The Seattle Storm are just one year removed from a WNBA championship, but were
knocked out in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs in 2005 by the
Houston Comets. That series showed that the Storm were feeling the effects of
some offseason departures the previous season. However they made moves in this
offseason to compensate for those losses and could return a tough team in 2006.
Last year's top pick, Tanisha Wright, made a big impact as a rookie. Will the
11th pick in this year's draft do the same? Coach Anne Donovan shares
her thoughts on the Draft.
Q. How have you been preparing for the upcoming
WNBA Draft? What methods do you utilize to scout players for the draft?
staff utilizes any and all methods to analyze players for the draft. The most
effective means is a live scout, but we also use videotapes, statistical analysis
and talk with as many people who know the draftees, as possible before making
Q. When do you start getting prepared for the draft?
don't know that you ever stop preparing. Our staff is continually watching the
college and foreign players, keeping up on their whereabouts and how they are
Q. Are there specific areas or holes/weaknesses are you looking
to bolster with your picks?
We have addressed our most immediate need in
free agency by acquiring Wendy Palmer. With our draft picks we will select the
players who we feel can develop and become solid players for the Storm, for years
Q. What are the most important traits you look for in prospects?
What players that you have seen have impressed you the most so far?
"Big 4" have consistently shown why WNBA teams are most interested in
them. Augustus, Pondexter, Young and Currie have all had tremendous senior campaigns
and have led their teams to good position in March.
Q. With your pick,
are you targeting a specific player, a position, or will you take the best available
We hope to select the best player available with the 11 pick,
a player who we feel can shore up one of our roster positions.
prospects do you feel can or will make an immediate impact in the League this
season? Surprises? Starters vs. Rotation players?
I think the 4 players
I mentioned all have capability in making a starters impact on their respective
teams. The complete players, who can contribute at both ends of the floor will
find a way into the rotation.
Q. How important is the Tournament in
helping you make last minute decisions? How closely does a player's performance
in the NCAA Tournament affect her draft status?
The NCAA Tournament just
adds the ability to see these potential draft pick again, and go against very
different competition then they have seen recently in their conference play. Can
they take their game and teams to the next level? Can they handle the pressure
of the "Madness"? Any additional evaluations can only help in this process.
How does this year's Draft compare to previous ones?
The draft will be
solid. The top half of the first round will be players that will be seen on the
court this summer. The latter part of the first round and a several of the second
round picks, may be strong enough to bolster the depth of many teams.
Are you looking to trade or considering trading picks/players?
no plans to trade our first round pick at this time.
Q. Does foreign
scouting consume a lot of your time in the offseason?
We certainly keep
a close watch on what is happening overseas. Our roster in Seattle has had more
then its fair share of foreign players and truth be told, I would like to balance
that out a bit. However, a good foreign player, who wants to compete in the best
league in the world and has the drive and focus to help us go after another championship...is
Q. What kinds of traits do you look for in players?
athletic talent and skills are obvious. It is in the intangibles that can help
us separate. We like to coach confident players who have an internal drive to
be great, to be a part of something bigger then themselves...to be a part of championship
Q. With free agency as an option now (along with the limitations
of a salary cap), are you more likely to fill needs through the Draft, free agency,
I believe to successfully manage our cap, we have to continually
look for all the above. Draft picks are important, because they provide you with
a young player, who fits the salary cap situation ideally. Free Agents can help
address some immediate concerns, but can lead to long term cap issues if not thought
out thoroughly. Trades are always an interesting way of tweaking your roster,
but the Storm has limitations in this area.