makes her a viable option. McCowan at #1 is not a slam dunk and Arike is better than #2 Durr, at least that was proven on Thursday when the game was on the line. If you want to sell tickets, Arike has got to be the biggest attraction of all the seniors in this draft. He has to think hard about not taking the most recognizable personality in women's BBall if he wants to increase the value of his franchise. Plus she's from his alma mater.
Watching how Oregon took McCowan out of that game in Eugene and Stanford took Brown out of their game in Palo Alto, neither are consistently dominating so why waste a number 1 pick on them. The most dominating women's center in college was Griner, and at 28 she still isn't more valuable than 36 years old multi skilled Taurasi on that Phoenix team. Little doubt the 2 best players in the WNBA are wings Delle Donne & Stewie. To me the only choices who might get close to that level could be KLS or Alanna Smith of Stanford, but there clearly not there now. Durr is a great player, but not as good as those 4 whose height (Brown & McCowan) and overall tool kit (KLS & Smith) make them rare players. Durr and Arike are in my mind on par for skill, but Arike has that "it" factor and is clearly more clutch.
That's why I think she's got to be considered over those other 5. The only player that might be more valuable at #1 would be Sabrina Ionescu if she comes out early. She's got the one personality and with her talent (triple double machine, clutch, takes over ganes) that can compare with Arike so she'd be a good choice at #1. This attached article written a few months back points this out which Laimbeer brings up the effect of underclassman declaring. Sabrina is the one college player who may bring as much attention as Arike and I believe has a much broader skill set (ala Taurasi).
I don't think she has the "It Factor." With the game on the line, I'd rather have the ball in Arike's hands or Ionescu's hands. I think Jessica Shepard is a better player than McCowan.
your statement "Little doubt the 2 best players in the WNBA are wings Delle Donne & Stewie." I absolutely doubt that! How can you not mention Maya Moore? While she had her worst season last year, I would give her a season to right the ship before I demoted her below EDD and Stewie.
Also, there is tremendous value in bigs because you cannot teach height. While Arike is exciting and famous, I doubt Bill will consider PR or his alma mater when he selects his pick. Las Vegas really only has this year to get a high pick because they won't be in the lottery after this season unless his team is very disappointing.
I tend to agree with FA in regards to Laimbeer's choices for the Aces.
He will do what's best for overall team building. Ultimately what will build the Aces' brand is a winning team, not just one individual, and he'll concern himself with this.
Look at what he currently has:
- A heck of a high post in A'ja Wilson.
- A great shooting guard in Kayla McBride
- And a mess of point guards, in the oft-injured Moriah Jefferson, Kelsey Plum and one Lindsay Allen (so Bill already has two fellow alums on the bench).
And long-time Laimbeer watchers know:
- he loves to stock up on posts, perhaps going back to his past as one half of the bruise/beef brothers.
- he's also named "Trader Bill," so he's not afraid to pull the trigger on opportunities.
Laimbeer was at the recent Baylor-UConn game, so he could've been taking in Brown. Or he could've also been taking in Katie Lou Samuelson. A lot of folks think the Aces would be well served to get another outside shooter to take pressure off Kmac.
My gut is that he'll take a low-post player to pair with Wilson.
If he's impressed with the obvious choices (McCowean, Brown), he'll pull the trigger.
Or he could feel another center who might not be rated "that high" and pull the trigger on a trade that allows him to get another shooter, while getting a post like Gustafson or Turner. So he could get a shooter and a Domer, to boot.
BTW, he could do even more if he wants to thin out his point guards: one could get a lot of value for either Plum or MoJeff. And imagine what happens if Ionescu declares? That's a whole thread.
Moore has been great, but lately she is not always the best player on her team (Fowles won 2017 MVP). Moore last won in 2014 =, then Delle Donne won 2015 and has been top 3 every year since. The last MVP was won by Stewie while LA's Nneka Ogwumike won in 2016. All 3 of those also won Rookie of the year in the last 6 years. The other recent winner's being Nneke's sister, Chine, Jewell the year before Stewie, and last year Allisha Gray of Dallas, Skylar's teammate.
There are lot's of great players in the WNBA and Moore has been the ultimate winner and WNBA all time playoff scoring leader. She was second team all WNBA last year along with Sky. Griner, Vandersloot, & Candace Parker. First Team was Cambridge, Taurasi, Tiffany Hayes of Atlanta plus the two I suggest were the current best players. All those award winner I mentioned I think are great players. Still for me if I had to start a franchise Stewie or Della Donne would be top of my list given their age, height, and toolkit. Just one man's opinion.
Still I hope Arike is one of those special players in the WNBA.Of course the one thing she doesn't have his height, but she has lots of other intangibles.
Still early yet, but always interesting to get takes on prospects. Talented bigs (Brown, McCowan, Azi Magbegor, Bri, Shep, China's Xu Han) are a currency, for sure.
Biggest shake-up could be determined by who might come out early, such as Sabrina Ionescu. (I'm not even going to bring up Jackie outside of these brackets...)