Storm

How Can the Storm Execute the Best Rebuild?

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Year after year in the WNBA, there seems to be teams in championship contention, or simply make the playoffs and nothing more.

The bottom, missing-the-playoffs part of the league typically has the same teams, but there are some new logos in the mix. The Seattle Storm is one of them, with a 7-20 record. They have been near the top for most of the league’s existence, but now they enter into an unfamiliar rebuild.

Even with their poor record, the future is bright in the Pacific Northwest.

Seattle Rebuilds Their Storm With Star Power

When you rebuild a team successfully, it’s normally around one or two star players. For Seattle, Jewell Loyd is their superstar. She has emerged as the primary piece to build around this year. Her 24.9 points per game is the best in the league, showing she is the superstar.

She was the third option behind Sue Bird and Breanna Stewart during her career, but she has emerged into the number one option gracefully since their departures. During her jersey retirement speech, Bird praised Loyd taking that leadership role without hesitation.

“To see your game grow, to see you grow as a person, as a human, as a basketball player, I’m still so excited that I have a courtside seat and I get to watch it continue,” Bird said.

It’s important for every team to have a veteran superstar, and Loyd fits that description for the Storm. Her contract ends after the season, so the top priority this offseason should be re-signing her to a long-term deal. In order for Seattle to retain Loyd, the front office must be aligned with her. While a rebuilding team must have a veteran superstar, they should also have young players with superstar potential.

Seattle Is Cloudy With A Chance Of Rainstorms

The average age for this Storm roster is 29, which is good for their process.

The oldest players on the team are 35-year-olds Sami Whitcomb and Yvonne Turner, and their youngest is 20-year-old Jade Melbourne. Along with Melbourne, Seattle is filled with young talent like Ezi Magbegor (MAG-BEH-GOR; 23), Dulcy Fankam Mendijiadeu (DULL-see fan-come men-gee-AHH-due; 24), Ivana Dojkic (EYE-vana DOY-KICH; 25), Jordan Horston (22) and Gabby Williams (26). Dojkic, Horston, Fankam Mendijiadeu and Melbourne are all rookies and support strong futures ahead.

Williams and Magbegor present Seattle with a unique situation being new veterans. Even though they’re young, they have enough experience to lead and guide the rookies.

It’s just as important for the Storm to keep their young players on the roster with Loyd— that way they can grow into the best possible team to compete for a championship. Magbegor has become a leader even at her young age, with her superstar potential already starting to show. The first-time All-Star is averaging 13.8 points, 8.1 rebounds, 1.3 steals and 1.9 blocks per game this season.

Her nearly two swats per contest ranks only second behind MVP candidate A’ja Wilson.

Williams is also a young veteran who is a stud at an extinct position. Defensive wings are very hard to find in the league, and Williams is one of those rare breeds. Since joining the Storm last month, she has averaged 8.6 points, 3.7 rebounds and 1.7 steals per game.

With Seattle’s rebuild already underway, they have many pieces that ensure they’re headed in the right direction.

A Massive Storm Is Brewing In Seattle, So Take Cover!

The final thing a good rebuilding team needs is veteran voices in the locker room.

This is important with a young team because the rookies need experienced players who they can learn from and to look up to for guidance. Seattle’s veterans are Whitcomb, Kia Nurse, Mercedes Russell and Turner. Nurse (27) fits in the same boat as Magbegor and Williams, being a relatively young veteran in this league.

Whitcomb and Russell share something in common with Magbegor and Loyd, as they were a part of the 2020 championship team. They also have enough experience to lead and help the young rookies in the right direction of success.

Veterans, rookies and superstars are important to have, but there is one important factor a successful rebuilding team needs.

Draft picks are a top priority for a team wanting to rebuild. Nailing those draft picks is also important not only for the fans, but for the players. Seattle has nailed their top picks in the past with Loyd, Stewart and Bird to form their big three. With the star-studded draft fast approaching, the Storm scouting department has their work cut out for them.

While the number one pick isn’t guaranteed yet for Seattle, that seems to be their direction after the season.

https://twitter.com/seattlestorm/status/1688018635355504640?s=43&t=fMAdFYU8u3VIqTCD6-pa9g

Stars like Caitlin Clark, Angel Reese and Cameron Brink will most likely enter their names into the draft. Will Seattle go for fit or best player available? With recent draft success selecting Horston, all trust should be made in the Storm front office to successfully reform the roster back to championship contention.

Sue Bird SLAM Bobblehead!

Sue Bird bobblehead

What’s the word? Sue Bird is the word. You could also call her the GOAT. But with this Sue Bird Seattle Storm Slam Magazine Cover Bobblehead, she’ll most definitely be a centerpiece of your collection.

About Brenden Potts

Brenden is an American writer and Washington State University Sport Management student in Pullman Washington. He has less than a year of writing experience getting started with The Lead. He writes about the Seattle Storm for The Lead.

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