Since James Wade took over as general manager and coach ahead of the 2019 season, the Sky have gone into WNBA Drafts with the mindset of selecting whom-ever Wade sees as the best available player when they’re on the clock.
That won’t necessarily be the case this time around. The Sky have a glaring need for a backup point guard, which Wade plans to address April 15.
Over the last two seasons, the Sky have struggled to find consistency at that position, at times running the offense through forward Gabby Williams, whose versatility allows her to be whatever the Sky need her to be. Wade signed Sydney Colson last offseason to be an outside reinforcement, but Colson had a delayed start to the season after contracting the coronavirus and didn’t do enough to return for a second season.
After adding Candace Parker in February, the last missing piece is a playmaker to be guard Courtney Vandersloot’s understudy.
Evaluating point guards as they prepare to make the jump to the WNBA can be a tall task. But there are several solid options for the Sky, who have the No. 8 pick in the first round.
“It’s a good year to get a good one, and we feel confident we will,” Wade said.
Here are some of the top point guards available in the draft:
Aari McDonald, Arizona
Averaged 19.3 points, 5.1 rebounds and 4.5 assists in 21 games this past season
McDonald turned down an opportunity to enter last year’s draft and returned to Arizona to “sharpen her game.” She did that — and more — giving a record-setting performance en route to the Wildcats’ first Final Four berth.
McDonald has scored in double figures in 91 consecutive games, the longest active streak in women’s college basketball. Along with her clutch shooting, the reigning Pac-12 Player of the Year is a pesky defender and vocal leader who thrives in high-stake situations. McDonald could flourish in the WNBA with Vandersloot as her mentor.
Dana Evans, Louisville
Averaged 19.9 points, 2.7 rebounds and 3.9 assists in 29 games this past season
Evans could be an early first-round pick because of her versatility. A native of Gary, Indiana, she’s another two-way player with promise. Her three-point accuracy has dipped slightly from the last two seasons, but she’s still a career 37.2% shooter from behind the arc.
A slight downside to Evans is her size. Like McDonald, she’s 5-6. But some had the same worry about 5-5 Crystal Dangerfield, the 2020 WNBA Rookie of the Year.
Kiana Williams, Stanford
Averaged 14.5 points, 2 rebounds and 3 assists in 30 games this past season
Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer’s program has churned out several WNBA stars over the years, and Williams has the potential to be another. She’s a skillful player with strong court awareness. This season, she helped lead the Cardinal to the Pac-12 tourney title.
One of her biggest improvements has been her perimeter shooting. She also cut down on her turnovers, giving up the ball only 39 times — 30 fewer than the previous season.