I’m intending to write another installment of ‘Your WNBA Questions Answered’ soon, so send in your queries about anything relating to the league via email, twitter, comments at the end of this piece or anywhere else you can get ahold of me. The first edition was here, if you want some idea of what sort of issues I tackled last time around. Anything about the league or the women’s game is welcome.
Okay, so the first half of the WNBA season is over, the All-Star game is done and dusted, and there aren’t any games until Tuesday. Also, while contracts may have just become guaranteed, we still have three weeks to go until the trading deadline. Those who’ve followed the WNBA in previous seasons will know that this doesn’t exactly tend to herald a hive of activity around the league. The biggest move last year was the trade that sent Kara Braxton to Phoenix, helping them reach the Western Conference Finals only to get swept by Seattle. Which is probably exactly what they’d have achieved if they hadn’t traded for Kara Braxton. The year before, a Tamera Young/Armintie Price swap was the highlight. We have to go back to 2008 and Detroit’s move for Taj McWilliams-Franklin to find a deadline-week move that had a legitimate effect on the destination of the championship, but that trade at least illustrates that they can happen.
So I thought I’d utilise this brief pause in the season to take a look at what teams need, what they have to offer, and who might be most active in calling around for an extra piece over the next few weeks. There isn’t a single team in the league without any holes, so you never know what might happen. Eastern Conference teams today, Western Conference tomorrow, tackling the teams in order of the current standings (just as a break from my typical alphabetical order). Feel free to comment in the space below the article if you’ve got any better ideas – some of the WNBA’s GMs could use all the help they can get.
The most obvious place that the Fever might be looking for help is at point guard. With Briann January out for the season after her ACL tear, they’ve been using backups Erin Phillips and Shannon Bobbitt for the last few weeks. Phillips has gotten most of the minutes, and has been doing a pretty decent job. Her shooting’s been markedly better than January’s, and her turnovers are significantly lower, but her assists are far lower than January’s as well. Even taking just her games as the starting point guard, Phillips is only at 3.4 assists per game. She isn’t a natural point, and she isn’t as comfortable in the offense as January was. Katie Douglas, who was shooting the lights out early in the year, has dropped off noticeably since Phillips replaced January, and that’s not a coincidence. Douglas has to create more herself now, and there are fewer easy shots available for her. Still, Phillips makes up for a lot of that with her own shooting.
The fact is that Indy are unlikely to find an upgrade on Phillips on the open market. Continue reading