2008 Houston Comets Dispersal Draft Preview
The Houston Comets Dispersal Draft is scheduled for next Monday, Dec. 8. The 13 remaining WNBA teams will each have one pick in the reverse order of their 2008 regular season record, with the Atlanta Dream selecting first.
With a good mix of young and more experienced players, teams will have to weigh not only the future, but also the immediate present as salary cap issues are likely to come into play. Trades of picks or players could also have their say on the draft order.
Also of note, Houston's unrestricted free agents -- including Tina Thompson, Michelle Snow, Hamchetou Maiga-Ba, Mwadi Mabika and Latasha Byears -- are not eligible to be picked. Those players not selected will become free agents on Jan. 5, 2009.
As far as the below predictions are concerned, just to be clear, there has been no consultation with any teams, players or front-office brass. So what follows is simply WNBA.com's completely unofficial guess as to how the Dispersal Draft will go down.
Send in your own thoughts here in the Fan Voice.
Story: A highly touted guard out of Rutgers who played well when she was given playing time. In her up and down rookie campaign, Ajavon showed the potential to be a dynamic scorer at this level, posting 11 double-digit games. She also played valuable minutes while replacing injured vets Roneeka Hodges and Mwadi Mabika.
Likely scenario: As much as the Atlanta fans might like to see an all-offense, all-the-time, shoot-'em-up backcourt of Betty Lennox, Ivory Latta and Ajavon, something tells me coach Marynell Meadors will opt for Sancho Lyttle. Even though the Mystics -- who hold the second pick -- have a bit of a glut at the shooting guard spot, GM Angela Taylor and coach Julie Plank will have a hard time passing up the former Rutgers star.
Story: Houston made this up-and-coming Aussie a second-round pick in the 2006 WNBA Draft, but she never suited up in Comets red. Now 22, Camino is lighting it up this winter for Aix-En-Provence in France and could be a valuable addition to a squad looking for a guard upgrade.
Likely scenario: My sources tell me she'll likely be drafted. But by whom? Sacramento or Indiana could be the answer, especially with fellow Opal Tully Bevilaqua approaching the end of her career.
Story: This 12-year vet is set to earn close to the league max in 2009, making it possible that she'll go undrafted. But despite the possibility of retirement, this longtime Spark still seems to have some energy. She averaged 9.0 ppg in over 26 minutes a game in 2008.
Likely scenario: Still a viable contributor at age 32, could Dixon return to L.A. for a final shot at another championship?
Story: A 5'11" shooting guard out of Florida State, Hodges has shown flashes of scoring excellence. And though she missed 19 games last season due to injury, she's sure to be contending for a roster spot this spring.
Likely scenario: Could go third (Chicago) or fourth (Minnesota) to a team in need of experience and outside shooting.
Story: Though she went undrafted and signed a training camp deal with the Comets last spring, Holmes could provide some bounce off the bench. She has a decent shot at being invited to a training camp.
Likely scenario: Might the versatility of this former Runnin' Rebel prove to be a good fit for the running-and-gunning Mercury at pick No. 5?
Story: Despite the wonderfully impressive career of this veteran guard and 2004 Olympic gold medalist, Pee Wee may not be selected in the Dispersal Draft due to her relatively high guaranteed salary. Still, if a team at the bottom of the draft is looking for a solid floor leader to come off the bench, we could hear Johnson's name called.
Likely scenario: Chicago at No. 3 seems like a solid fit for both sides, but her salary could dissuade the Sky brass.
Story: The Comets first-round draft pick in 2005, the monstrously athletic Lyttle came into her own in 2008, averaging career highs in scoring, rebounding, free throw shooting, steals and blocks. Likely to go among the first two picks, she'll immediately be a go-to player and will add strength and size to any team's front line.
Likely scenario: Atlanta scoops her up and installs her in the starting lineup from the get-go.
Story: This young point guard out of LSU is capable of becoming a solid contributor in the WNBA. Her numbers from her rookie season don't blow you away, but don't be surprised if someone gives her a shot in 2009.
Likely scenario: Already LSU-alum heavy with Sylvia Fowles and Quianna Chaney, Chicago could take a chance here and hope that the Lady Tigers can rekindle some of their Final Four magic in the WNBA.
Story: Highly touted coming out of Duke in 2006, Williams has underachieved a bit as a pro. Still, her promise toward the end of 2008 along with her size and agility down low should help earn her a roster spot in 2009.
Likely scenario: Minnesota, Phoenix and Indiana could use some bulk down low, though Williams will have to work hard in the offseason to make any of those three teams.