After years as playoff contenders, the Sky finished 12-22 in their 2017 campaign. The 2018 season is off to a great start as the Sky will welcome first round draft picks Diamond DeShields and Gabby Williams along with the 2017 No. 2 overall draft pick, Alaina Coates who missed last year's season due to ankle surgery but is fully ready to go now.
The Sky struggled defensively last season and will need to get that figured out in order to get back to the playoffs. They needed guard play, versatility from the small forward position and players who were capable of defending. Here is a look at the two first round picks:
Diamond DeShields, G — Tennessee/Turkey
After stints at North Carolina and Tennessee, DeShields announced her decision to turn pro a year early and has been playing in Turkey with top club Cukurova. She is WNBA-ready from her experience and an elite level athlete, arguably the most athletic player in this year's draft. Head coach Amber Stocks spent time this past season developing a relationship with DeShields, even spending time in Turkey meeting with her and watching her play. Both feel confident and comfortable with the fit.
As the No. 3 pick, at 6-foot-1, she's a long, versatile guard who can defend. Offensively, she can get it to the rim, has a tremendous mid-range skill set and can shoot it. She brings a threat offensively the Sky need but more importantly, a defensive presence they need and must focus on in order to be a playoff contender again. I see her being able to contribute a lot of minutes early.
Gabby Williams, F — UConn
Versatility they wanted, versatility they have gotten. The 5-foot-11 Connecticut forward was the No. 4 overall pick and brings a fit and competitiveness the Sky need on both sides of the ball. She has competed at a high level as a two-time National Champion and brings a defensive discipline and IQ. She is also one of the more fluid players who is extremely interchangeable with fits in well with the Sky system.
Combine these two and Coates with the Sky veterans in Allie Quigley, Courtney Vandersloot, and Stefanie Dolson, and Chicago has a lot to be excited about for the future. This was a home run draft as they bring in crucial pieces that will surely help get them back to the playoffs.
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