Storm trade Cash. Why?
Posted: 03 January 2012 12:48 AM   [ Ignore ]
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The Seattle Storm traded Swin Cash, Le’coe Willingham and a low draft pick to the Chicago Sky for the second pick in the 2012 draft. I don’t follow the business side of the W all that closely, so I’m wondering what, or who, the Storm expect to get out of this trade.

http://www.wnba.com/storm/news/trade120102.html

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Posted: 03 January 2012 07:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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It’s hard to figure this move, especially because the upcoming draft class seems relatively shallow. This is pure speculation, but let’s suppose Agler is assuming that Delle Donne comes out this year and L.A. grabs her. In that case, Samantha Prahalis looks like the cream of the remaining crop and Agler may want her to provide a back-up for, and successor to, Sue Bird.

Both Cash and Willingham have served the Storm well, but both are also getting on in years and Cash has had a history of injury problems. So the team may feel they need to invest in the future.

One interesting thing to me is that IMO, Seattle needs a back-up for Jackson even more than it needs someone to relieve Bird. Especially with an Olympic year coming up and the ever present possibility the injury-prone Jackson may decide to stay home and dedicate herself to what could be her last real gasp at grabbing an Olympic gold.

And conversely, LA needs a really good point guard even more than it needs another forward. I’m still keen on Penicheiro, but she’s a free agent and inarguably is getting a bit long in the tooth and slow on her feet. So perhaps Agler is hoping LA passes on Delle Donne, and takes Prahalis instead. I know Sue Bird’s father is very keen on Delle Donne; he even had some arguments for picking her over Griner if both come out next year.

If Delle Donne does not come out this year, Prahalis might fill a real need for L.A. (assuming Jelly can keep her emotions under control—chemistry already seems like a real problem for the Sparks, and the Lavender-Prahalis tandem didn’t fare too well for a major portion of last season). But unless Agler puts something in her Kool-Aid, I can’t imagine Penny Toler passing up a player of Delle Donne’s athleticism and scoring ability if she’s available. She, like Griner, or—looking back, Leslie or Jackson—seems to me to be one of those very special athletes that come along once or twice in a lifetime.

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Posted: 03 January 2012 11:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Clearly, Brian Agler knows he can’t ride thirtysomethings Cash, Jackson and Bird much longer (Willingham is fungible, I think). This deal makes a lot of sense if he knows EDD is coming out because then he gets either her or Ogwumike; if not, it’s a little more questionable, because the No. 2 pick won’t make Seattle better, and you could try for one more gallop from the aging warhorses in 2012.

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Posted: 03 January 2012 12:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I, too, was thinking this only makes sense if Agler knows EDD is coming out, as then he could get her or Nneka O.  On the other hand, if it were known that EDD is coming out, why wouldn’t Pokey want EDD or O rather than Cash?

Bird is only 30 and, unless her current injury is worse than we know, she should have five or six years left. There will be several PG’s coming out over the next few years who are a lot better than Prahalis, at least in my opinion—e.g., Diggins, Hartley, Sims and Schimmel.

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Posted: 03 January 2012 01:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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The other option is Griner ... she’s 22, and thus eligible for the draft. There’s a feeling among some folks that she will be in the draft, in which case LA takes Griner and Seattle takes Ogwumike.

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Posted: 03 January 2012 03:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Clay is right re Griner.

I just checked and she was born on October 18, 1990. Hence, she just turned 21, she won’t be 22 at the time of the WNBA draft, but she will be 22 within the calendar year of the 2012 WNBA draft.

This made me check the WNBA’s multi-pronged draft eligibility rule in the Collective Bargaining Agreement, the first of which states a college player is eligible if she “will be at least twenty-two (22) years old during the calendar year in which such Draft is held and she either has no remaining intercollegiate eligibility or renounces her remaining intercollegiate eligibility by written notice to the WNBA at least ten (10) days prior to such Draft . . . .” A college player competing in the NCAA tournament has 24 hours after her last game ends in order to renounce her remaining eligibility, if the WNBA draft is within the following 10 days.

Very interesting. So both Delle Donne and Griner could come out for the 2012 draft. However, I don’t see any compelling reason why either of them would do so. There’s no great monetary incentive, both players seem invested in the success of their college programs, and both have exhibited different forms of reluctance to go away from home.

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Posted: 03 January 2012 09:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Actually Bird turned 31 in October.

But to look at the Storm roster, one can kind of see reasons beyond hoping EDD & Griner enter the 2012 draft. (I don’t think either of them will come out either)

Freeing up cap space isn’t a bad idea. Seems they didn’t have any. There are Strom free agents he needs/wants to re-sign. Cash & Willingham free up big money for them for a FA and/or trade for a player under contract.  The #2 pick has some value whether they keep the player or move her for another player (under 30) they may like better


Maybe most importantly age:
They’re old & not particularly in a good way. Since Agler has been in Seattle he’s gone w/vets over youth, to win. They got a title out of it but now ... 8 of their 11 player roster was 30 yrs. or older with “a lot of miles on them” so to speak. Contrast w/my Lynx, whose roster this summer was made up of every player in their 20’s except Taj. (only Brunson & Whalen will be 30 in 2012) and even though LA & SA might be a bit long in the tooth, they at least have some young guns actually playing alongside the vets. Phoenix is mature in a good way; not too long in the tooth. So the Storm need a better mix of youth & experience.

They aren’t in a position to just make little tweaks anymore. If their best players were 2, 3 yrs younger they might still be the “hunted” but they aren’t, they’re back to being “hunters”.

Also consider LJ planing to stay home w/her Nat’l team for the front half of the 2012 season; they need her to win a title IMO. So, frankly if they don’t make the playoffs in 2012, the Storm front office wont be too upset about putting themselves in position to have a 2013 lottery pick in deeper draft.

Ultimately, B.A. has some flexibility going into the 2012 season; he says he has a plan so will be interesting to see how it works out.

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Posted: 04 January 2012 10:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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I’m guessing the plan involves Brittney Griner or Nneka Ogwumike. My sense is that Griner has a very good chance of entering the draft, especially if Baylor wins the national title. She would have little else to prove on the court, and she would immediately be making several hundred thousand dollars a year. Given that she can’t really plan on her career being more than 10 years long, every year she waits costs her $300,000 (say) that she can never earn again.

For 99% of players, it makes no sense to come out early because the difference in income at 40 (outside of basketball) and at 30 isn’t that great, especially with a college degree. But for Griner, that $300,000 might be conservative, and in addition, who knows how long the European leagues will be in a position to pay that much? If I’m Griner, I take the money right now.

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