WNBA Draft 2017 Preview

by: Brian Martin, wnba.com

2016 Record:
7-27

Key Offseason Moves:

Acquired Isabelle Harrison and the No. 5 pick in the 2017 draft from Phoenix in exchange for Danielle Robinson

Acquired Clarissa Dos Santos from Chicago in exchange for Astou Ndour

Re-signed Kayla Alexander

Signed free agents Erica de Souza, Roneeka Hodges and Adut Bulgak

Last Year’s Draft Picks:
1st Round/2nd Overall: Moriah Jefferson
2nd Round/14th Overall: Jazmon Gwathmey (via trade with Minnesota for Jia Perkins)
3rd Round/25th Overall: Brittney Martin

This Year’s Draft Picks:
1st Round/1st Overall
1st Round/5th Overall (via trade with Phoenix for Danielle Robinson)
3rd Round/25th Overall

 

Team Needs:

With a combined 15-53 record from the past two seasons, the San Antonio Stars entered the 2016 Draft Lottery with the highest odds of landing the No. 1 overall pick and for just the fourth time in the event’s 16-year history, the team with the best odds won the lottery and San Antonio was awarded the top pick in the 2017 Draft.

The Stars also hold the No. 5 overall pick in the draft after trading point guard Danielle Robinson to the Phoenix Mercury for the pick and center Isabelle Harrison. Robinson, who missed the 2016 season after having Achilles surgery, was expendable after the emergence of last year’s first round pick Moriah Jefferson. The No. 2 overall pick out of UConn finished as the runner up for Rookie of the Year after averaging 13.9 points (18th in WNBA), 4.2 assists (7th in WNBA) and 1.62 steals (3rd in WNBA) in her rookie campaign.

Armed with two first round picks for the first time since the team moved to San Antonio in 2003, the Stars have an opportunity to bolster their lineup with two of the talented prospects in this year’s draft. San Antonio will also welcome back Kayla McBride, who missed the second half of last season after suffering a foot fracture. The guard was averaging a team-high and career-best 17.1 points per game when she was lost for the remainder of her third WNBA season.

When it comes to team needs, the starting point has to be on offense as the team ranked last in offensive rating (93.2 points per 100 possessions), which was more than nine points lower than the league average (102.7).  The Stars had the lowest true shooting percentage (49.0%) – the only team in the WNBA under 50 percent.

It seems like that could be a good fit for a player that has scored more points than any player in the history of NCAA Division I women’s basketball with shooting splits of 53/43/89.

While the Stars have added a trio of bigs this offseason – Harrison and Dos Santos via trade and de Souza via free agency – there are a number of talented post players available in this year’s draft class that the Stars will consider to add depth to their frontline.