By Blake Spadaro
2023 WNBA Season- Atlanta Dream
A lot of fans in the WNBA are excited about the upcoming season so I decided to write an article on the Atlanta Dream heading into the 2023 season. The article includes my take on the Dreams off-season questions, team outlook, draft questions, and also free agency questions.
The Dream Organization and fans of the team, in general, should be happy with the direction of this team. The Dream was 1 game away from making the playoffs but they, unfortunately, fell short. They are fun, tough, enjoyable, and extremely well-coached by Former WNBA Champion Tanisha Wright. I believe Wright is the right coach at the right time to usher in this new era for the Dream.
In November, the Dream was awarded the 3rd and 8th overall picks in the Draft Lottery but they recently traded away the 3rd pick according to reports. The Big question is what will they do now? I believe that depending on who falls where in the draft, there could be a number of good options left. If they can they’d be wise to possibly select Haley Jones, Elizabeth Kitley, or Diamond Miller should any of them remain available. I believe they should take Hailey Jones or Elizabeth Kitley if they are available. You may ask why? I’d say because Haley Jones is a very good all-around player that can help solidify the dream at both ends of the court. Other than her I think they should strongly consider Elizabeth Kitley if she is still available. Kitley is a true center and she is Very skilled. The Dream could use her down in the paint. To be fair, any of the 3 draft choices I mentioned will be a great option in the long run.
What other questions surround the team? Some say they should trade the draft picks for a hall-of-fame caliber player that can add not just talent but extra experience to help but is it a good idea? My answer would be that they should consider it because they don’t really have anything to lose. It appears that the Dream made a move, reports suggest that the Dream acquired Allisha Gray in exchange for the #3 pick. The addition of Gray will be a powerful boost to an already scary offense. The Dreams total cap space is $942,916. Question is, will the Dream continue to make offseason moves and bring in another high caliber player? It does not appear they are placing value in the draft this year so that leaves free agency. The Dreams Free Agents include Tiffany Hayes, Erica Wheeler, Monique Billings, Nia Coffey, Kia Vaughn, Asia Durr, and Beatrice Mompremier so they obviously have to figure out who to keep and who to let go.
The Dream was led by Rhyne Howard, The 1st overall pick of last year's draft. Questions around Howard include: Will she continue her monster growth from year 1 to year 2? If so what does that look like? Besides Rhyne Howard, They also have Cheyanne Parker, Erica Wheeler, Aari McDonald, Monique Billings, and Nia Coffey. Star player Tiffany Hayes left the team last year surprisingly for an overseas commitment. They also added Asia Durr who if she comes back to even half of what she is could be an amazing steal of a signing.
My prediction is that the Dream is going to make a big jump and be a top 5 team in the WNBA this upcoming season. If you're a fan of dark horse contenders that no one sees coming, the Dream is your team. Good luck to the Atlanta Dream and their fans this upcoming season.