - top 5 pg when healthy
SG- Ogunbowale- future star in the league. When she ultimately becomes more efficient, she will be one of the best players for many years.
W- Samuelson - Would benefit from dynamic guards who could help get her open looks. In return, opens the floor for them to create.
PF- Sabally- Tall and strong and has the ability to really stretch the floor. Is a player capable of matching up with players like EDD, Meeseman, Stewart.
C- Harrison/Ndour - probably the weakest position. Can't match up with likes of Griner, Cambage, and Fowles.

Bench - Thornton, Harrison/Ndour, & Gray.
 
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Dallas will be an interesting team to watch. I'd like to see them experiment with Sabally playing PF over Thornton. Last year Thornton shot 34% and 27% from 3, which is highly inefficient for a PF. As a Samuelson fan, I'd like to see them go with her on the wing instead. I think she could be the perfect role player in the W.

PG- Jefferson - top 5 pg when healthy
SG- Ogunbowale- future star in the league. When she ultimately becomes more efficient, she will be one of the best players for many years.
W- Samuelson - Would benefit from dynamic guards who could help get her open looks. In return, opens the floor for them to create.
PF- Sabally- Tall and strong and has the ability to really stretch the floor. Is a player capable of matching up with players like EDD, Meeseman, Stewart.
C- Harrison/Ndour - probably the weakest position. Can't match up with likes of Griner, Cambage, and Fowles.

Bench - Thornton, Harrison/Ndour, & Gray.
True centers like Griner, Cambage, and Fowler are becoming the exception in the WNBA. EDD, Stewie, Parker, are like Lauren Jackson mobile bigs who are changing the way the game is played.
Those 3 aren't able to guard people away from the basket, which creates open looks for good shooters.
 

bballnut90

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Cox may come off the bench originally for the Fever and see if she gets the hang of it. She is likely viewed as the replacement for Dupree.

I hope Vivians makes a full comeback. She played pretty well after the early games of her rookie year. She probably won't be a star in the league but like another former MSU player named Tan White she has the tools to hang around for a long time if healthy.

Agree on both accounts. I think Cox comes off the bench and gets more playing time her 2nd year. Dupree is very good, McCowan was dominant at the end of last year. They also have Achonwa who is likely better than Cox right now, so it might be an uphill battle for Lauren early. Indiana just isn't a great fix for Cox but she was the clear choice once Satou was gone. Sabally would've been a perfect fit.

Vivians, if healthy, should start. She'd fit in perfectly with the roster makeup as a catch and shoot specialist who does other things well but doesn't force the issue. She has a very quick release, deep range, moves well off the dribble, good size and can defend. Doesn't make many mistakes either. I do think she eventually could become a top notch wing in the league with her scoring prowess, but Indiana has some potent playmakers in Mitchell/Wheeler, plus Dupree is very good with the ball in her hands, so I think she'll do well in a sniper role. Sort of like a more athletic Shekinna Stricklen.
 
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Agree on both accounts. I think Cox comes off the bench and gets more playing time her 2nd year. Dupree is very good, McCowan was dominant at the end of last year. They also have Achonwa who is likely better than Cox right now, so it might be an uphill battle for Lauren early. Indiana just isn't a great fix for Cox but she was the clear choice once Satou was gone. Sabally would've been a perfect fit.

Vivians, if healthy, should start. She'd fit in perfectly with the roster makeup as a catch and shoot specialist who does other things well but doesn't force the issue. She has a very quick release, deep range, moves well off the dribble, good size and can defend. Doesn't make many mistakes either. I do think she eventually could become a top notch wing in the league with her scoring prowess, but Indiana has some potent playmakers in Mitchell/Wheeler, plus Dupree is very good with the ball in her hands, so I think she'll do well in a sniper role. Sort of like a more athletic Shekinna Stricklen.

Can Cox raise her 3pt % up 8 or 9 points? She shot about 30 to 31 percent through college( low volume). If she could get that up, she will be a great 4 beside McCowan. Could be the best frontcourt in the league in a couple years.
 

bballnut90

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Dallas will be an interesting team to watch. I'd like to see them experiment with Sabally playing PF over Thornton. Last year Thornton shot 34% and 27% from 3, which is highly inefficient for a PF. As a Samuelson fan, I'd like to see them go with her on the wing instead. I think she could be the perfect role player in the W.

PG- Jefferson - top 5 pg when healthy
SG- Ogunbowale- future star in the league. When she ultimately becomes more efficient, she will be one of the best players for many years.
W- Samuelson - Would benefit from dynamic guards who could help get her open looks. In return, opens the floor for them to create.
PF- Sabally- Tall and strong and has the ability to really stretch the floor. Is a player capable of matching up with players like EDD, Meeseman, Stewart.
C- Harrison/Ndour - probably the weakest position. Can't match up with likes of Griner, Cambage, and Fowles.

Bench - Thornton, Harrison/Ndour, & Gray.

Hard to say about Jefferson being a top 5 PG when healthy since she hasn't been healthy in 4 years. I am optimistic for her being a very good player though.

