Dream Progressing to Be Prosperous


WNBA fanatics have three dates marked on the calendar every season – free agency day, draft day and opening night of the season.

The first official day of free agency had Atlanta Dream fans anticipating big moves.  Who do they go out and get? A rising superstar, veteran or await for the new talent in April’s draft?  In spite of critical team cuts this offseason, the Dream have yet to make a power play to mark their position amongst the rest of the league.

Not to dwell because this is just the beginning, but it is necessary to evaluate what the Dream have lost in the departure of Tianna Hawkins and Elizabeth Williams (both now headed to the Washington Mystics).  Hawkins was averaging 4.9 points and 2.6 rebounds rebounds per game.  And even as a forward, it would not be a wise decision to leave her open behind the arc.

As a member of the 2020 All-Defensive team, Williams is a major defensive loss.  In a game characterized by low-post performance, paint points and rebounds make for easy buckets and second-chance opportunities.  No need to fear for long Dream fans, because the offensive goddesses, Monique Billings and Tiffany Hayes, are returning to Atlanta for the 2022 season.

Dream On, Dream On

Fans notice the rest of the league rounding out rosters, while the Dream are on the lower end of the maximum 12 players.  As of January 23, 2022, the roster is sitting at eight players ready for play.  What will General Manager Dan Padover do?  Will he get a steal during this free agency and prepare for the progress that may lie in the upcoming draft? 

With the departure of Tina Charles from the Washington Mystics and Liz Cambage floating around the Los Angeles circuit, Padover will have to talk the right amount of money and the guarantee of a promising future to ensure he brings a veteran to this team.  Whether it be leadership within the coaching staff or on the court, the Dream are in desperate need of a new engine to drive this team forward.

The Dream have the No. 3 pick in April’s draft.  Shakira Austin from Ole Miss is sitting comfortably as a dominant top-three prospect.  In an effort to expand her range, Austin is shooting almost 46% from the field while averaging 14 points per game.

She’s a defensive force, too, working under the basket for offensive rebounds, reading the offense to acquire steals, and her court awareness gains her a few assists for teammates.  Standing at 6’5”, she has the footwork of a point guard. 

Austin’s place on the Atlanta Dream could not only make her a franchise player, but also a future league all-star and a much-needed dual threat.

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About Caylen Johnson

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