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The third overall pick in last year's Draft, Currie had a very impressive rookie year, but often found herself in the shadow of the large spotlight cast on several of her fellow rookies. She needs to improve her 3-point shooting but has shown the ability to create her own shot and get to the free throw line. The Sky are a young team, only in their second season after expansion in 2006. Rookie Candice Dupree and center Bernadette Ngoyisa were the only two Sky players to score in double figures last season. The Sting also had more starters than any other team (14) and need more consistency in their lineup. With Currie and the third pick in the WNBA Draft in April, the Sky will have a solid nucleus of talented youngsters to build around.
The Sting's leading scorer last season, Smith was traded to Charlotte two seasons ago in the deal that sent Nicole Powell to Sacramento. She is a veteran with a good deal of experience (yet still on the younger side of 30 years old), which is just what this young and improving squad needed. After Seimone Augustus, who finished with nearly 22.0 ppg last season, no other Lynx player scored in double digits. The Minnesota Lynx will be without reserve center Vanessa Hayden this summer due to her pregnancy and Smith's addition will provide some much-needed relief in the post. Tamika Williams has not been as regular an offensive contributor as she was earlier in her career.
The first overall pick two seasons ago, McCarville's first two seasons in Charlotte were hampered by injury. However she has great talent as a passer in the post and is working overseas to improve all aspects of her game. The Liberty's biggest weakness was its post depth last season as Ann Wauters and Elena Baranova did not join the team.
A savvy, veteran point guard with the ability to lead a team either as a starter or off the bench. She should give Shannon Johnson some relief coming off the bench. Darling previously enjoyed her best productivity as a member of the Cleveland Rockers under Coach Dan Hughes, who happens to be the coach in San Antonio.
Mazzante enjoyed something of a breakout season in 2006, coming off the bench to score nearly nine points per game after averaging only 2.4 ppg in her first two seasons. She is most dangerous beyond the arc and is lighting up the scoring tables in Europe currently playing on the same team as McCarville in Slovakia. The Mercury, who took and made more 3-pointers than any other team, no add to their already-deep backcourt and can focus on improving their post play through free agency and the Draft.
Did Not Play
Teana Miller did not play in 2006 and has missed much of the last three seasons while starting her family. She played 40 games for Charlotte in late 2004 and 2005. Miller is a serviceable defensive player and is a good shot-blocker.
Entering her second season out of the University of Tennessee, Tye Fluker did not contribute much as a rookie. She has a big body and will provide some depth up front for Seattle.
Leuchanka was one of the Sting's "reserved" players, meaning only the Comets can now negotiate contracts only with this new team. As a rookie in 2006, she only played 38 minutes in four games last season, so not much is known about her as WNBA player. However, she is 6-5 and just 23 years old.
Sam is a veteran leader with the ability to score both inside and outside, Sam won a title with Seattle in 2004 and will join her sixth team since joining the WNBA in 1999.
Bond played good minutes as a reserve point guard in her rookie season. She struggled from beyond the arc in 2006 and made some rookie mistakes (read: turnovers), but she is quick and aggressive.
Ayana Walker is a restricted free agent, and the Sparks now have the right to match any offer made to her.
Connecticut Sun (26-8, 1st, Eastern Conference)