Azura Stevens, Diamond DeShields among Sky’s targets in WNBA mock drafts
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The Chicago Sky will have two chances at adding major pieces to their roster with the 2018 WNBA Draft on Thursday night. The Sky have the No. 3 and No. 4 overall picks in the first round after missing the playoffs for the first time in four years, so their stay outside the postseason could be brief.
South Carolina star forward A’ja Wilson is widely projected to be the No. 1 overall pick by the Las Vegas Aces. A year after winning the national championship as a junior, Wilson swept college basketball’s national player of the year awards and led the Gamecocks to the Elite Eight as a senior. It would be a shock if Las Vegas picks anyone else.
Things get much more interesting from there with the Indiana Fever picking No. 2, followed by the Sky with back-to-back picks at No. 3 and No. 4. Ohio State point guard Kelsey Mitchell is considered the likely pick for Indiana, but it’s not quite the lock that Wilson-to-Las Vegas appears to be.
Over at ESPN, they project the Sky to pick shooting guard Diamond DeShields and UConn forward Azura Stevens. DeShields, the daughter of former MLB player Delino DeShields, is one of the most intriguing prospects in the draft after leaving North Carolina and Tennessee to play overseas in Turkey. She averaged over 17 points per game with the Volunteers during the 2016-17 season.
Stevens, who also played two years at Duke, is a big post player who would give the Sky an added shot-blocking presence in the middle. The 6’6 forward averaged 14.7 points and 4.7 rebounds per game for the Huskies.
SB Nation also projects the Sky to draft Stevens, although they have her being reunited with UConn teammate Gabby Williams. Williams is a big-time athlete who can hound opposing ball handlers and fill up the box score.
The Sky are expected to lean heavily on veterans Courtney Vandersloot, Allie Quigley and Stephanie Dolson next season, but they should be able to add a pair of quality prospects to their roster. The 2018 WNBA Draft will be held at 6 p.m. CT Thursday in New York City. The first round will be broadcast on ESPN2.