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WNBA Draft 2018 Preview: Dallas Wings

2017 Record: 16-18, No. 7 seed in Playoffs, Eliminated by Mystics in First Round

Key Offseason Moves:

  • Signed Liz Cambage
  • Re-signed Karima Christmas-Kelly, Theresa Plaisance and Kayla Thornton

Last Year’s Draft Picks:

  • 1st Round/No. 3 Overall – Evelyn Akhator
  • 1st Round/No. 4 Overall – Allisha Gray (from Connecticut via LA)
  • 1st Round/No. 10 Overall – Kaela Davis (from LA)
  • 2nd Round/No. 23 Overall – Breanna Lewis
  • 3rd Round/No. 26 Overall – Saniya Chong

This Year’s Draft Picks:

  • 1st Round/No. 6 Overall
  • 2nd Round/No. 18 Overall
  • 3rd Round/No. 30 Overall

2017 Season Highlights:

Dallas Wings Top 5 Plays from 2017 Season

Team Needs/Draft Strategy:

The 2017 season was a step in the right direction for the Dallas Wings. In their second year in their new home, they made a five-game improvement over the previous season, qualified for the playoffs, saw their franchise point guard get back to All-WNBA First Team form, had one of their five rookies win WNBA Rookie of the Year and gained valuable experience as the league’s youngest team.

Dallas finished its second season in North Texas at 16-18 to earn the No. 7 seed in the playoffs. While they lost in the opening round to Washington, getting back to the postseason was an important step for this team. Of course, that means 2018 will be time for the next step and thanks to a successful offseason, the Wings seemed poised to make some noise when the season starts in May.

No other team made a bigger offseason move – both literally and figuratively – when the Wings signed Liz Cambage. The 6-8 center from Australia was the No. 2 pick in the 2011 Draft, back when the franchise was located in Tulsa. After two WNBA seasons, Cambage decided to leave the WNBA to play professionally back home in Australia and in China. As she racked up numerous player of the year honors halfway across the globe, the Wings worked to convince her to return to the WNBA, join the team in their new home in Dallas and wreck havoc on the league.

On Feb. 5, the Wings and Cambage made the signing official and added a major piece to an already talented roster, which includes All-WNBA guard Skylar Diggins-Smith, reigning Rookie of the Year Allisha Gray, two-time All-Star Glory Johnson, 2016 first round pick Aerial Powers, 2017 first round picks Kaela Davis and Evelyn Akhator as well as veterans Karima Christmas Kelly and Theresa Plaisance, who both re-signed during the offseason.

Now with the sixth overall pick, the Wings have another opportunity to land a player that can fit into Fred Williams’ fast-paced system and make an immediate impact like Gray did a year ago. With Cambage already added to bolster the frontline, the Wings could look to add depth to their backcourt in the draft. While the Wings ranked third in 3-pointers made (6.7 per game) and second in attempts (20.9), their 31.9% success rate from beyond the arc ranked 9th in the WNBA.

Finding a player that can stretch the floor on offense and defend on the other end of the floor would be ideal. The Wings ranked 11th in defensive efficiency last season (allowed 107.4 points per 100 possessions). With Cambage down low to help protect the rim, adding a strong perimeter defender would be a welcomed addition to the team.