WNBA Offseason Overview/Preseason Preview: Indiana Fever

Current roster certainties and virtual certainties:

PG: Briann January/Erin Phillips

SG: Shavonte Zellous/Jeanette Pohlen

SF: Katie Douglas

PF: Tamika Catchings

C: Tammy Sutton-Brown/Jessica Davenport

OR

PG: Briann January/Erin Phillips

SG: Katie Douglas/Shavonte Zellous

SF: Tamika Catchings/Jeanette Pohlen

PF: ?

C: Tammy Sutton-Brown/Jessica Davenport

Fighting for the remaining three spots: Shyra Ely, Roneeka Hodges, Shannon Bobbitt, Sasha Goodlett, Erlana Larkins, La’Tangela Atkinson

———-

For a team that made very few changes during the offseason, there are still several question marks heading into training camp for the Fever. They kept point guard Erin Phillips by matching a restricted free agent offer sheet she signed with Phoenix, then traded last year’s starting power forward Tangela Smith to San Antonio for Roneeka Hodges. That was about it for meaningful offseason activity. Smith had a thoroughly terrible season in Indiana last year, and they traded her away to dump what had quickly become an ugly-looking contract, but it leaves a hole. It probably means face-of-the-franchise and last year’s WNBA MVP Tamika Catchings swinging down to start at power forward – but I hate that idea, hence the dual lineups offered above. Having the option to swing Catchings down to power forward was a nice weapon for head coach Lin Dunn to have in her arsenal, but heading into the season intending to play the world’s best female 3 predominantly at the 4 doesn’t strike me as a great idea.

Still, it might well end up being the best idea they have left. The other options at the 4 are career backup forward Shyra Ely, rookie #11 overall pick Sasha Goodlett, and Erlana Larkins (who hasn’t played a WNBA minute since 2009). One or two of them will make the roster, and they might well keep Hodges as an extra gunner on the wing (and because they’d probably have to pay her to go away). With Briann January coming back from blowing out her knee and Phillips potentially missing some time to join the Australian national team, Shannon Bobbitt has a chance to stick around as insurance at the point guard spot as well.

So Dunn has some decisions to make, but unless Larkins has improved dramatically or Goodlett turns out to be an absolute steal, none of the options look terribly appealing. Once again, this team will likely go as far as Catchings and Katie Douglas can drag them.

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3 comments on “WNBA Offseason Overview/Preseason Preview: Indiana Fever

  1. Patrick says:

    Kind of a dark horse for me. I like the core pieces…if any of the camp players offer some shooting and rebounding this could be a better team than they might seem at first glance. The east does NOT look good this year outside of Chicago.

    • I really don’t like the idea of going consistently small, but without a recognised 4 that might be their only choice. As ever, if Catch stays healthy they’ve still got a chance to win a bunch of games.

  2. [...] WNBA Offseason Overview/Preseason Preview: Indiana Fever For a team that made very few changes during the offseason, there are still several question marks heading into training camp for the Fever. They kept point guard Erin Phillips by matching a restricted free agent offer sheet she signed with Phoenix, then traded last year’s starting power forward Tangela Smith to San Antonio for Roneeka Hodges. That was about it for meaningful offseason activity. Smith had a thoroughly terrible season in Indiana last year, and they traded her away to dump what had quickly become an ugly-looking contract, but it leaves a hole. [...]

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