Monday, May 20, 2024

Las Vegas Aces Strategize to Enhance Championship Team Through WNBA Draft Picks

In the upcoming WNBA draft on Monday, while the Indiana Fever is set to select Caitlin Clark from Iowa with the first overall pick, the reigning two-time champions, the Las Vegas Aces, are poised to strategically enhance their roster with four crucial draft selections.

As the WNBA draft approaches, the Las Vegas Aces, under the guidance of General Manager Natalie Williams, are positioned in a reactive stance with their selection strategy. The team holds three picks in the second round—16th, 18th, and 24th overall—and a final pick in the third round at 36th. According to Williams, the uncertainty of the draft’s initial picks means the Aces will focus on acquiring the best talent available to intensify the competitiveness of their training camp.

In a notable off-season move, the Aces traded their 2024 first-round pick to the Los Angeles Sparks in exchange for the 16th selection, part of a deal involving Dearica Hamby earlier this year. Additionally, the Aces secured the 18th pick from the Washington Mystics, bolstering their draft capital.

Last season, the Aces made a single draft selection, picking Alabama guard Brittany Davis at 36th, who was subsequently released before the season commenced. This year, the team is particularly looking to fortify its shooting capabilities. “Becky Hammon loves shooters,” Williams remarked, highlighting the coach’s preference for players with a robust work ethic and team-centric values, as well as a proficiency in defense.

With the training camp beginning on April 28, the Aces plan to maximize their roster with 18 players, focusing on integrating new talents with seasoned veterans. Recent signings include two-year contract awardee Megan Gustafson, who recently clinched the EuroCup championship, and the re-signings of key players such as Kiah Stokes, Sydney Colson, and the addition of Morgan Jones on a training camp contract.

Key team figures like Chelsea Gray, Kelsey Plum, Jackie Young, and two-time WNBA MVP A’ja Wilson are secured through the next several seasons, setting a solid foundation for the Aces. Williams expressed optimism about the upcoming draft’s potential to further enhance the team’s dynamics and success in the forthcoming season.

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