Welcome Sky and WNBA fans to the article version of my #SkyProspect tweets! As we await the Friday, April 17th Virtual #WNBADraft (That’s 6 PM CT for YOU, Chicago!), now seems to be as good as of a time as any to make some predictions on the next young Chicago Sky athlete.
Unlike prior years, a really successful 2019 campaign has led to a Chicago Sky pick NOT in the lottery (top 4). Other teams will dictate the remaining pool of Sky selections.
To start this exercise, I looked at the current 2020 roster by Point/Wing/Big, by Guard/Post and by the salary cap (s/o High Post Hoops). The most glaring empty spots to me were Point and Post.
POINT: With Colson being a veteran and currently on a Training Camp contract to compete for a spot, a future backup PG behind Vandersloot was the most glaring need and with viable candidates in the current draft class. POST: Behind Parker and the newly acquired Stevens, Sky’s current assemblage lacks post depth. On top of that, the Salary Cap Report shows CONTRACT YEARS for both Jantel Lavender and Cheyenne Parker. Any post insurance at the PF or C spot seemed worthy of a 1st-round pick with the potential for more minutes available in 2021.
One glaring question showed up in this exercise: Gabby Williams, is she a guard or a post? I believe the Sky’s future plans for Williams’ role factors heavily in the next Sky prospect. If the #PointGabby experiment continues from 2019 and the team commits to it, maybe Gabby continues to grow into backup PG slotting next to Diamond as a guard rather than forward. From what I’ve seen from #WNBAOverseas though, Gabby has played well as a SF wing next to sharpshooter G Sami Whitcomb and breakout star for the BLMA Gazelles, PF Stephanie Mavunga. At this point, maybe the Sky revise the “swiss-army knife” role of Williams and we get Power Point Gabby (#PPTXGabby) who’s positionally a forward and occasionally handles the ball as a pseudo-PG. Point Forward. Power Forward Point. Power Point Gabby. I think the Sky will be go this route. And with that comes the need for a strong shooting PG for more floor spacing.
Barring any trade, I’ve got 4 current #SkyProspect predictions. I'll also include articles/mock drafts/resources I used in my personal analysis. Would highly recommend the read on each of them.
Tyasha Harris - fantastic PG height at 5’10” that could make a tall future starting 3 of Harris/DeShields/Copper or Williams; high basketball IQ, learning from current USA Basketball #USABWNT Coach Dawn Staley; strong distributor; solid mid-range scoring; would need to keep developing 3-pt shot; likely drafted before #8
- All 2020 #WNBADraft Guard options via Above the Rim
- Dallas Wings Media Team on Harris
- Minnesota Lynx Media Team on Harris
- SwishAppeal on Harris
- Why Harris fits via @SkyInTheCHI
Crystal Dangerfield - not as fantastic PG height at 5’5” but it’s HEART not HEIGHT that matters!!; strong 3-pt shooting; developed basketball IQ through learning from former USA Basketball #USABWNT Coach Geno Auriemma; former teammate with Gabby Williams & Azurá Stevens; viable option at #8
- Minnesota Lynx Media Team on Dangerfield
- Why Dangerfield fits via BBall Index
- Why Dangerfield fits via Winsidr
Ruthy Hebard - WNBA PF height at a listed 6’4” that would be 5th big in the Sky roster playing next to Stevens/Parker/Lavender/Dolson; traditional post with offensive moves down low and strong footwork; no 3-pt shooting ability; reportedly the Courtney Vandersloot pick; possibly drafted before #8
- Vandersloot's pick preference?? per Coach Graves via 247Sports
- Dallas Wings Media Team on Hebard
- Minnesota Lynx Media Team on Hebard
- SwishAppeal on Hebard
- Why Hebard fits via Chicago Sun Times
Beatrice Mompremier - WNBA PF height at 6’4” that would be 5th big in the Sky roster playing next to Stevens/Lavender/Dolson; strong post moves and decent jumpshot; my novice #WNBAComp is actually younger, lanky Cheyenne Parker; attempting to develop her 3-pt shot; athletic defense; viable option at #8
- Dallas Wings Media Team on Mompremier
- Minnesota Lynx Media Team on Mompremier
- SwishAppeal on Mompremier
- Why Mompremier fits via CBS Sports
- Why Mompremier fits via High Post Hoops
- Why Mompremier fits via SBNation
- Why Mompremier fits via SwishAppeal
Te’a Cooper - scoring combo guard in a space similar to 2019 Sky #WNBADraft pick Chloe Jackson between growing to be a PG and having strong scoring mentality/scoring skills; growing 3-pt shooter; viable option at #8
- Minnesota Lynx Media Team on Cooper
- Dave Campbell's Texas Basketball on Cooper
- Why Cooper fits via @TalkWnba
- Why Cooper fits via Double G Sports
Kiah Gillespie - scoring forward at the mid-range; a bit undersized PF at 6'2"; like the guard skills, worried about the height for the 4 and lack of 3-pt shot, a necessity to space the floor for CHI; viable option at #8
Kitija Laska - let’s revisit Laska in PART 2 (yeah, there’s a part 2) to the #SkyProspect article! Coming whenever I get around to it.