March 1, 2021
What Odyssey Sims will add to the Atlanta Dream
Sims spent the last two seasons with the Minnesota Lynx
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When Atlanta Dream coach Nicki Collen spoke to the media on Feb. 19, she mentioned backcourt depth as something she still wanted to improve.
“We have multiple playmaking guards in Courtney (Williams), Chennedy (Carter) and Tiffany (Hayes), and obviously having (Shekinna Stricklen) with size off the bench as a big wing is important,” Collen said. “But I think adding another player who can shoot it and gives us a little bit something different, potentially, off the bench will be a key for us.”
Monday, the Dream signed Odyssey Sims to a one-year deal and, in doing so, added just what Collen said they were still looking for.
“We are thrilled to welcome Odyssey and her son Jaiden to the Dream,” Collen said in the team’s statement. “Odyssey is a high-level athlete who excels as both a scorer and a facilitator at the offensive end of the floor while having the ability to set the tone at the defensive end of the floor with her intense and physical ball pressure.”
In her seven-year WNBA career, Sims averages 12.8 points and just under four assists per game. She’s always been an efficient free-throw shooter — her career average is 83.7%, and she shot over 90% from the line last year — and averages just under 40% from the floor for her career.
Those numbers are deflated slightly by the fewer minutes Sims played last season. She arrived late to the bubble last summer after giving birth to her son in April and it naturally took her some time to return to form. Sims ended up appearing in 13 games and averaging only 18.5 minutes per game, by far a career low, though in Minnesota’s last few games of the season, her minutes did increase.
In February, Sims was traded to the Fever so the Lynx could free up cap space to sign Aerial Powers. Sims was then waived by Indiana and signed with the Dream after clearing waivers last week.
“I’m so excited to come to Atlanta,” Sims said in a statement. “I have long standing relationships with current players on the team, and the connection I developed with Nicki once I cleared waivers sold me on coming there. I’m ready to get to work.”
The Dream recently added Maite Cazorla to the full-season suspended list, which confirms what Collen said a few weeks ago about them expecting Cazorla to make the Spanish national team and thus not really have time to play in the WNBA this year. With Cazorla no longer an option, the Dream will at minimum have Carter, Hayes, Williams, Sims, Yvonne Turner and Shatori Walker-Kimbrough at the guard spots in training camp, and it’s possible they bring in someone else on a training camp contract as well. Blake Dietrick, the franchise leader in three-point percentage, is still unsigned.
It’s possible that not all of that group will make the final roster, but whatever combination the Dream end up with, they’ll have a balanced and deep group in the backcourt. The addition of Sims brings experience and shooting ability while also bolstering the defense — something Collen is undoubtedly excited about, given her affinity for the defensive side of the ball.
Having some combination of Carter, Hayes and Williams as the starters at guard with Sims, Turner and Walker-Kimbrough coming off the bench may well give Atlanta one of the deeper guard rotations in the league. And for a team that’s struggled with depth in recent years, it’s sure to be a welcome change.
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