Seattle Storm Draft Preview

The heart and soul of the Seattle Storm, Tanisha Wright, will be counted on more than ever this year.
P.A. Molumby/NBAE/Getty Images

First 3 Selections in 2013
  • No. 6 overall
  • No. 18 overall
  • No. 30 overall

  • Last 3 First Round Picks (Pick, Year)
  • Shekinna Stricklen (2, 2012)
  • Jasmine Thomas (12, 2011)
  • Alison Lacey (10, 2010)

  • Strengths
  • Team Defense
  • Versatile Wings
  • Team Philosophy

  • Areas of Improvement
  • Scoring
  • Point Guard Depth
  • Rebounding

  • Overview
    A veteran team that came within a point of ousting the Minnesota Lynx in the first round of the playoffs last year is not exactly a place where you'd think a draft pick could come in and have an immediate impact the following year.

    Think again.

    For various reasons, the Seattle Storm, who went 16-18 last year, will be without veterans Sue Bird, Lauren Jackson and Ann Wauters for the 2013 season. Therefore, opportunity awaits.

    With the No. 6 pick in each round, Seattle coach Brian Agler thinks the Storm have the ability to find someone with that first pick -- and potentially beyond -- who can step into the rotation from the get-go.

    "We feel like our pick is going to come in and play right away -- or has a chance to -- and we feel like thereís people, not just depending on one position, but in several positions, that can do that for us," Agler said.

    So what is the team looking for? Down a combined 15 All-Star appearances and more than 12,000 career points with the losses of Bird, Jackson and Wauters, it appears the Storm may be fighting an uphill battle in a tougher-than-ever Western Conference. So, are they looking for someone that is WNBA-ready this year, or rather someone that has a high upside and can slowly develop into an important player by the time their key veterans likely return? The answer: a little bit of both.

    "We also have to keep in mind that we might be in the situation with our team that we might be looking a little bit more long-term," Agler said. "We might select someone that can be there and help us immediately and also that we feel like can develop. With some of the holes we have to fill on our roster, we might be able to cover both those bases on one selection."

    That said, where does Seattle look with their first selection? Do they look to add depth in backcourt -- the team added former Tulsa point guard Temeka Johnson in the offseason -- to attempt to offset the loss of Sue Bird, or do they look for a big to try to fill the voids left by Jackson and Wauters? If they look for a guard, Agler said players like Penn State's Alex Bentley, Connecticut's Kelly Faris, Ohio State's Tayler Hill, Kentucky's A'dia Mathies and Georgetown's Sugar Rodgers will in the conversation. If they opt for a frontcourt player, Agler mentioned Maryland's Tianna Hawkins, Syracuse's Kayla Alexander and Oklahoma State's Toni Young as potential targets.

    Regardless of who Seattle selects, that player must fit in with Agler's defense-first system despite the fact that the team finished 11th in the WNBA in scoring last year.

    "Obviously to be a player that lasts in the league you have to be a threat offensively," Agler said. "But we also want to make sure that whoever we select puts a high premium on the defensive end too because thatís part of our identity. Thatís part of who we are and we take a lot of pride in that and weíre not going to get away from that part of our identity."

    2012 (top 3 picks)
    2. Shekinna Stricklen
    22. Keisha Hampton

    12. Jasmine Thomas
    24. Ify Ibekwe
    36. Krystal Thomas

    10. Alison Lacey
    22. Tanisha Smith
    34. Tijana Krivacevic
    2012 LEADERS
    1. Sue Bird (12.2)
    2. Camille Little (11.3)
    3. Lauren Jackson (10.2)

    1. Ann Wauters (5.8)
    2. Lauren Jackson (5.6)
    3. Camille Little (5.1)

    1. Sue Bird (5.3)
    2. Tanisha Wright (4.4)
    3. Camille Little (1.9)