December 29, 2022 

Locked on Women’s Basketball: Exploring sleepers in 2023 WNBA free agency

Which free agents have gone under the radar?

The 2023 WNBA Free Agency is soon approaching, so there’s no better time to look ahead at some free agent sleepers that could make an impact on the margins for a contending team or playoff hopeful. On today’s episode of Locked on Women’s Basketball, Host Hunter Cruse is joined by co-host Joshua Welch to explore the games of Lexie Brown, Kia Nurse, Arella Guirantes and plenty more.

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First, Hunter explains the criteria the co-hosts are using to classify an “under the radar” player:

“Today we’re gonna step back a little bit go to some more under the radar players that you aren’t really hearing as much in free agency discussion ahead of next month. So, to classify a player as under the radar, we’re going to exclude players that have an expected [contract] value of $100,000 according to spotrac‘s free agency tracker; this is just like an arbitrary value just so we can figure out ‘okay, who’s defined as under the radar?’ Because if we had to [decide] ourselves that could be iffy and there’s many ways to opinionate it, so it’s just a way for us to keep it consistent.”

Hunter Cruse, The Next

Hunter then explores where Lexie Brown could potentially move this free agency:

“[Lexie Brown] was at Los Angeles this past season. She’s bounced around a lot of places. Shooting specialist, 5’9, 28 years old; she averaged 7.1 points, 2.3 rebounds and 2.1 assists, going nearly 40% shooting from three. So with the way the WNBA is trending there’s many teams that could benefit from having a shooter like Lexi Brown. Some of the many contenders I consider [are] Phoenix, for example, if they do not retain Kia Nurse, Sophie Cunningham—those are just a couple of players that have free agency coming up; Sophie’s restricted but she could get a bigger offer elsewhere.”

Hunter Cruse, The Next

Joshua Welch shares his analysis of Arella Guirantes, coming off an impressive performance for the Puerto Rican national team at the FIBA World Cup in Australia this past summer:

“[Guirantes is] really interesting. And it’s really hard for players that are high volume shooters … It’s really hard going into a situation where you’re having to put up the numbers to be useful in much more limited minutes. And that’s something I’m wanting to see that if that improves; because overseas and in Puerto Rico, she got the minutes again, she was like one of the primary players that her team was running through. So it’s going to be interesting because she’s definitely not going to get that in the W right away.”

Joshua Welch, The Next

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Here at The Next, in addition to the 24/7/365 written content our staff provides, we also host the daily Locked On Women’s Basketball podcast. Join us Monday through Saturday each week as we discuss all things WNBA, collegiate basketball, basketball history and much more. Listen wherever you find podcasts or watch on YouTube.

This 2023 WNBA draft episode is part of a recurring podcast topic on the Locked on Women’s Basketball podcast. Make sure to subscribe to Locked on Women’s Basketball, where we have new shows every weekday.

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