NEW YORK, Dec. 14, 2009 – With today's Sacramento Monarchs Dispersal Draft, the 12 remaining WNBA teams had the opportunity to bolster their respective rosters by selecting a player. Teams made their selections in inverse order of their regular season finish in 2009, which gave the New York Liberty the first pick, followed by Minnesota and Connecticut to round out the top three.
The Monarchs roster included a mix of veteran players - including many from Sacramento's 2005 WNBA championship team - as well as some young players that are still developing into seasoned pros. The mix presented coaches and GMs from around the league plenty of options, while they also considered the salary cap and the roster cap of 11 players.
The addition of Powell brings another excellent shooter into the mix for the Liberty. They get a player coming off a career-best season (16.7 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 2.3 apg), which garnered Powell her first All-Star nod. Powell scored a career-high 32 points in New York in July, so playing at Madison Square Garden should suit her just fine. Powell will join a talented group of wing players in NYC including fellow All-Star Shameka Christon and up-and-comer Essence Carson.
The Lynx are full of young talent on their frontline with players like Nicky Anosike, Quanitra Hollingsworth, Tasha Humphrey and Charde Houston. The addition of Brunson will give them a veteran presence as well as a player seasoned with postseason experience, which is the next logical step for the Lynx. Brunson will bring plenty of athleticism and a knack for rebounding to the Twin Cities.
Mike Thibault still remembers Walker’s performance in the 2005 WNBA Finals when his Sun fell to the Monarchs. Now rather than watching Walker and Asjha Jones square off, Thibault can find a way for them to work together. With young bigs Chante Black and Sandrine Gruda still developing, Walker can provide a veteran presence for the Sun frontline. However, health is a concern when it comes to Walker, who missed nearly two full seasons due to knee injuries.
The Sky adds Paris to a frontcourt that already features All-Stars Candice Dupree and Sylvia Fowles. Paris saw limited time in her rookie season in Sacramento, and having Dupree and Fowles already in place should allow Steven Key to bring her along slowly. If Paris can find a way translate her collegiate dominance to the pro level, this trio could become one of the most formidable frontlines in the league.
The Silver Stars were outrebounded by an average of 4.0 boards per game in 2009. Adding a talented young post like Harper (who averaged 3.4 rebounds in less than 14 minutes per game last year) should definitely help fill that void. The combination of Harper and All-Star Sophia Young gives Dan Hughes a pair of athletic bigs to work with. Like Paris, Harper is still on her rookie scale contract, which will also help in terms of the salary cap.
No WNBA player played more minutes last season than Mystics point guard Lindsey Harding so finding additional depth at the point is an important need for the Mystics this offseason. Haynie has served as a reliable back-up point guard throughout her career and should play the same role in Washington.
Robinson is a solid backcourt player that should fit in nicely with the talented group of players coming to Tulsa from Detroit. For a team that has been hampered by injuries over the past few years, they could use a reliable player like Robinson to help provide depth at the guard position.
The addition of Newton adds backcourt depth for the Storm, which it needs. Seattle was a frontline heavy team a year ago and with the retirement of Shannon Johnson, that leaves the Storm roster thin on guards. Newton, who played the role of defensive specialist for the Monarchs and was rewarded with All-Defensive second team honors back in 2007, is a player Brian Agler and the Storm have long coveted.
Last week, Lauren Hill of Mount St. Joseph University courageously took the floor for her first college game, refusing to let an inoperable brain tumor keep her from achieving her dream – and WNBA stars Elena Delle Donne and Tamika Catchings were on hand to lend their support.