With the number one pick in this year’s WNBA draft, the Las Vegas Aces have some much-needed holes to fill. Luckily they’re in a position where choosing any of college basketball’s top prospects could push them through their proverbial ceiling.
If the Aces were to bolster their wing rotation, PERFECT, if the Aces add a defensive-minded post, even better, another guard, why not? Thus Las Vegas can be as risky as they want with this pick. Whether they want to flip it for a certain player *Liz Cambage* the option is theirs and one of these three prospects can be too if they decide to pull the trigger.
Katie Lou Samuelson
With their first pick, the Aces should invest in a two-way threat. A do it all wing like Samuelson should be high on their list. At 6’ 3” is possibly the most versatile athlete in the draft.
Samuelson has the size to be a plus defender on wings and guards. If she’s ever forced to match up with the giants in the league, she won’t woefully be outmatched.
As tantalizing as her frame is on the defensive side it also gives her an advantage on offense. Samuelson is averaging 19 points on nearly 90-50-40 shooting numbers this year for UConn. If that efficiency translates to the next level imagine a three-headed monster of McBride-Samuelson-Wilson to close out games could spell disaster for the league.
LVA has a nice rotation forwards and centers but why not add another talented baller to their paint patrol. McCowan is a heralded center with accolades galore. We’re talking about a bonafide two-way center who could strengthen the Aces on both sides of the ball from day one.
Last year’s number 1 draft pick Las Vegas solidified their post play. But why not create a twin tower effect with A’ja Wilson and Teaira McCowan? They’ll make for a dynamic punch with interchangeable skills and a nose for the ball. McCowans 17 points and 13 rebounds a game in her senior year isn’t too far off from Wilson’s numbers.
McCowan definitely fills a similar role but at 6’7” her defensive potential is greater than everyone on their current roster. She’s a proven consensus All-American who would be another paint scorer when the team needs a boost. She’s a hard asset to pass on in this draft.
I know this pick would add to a glut of guards but buckets are buckets. The current backcourt of Kelsey Plum and Kayla McBride holds one of the most decorated scorers in NCAA history and the other averaged nearly 18 points a game last year. When those two need a break Durr can be a much-needed spark off the bench.
Asia Durr perfectly combines speed and scoring instincts. She’s a blur on the court and won’t hesitate to pull up or find a way to the basket. Not to mention her playmaking opens the court for the rest of her team.
A Durr and Wilson pick and roll could be one of the most daunting acts from the Aces from day one. Defenders that switch will face an immediate mismatch. They’ll expose their guards to an overpowering roll from Wilson leading to two points or a foul to stop the inevitable basket or a flurry of crossovers that will leave their post player broken ankles on SportsCenter.