and ESPN analyst Nancy Lieberman answers your questions and emails throughout
the year. Leading up to the 2006 WNBA Draft, she answers your questions about
what teams need and who is likely to fill those holes. Click
here to submit a question of your own.
two picks early in the first round, who do you see the Minnesota Lynx drafting?
-Joe, Eden Prairie
"It is my understanding in having talked with a
lot of different people that they will draft Seimone Augustus. They want to grow
with her through her career. If she is good enough for the future of USA Basketball,
she is good enough for the Minnesota Lynx to have as a part of their future. So
if they take her with that first pick, I think they need to take a point guard
with the seventh pick. I don't believe Cappie Pondexter will be available, so
they're looking at Megan Duffy, who could very well go there. Other options are
Nikki Blue or Erin Grant. Megan Duffy plays well with better people around her
and she is a smart player"
Q. The Charlotte Sting have another lottery
pick this season, yet have quite a full roster. What kind of player do you see
them going after? A post player? A guard? What style does Muggsy Bogues like to
run and who do you see fitting into his system?
-Erin, Charlotte, N.C.
will be a lot of pressure on the Sting to take Monique Currie with the third pick,
but after that, it wouldn't hurt for the Sting to get a backup point guard to
Helen Darling or a shooter until Allison Feaster comes back. I think you'll see
a better version of Janel McCarville this year because she is healthy and has
worked on her game. She has done a lot to rehab her injuries. I think Muggsy will
want to be able to push tempo. Coaches typically implement a system similar to
the style they liked to play. I thought they could use another rebounder in the
post as well and thought they had a chance to sign Tamika Whitmore, but she ended
up in Indiana."
Q. If you had the choice between Sophia Young and
Monique Currie, which player would you draft?
-Serena, Cowdotta, MD
Monique Currie is available, the Charlotte Sting have to take her. I think they
need to sell tickets and she is from the area. She is also a legit player. That
would then leave Sophia Young for San Antonio should they so desire her."
Q. How much will Candice Dupree benefit from having learned from Dawn Staley?
Is she a first round Draft pick?
-Tyesha, West Chester, PA
see Candice as a first round pick and I think she has learned tremendously from
Dawn Staley. How can you not considering the wealth of knowledge and experience
that she has? I hear a lot of people trying to define Candice Dupree. Is she a
four? Is she a three? This is not unlike a lot of other players in the Draft,
the "tweeners," so you have to project not what they play now, but what
position they will play as a professional. And the same goes for Candice. She
has to keep developing her game to fit the needs of a team at the next level."
Q. Hello Ms. Lieberman. Will you be working at the Draft this year? Also,
do you see any late round impact players making a team and potentially starting
like Chelsea Newton was last year did with Sacramento?
"First, I will be working the studio for the Draft with
Ann Meyers, Doris Burke and Linda Cohn in Boston. As for the end of the Draft,
I think teams will select the best player available for their individual team.
There are a lot of good players who will be available by then. But players like
Erin Grant can be had in the second round if she doesn't go earlier. So much depends
on what happens in the first five picks or so that will then dictate where the
rest of the players like Dupree, Tye'sha Fluker and Shanna Zolman go. What about
Shimek and Bowel?. There are so many possibilities that I break things down by
position, not necessarily a complete order. There are a lot of players out there,
so you'll see the "Who's who?" of college basketball in the first two
rounds fitting in somewhere. That said, WNBA teams are taking fewer and fewer
players to training camp, so that is why the Draft is so much more important and
the WNBA pre-Draft camp is so important."
Q. It seems like Augustus
is the consensus top pick. In the past, consensus top picks have gone on to have
pretty good careers. How will Seimone compare to Sue, Diana and Tina Thompson
when all is said and done?
Melissa M., Lubbock, TX
"That is such
a tough question to answer because they play totally different positions. Augustus
has certainly proven her consistency over four years. She is not only a quiet
leader, but she is very talented. She can handle herself well on both ends of
the court and she can lift a team. She has been successful as a winner, so where
that puts her in a comparison with players like Bird and Taurasi, that's hard
Q. Hi Nancy, as one of the best out there, I was hoping
you could bring us Californians some justice... Is there an east coast bias to
the WNBA Draft, too? How come we don't hear more about UCLA's senior stars, Lisa
Willis and Nikki Blue?
-Raymond, Pasadena, CA
"These players may
not get the media attention and recognition in the fans' eyes, but people who
are in the know and make the decisions about these players' futures clearly know
about Willis and Blue. I've seen pro scouts at many of their games and when I
am talking to GMs and coaches, I am being asked about these players. They are
very much on the radar and I think they will both be first round picks."
Q. Hi Nancy, so my question for you this time around is... outside of the
top four picks, how much do we really know? Is anything else nailed down or firmed
up as far as who could go where?
-Marie, Bayville, N.J.
all about need. It depends on who needs what kind of player or has a position
that needs to be filled. Free agency and the expansion draft have created some
holes and teams have players that need to be replaced. As we get into Year Ten,
there is a totally different dynamic to the Draft. Teams lose players every offseason
and it is hard to maintain a core group for an extended period of time. In years
past, it has been easier to mock draft. This time, it's very hard because it will
be different on a team-by-team basis based on immediate need. Then it will go
based on the best player available."
Q. Do you think Shanna Zolman
will make it into the WNBA? I really hope so she is my favorite player! Thanx!!
"I think Zolman has helped herself a lot in the past
couple of weeks. She is showing more confidence and maybe a bit of the pressure
is off of her. She is knocking down shots again as well. She is more than just
a shooter, but her M.O. or profile is that she has to shoot the ball, and now
she is doing that and feeling a bit more comfortable. So people are definitely
looking at her. Look at players like Minnesota's Amber Jacobs and Washington's
Laurie Koehn over the past two years as players who can shoot that have made WNBA
teams. Her teammate, Tye'sha Fluker is a big player who comes with a lot of experience
in a great program. I think she is definitely on people's radar as well."