•  Register

Click on Team Pages to see Draft Previews!

16

2018 WNBA Draft Grades

by Todd Roman on Apr. 16, 2018
2018 WNBA Draft Grades
 
Having Stevens fall to Dallas at #6 is a true gift for the them. With Plaisance out, filling out their frontcourt was a necessity. Adding in Loryn Goodwin(#17) & Natalie Butler could both enhance their bench production. With these picks and the return of Cambage, the Wings look like they could be the most improved team in the league for 2018. Hopefully Coach Williams will know how to insert all these new pieces into his rotation.
 
Wilson was a lock at #1, but also landing Nared at #13 and getting high volume scoring guard Kahlia Lawrence (Mercer) in a post draft trade from Minnesota will make the Aces one of the deepest teams in the league. Aces also landed Korea’s Ji-Su Park in their trade from Minnesota, likely locking her in for next season and giving them even more depth in the future.
 
The Mercury’s biggest need was a back-up for Griner and they got the best available post with Marie Gulich at #12. Enhancing their bench with their 2nd round picks in Scaife & Russia’s Raisa Musina will give the Mercury a much improved bench for 2018. 
 
Locking in Mitchell at #2 gives the Fever their PG for the future. Then getting Vivians to fall to #8 gives them a much needed high volume shooter, considering the Fever will be without Shenise Johnson to begin the season. Adding in Mavunga at #14 will give the veteran posts for Indiana some competition in training camp but is in no ways a lock to make the team. This Fever team still has a lot of youth on it’s roster and is still very much in rebuilding mode.
 
Vadeeva could be considered the steal of the draft at #11 and all signs indicate she plans to show up this season. At #23 the Sparks got another steal with Shakayla Thomas, but with an already crowded backcourt, it’ll be difficult for her to make their roster. Sparks also drafted foreigner Julie Reisingerova in the third round and is likely a deferred pick for the future. A deep team before the draft got deeper by adding Vadeeva inside.
 
Having Billings drop to #15 is a true gift for the Dream. In what was a last minute pre-draft trade to acquire the #15 pick from Connecticut, Billings falling to #15 is just what the Dream needed. Kristy Wallace at #16 will be deferred due to her injury and Engram at #27 is a questionable choice. Getting McCoughtry back for 2018 is a huge boost for Atlanta, but we shall see how much improved the Dream will look this season.
 
Whether or not Kia Nurse was their best choice at #10 is yet to be seen. Their biggest hole was at SF and I doubt Nurse, more of a two guard, is set to fill that void. Maybe Monique Billings or Stephanie Mavunga would have been a better choice to help inside, but getting Russell to fall all the way to #22 is a gift. New head coach Katie Smith will have some work to do getting Nurse & Russell into new roles on the Liberty.
 
Getting Canada at #5 seemed like the most logical choice to finally get a back-up PG for Bird and likely the future PG for Seattle. But without a second round pick, enhancing their bench was unlikely. Though having West Virginia’s Teana Muldrow fall to #29 is a nice bonus at the SF position. Newly acquired Natasha Howard & Courtney Paris will be an interesting post combo off the bench for Seattle. Lots of new pieces for the Storm gives coach Brian Agler some fluidity & variety for training camp.
 
The Sun, like the Storm, were also without a second round pick. So adding in Lexie Brown at #9 gives them a solid back-up PG. But possibly drafting Kia Nurse may have suited the Sun better in having a more flexible guard for the team. Third round pick Mikayla Cowling joins an already crowded roster of posts for the Sun.
 
Drafting DeShields was likely a guarantee, but then drafting Williams was a bit of a head scratcher. Considering the Sky’s biggest void was at PF, passing on Azura Stevens seems like the worse blunder of the draft. There are always trades to be made and possibly trading Williams or someone else on the Sky for a PF would be in their best interest. Otherwise the Sky still have a hole to fill on their roster.
 
Ariel Atkins at #7 is a little questionable. But Atkins seemed high on Thibault’s radar and was a picked instead of Vivians, Nurse or even Maria Vadeeva. Myisha Hines-Allen joins an already crowded roster of PFs and Rebecca Greenwall adds a three point shooter on a team already deep with guards (Hill, Walker-Kimbrough and now Atkins). Adding a true center to this roster might have benefited the Mystics instead of Hines-Allen or a PG.
 
The 2018 draft wasn’t meant to really help the Lynx. They traded their first round pick to Phoenix and then on draft day traded their two second round picks (Ji-Su Park & Kahlia Lawrence) to Las Vegas for Jill Barta. Barta could be a nice addition having the ability to play the 3 & 4 spots, but will likely ride the end of the bench. Drafting local product Carlie Wagner is just a training camp body. The Lynx’s trade of Natasha Howard to Seattle gives them the ability to swap first round picks in 2019 and could give them a lottery pick next year.