Ogunbowale isn't a future star, she's a current star. She was 3rd in the league in scoring last year. She also become much more efficient as the season continued, shooting 44% from the floor after the All Star break and she had a 1.6 A/TO ratio which is very good for a rookie playing PG out of position.

If you criticize Thornton's numbers, you can't overlook that KLS's were worse and she didn't crack the rotation while Thornton averaged over 10 ppg for Dallas. Samuelson could be a good fit with her shooting, but she's just so unproven at this level. Gray might be a better fit than either to be honest. I think she still gets big minutes.

Agree about Harrison/Ndour. Not sure what they saw in Ndour to pay her as much as they did. Sabally is a great pick but by passing on Cox, and then passing on Hebard, I'm not sure what their long term plan is in the post. There really aren't any solid post prospects entering the draft next year unless Collier comes out early. And as players like Kalani Brown, Cox, McCowan, Jonquel Jones, and A'ja Wilson develop, Dallas could be left in the dark without a strong post presence inside.
 

nwhoopfan

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Hard to say about Jefferson being a top 5 PG when healthy since she hasn't been healthy in 4 years. I am optimistic for her being a very good player though.

I tend to agree with this. I'm not sure we'll ever see Jefferson at her rookie year level again. It's been too long.
 

bballnut90

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Can Cox raise her 3pt % up 8 or 9 points? She shot about 30 to 31 percent through college( low volume). If she could get that up, she will be a great 4 beside McCowan. Could be the best frontcourt in the league in a couple years.

Perimeter shots are commonly developed by bigs when they enter the pros. You look at the likes of Dolson, Griner, Nneka, Parker, Glory Johnson, etc. and all have added much stronger face up games than they had in college. Cox doesn't have the prettiest jumper but I think she can definitely improve on this over time and pair well with McCowan. Indiana will be very tough in a few years if their young core of Vivians, K. Mitchell, Cox and McCowan stick together and develop over the next several years.

3-4 years from now the landscape of the league likely looks much different, with players like Parker, Bonner, Dupree, Taurasi, Bird, Fowles, Diggins, Charles, EDD, Sloot, and Griner likely retired or coming close to the end of their careers.
 
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Dallas will be an interesting team to watch. I'd like to see them experiment with Sabally playing PF over Thornton. Last year Thornton shot 34% and 27% from 3, which is highly inefficient for a PF. As a Samuelson fan, I'd like to see them go with her on the wing instead. I think she could be the perfect role player in the W.

PG- Jefferson - top 5 pg when healthy
SG- Ogunbowale- future star in the league. When she ultimately becomes more efficient, she will be one of the best players for many years.
W- Samuelson - Would benefit from dynamic guards who could help get her open looks. In return, opens the floor for them to create.
PF- Sabally- Tall and strong and has the ability to really stretch the floor. Is a player capable of matching up with players like EDD, Meeseman, Stewart.
C- Harrison/Ndour - probably the weakest position. Can't match up with likes of Griner, Cambage, and Fowles.

Bench - Thornton, Harrison/Ndour, & Gray.
Bella Alarie is likely a future starter at power forward for the wings, that’s why Sabally will likely play small forward. I would like to see Sabally, Alarie, and Lou all in at the same time, sounds like a really versatile line up.
 

bballnut90

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With Tina + EDD, Washington Mystics is a tough team this year.......

Adding in Charles looks good on paper but I don't think it is a slam dunk. Tina has been a go to player her entire pro career and has become a volume shooter, leading the league in FGA for 5 straight years. Adjusting to a new role with the Mystics, likely taking a back seat to EDD and possibly Messeeman, likely will be an adjustment for her. She also really struggled last year which may be a decline in play, or it could be just a bad fit with her team last year. They also lose Toliver who was a crucial player to their success and the biggest question for Washington is if Messeeman comes. She was the Finals MVP a year ago and paired very well with EDD.

Washington should be excellent, but teams like LA, Phoenix and Seattle all should be much improved teams from a year ago due to stars being out with injuries, plus Vegas returns everyone from their young but loaded roster. Competition will be a lot stronger than it was a season ago. If the season happens, it should be an exciting one.
 
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First, Smith had surgery on her right ankle in August 2019. She was not able to show her skillset or demonstrate why she was picked 8th in the 2019 WNBA Draft.
@CamrnCrz1974 That explains a lot, well considering that... I think she’s safe & you make a good point about the salary cap being a factor.

As for the starting lineup, I am not sure Hartley starts, despite her high salary - or, if she does start, she may not do so for the entire season. Outside of Hartley, Phoenix does not have a viable backup point guard, other than moving Taurasi over there (which would require DT to play heavy minutes). I could see Cunningham starting (with Diggins, Taurasi, Griner, and Turner/Breland), depending on her ability to defend.
Now this would be surprising to see Cunningham start, did she have a strong offseason overseas? It’s safe to say whoever gets that other wing starting spot will have to work to keep it!
 

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