April 15, 2024 

Chicago Sky add star power in WNBA Draft

The Chicago Sky added some star power on Monday evening in the WNBA Draft, acquiring Kamilla Cardoso, Angel Reese and Brynna Maxwell

In the midst of their rebuild, the Chicago Sky brought some star power to the Windy City in Monday night’s WNBA Draft. 

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Heading into the evening, the Sky held the third, seventh and 13th overall picks in the draft. On Sunday, the Sky made a trade with the Minnesota Lynx in order to move up one spot from the eighth overall pick that they originally held. 

This was allegedly to be in position to draft LSU star forward Angel Reese, which they did on Monday evening. Reese will join the Sky’s draft class of South Carolina center Kamilla Cardoso, who is fresh off of winning a national title, and Brynna Maxwell, out of Gonzaga. The Sky were able to acquire every one of their targets in the draft, Sky General Manager Jeff Pagliocca said at the conclusion of the draft. 

“We needed players that are going to come in and want to make winning plays,” Pagliocca said. “The culture that they came from has got to mirror something that Coach Weatherspoon is going to bring. When we looked at players, we looked at players from winning programs, because it’s critical that we don’t have to start over and teach somebody how to be a winner.” 

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After finishing below .500 last season and undergoing changes in their leadership, the Sky acquired attention-grabbing players – not only from WNBA fans, but from college basketball fans of two of the biggest college programs in the country. After trading Kahleah Copper in February for the third overall pick, the Sky needed to make a splash with their selections. 

And they did just that when they chose some of the biggest figures in college basketball to address their need for a strong post presence. 

No. 3 overall: Kamilla Cardoso (South Carolina)

Cardoso’s draft stock rose after her performance in South Carolina’s impressive postseason run. She earned Most Outstanding Player honors after the Gamecocks won the national title, and her defensive production is always a showstopper. Her improvement on the offensive end has also been evident throughout her career, as she led South Carolina in both points and rebounds per game, with 14.4 and 9.7 respectively. 

She has both the physical tools and the skill to thrive in the WNBA. Looking forward, she’ll likely get a significant amount of playing time as the Sky continue their rebuild. 

“We are beyond excited,” Pagliocca said. “This is who we were so excited to get at number three. She has everything we want at six foot seven. She is athletic, a great person, a great teammate, she comes from a winning program and we cannot wait to get her here in Chicago.” 

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No. 7 overall: Angel Reese (LSU)

More post depth came quickly as the Sky selected Reese at seventh overall. Reese has star power – that’s undeniable. She was the center of attention in college with her flashy plays and explosiveness on the court. Coupled with Cardoso, the two make a dangerous rebounding pair. Combined, they held an average average of 22 boards per game in their final seasons of college. 

“I think it’s going to be great,” Cardoso said of playing with Reese. “She’s a great player. I’m a great player. So two great players together. Nobody is going to get no rebounds on us.” 

Reese was the reason the Sky traded away forward Sika Koné and the rights to swap 2026 first-round picks. Pagliocca knew he wanted Reese in Chicago and was willing to do what it took to draft her. 

“We are absolutely thrilled we were able to get Angel at seventh overall,” Pagliocca said. “That was our hope. We have another incredibly competitive player in Chicago who fits our identity and culture of the city. She is a relentless rebounder, she is a national champion and an SEC Player of the Year and we cannot wait to see her here in Chi Town.” 

No. 13 overall: Brynna Maxwell (Gonzaga)

The Sky closed off their draft night by selecting Gonzaga guard Brynna Maxwell at 13th overall. Maxwell is a pure shooter. In three of her five collegiate seasons split between time at Utah and Gonzaga, Maxwell has shot the ball from deep at a clip higher than 40 percent. 

She takes a high volume of 3-pointers and will likely have to compete for one of the final two spots on the Sky’s opening day roster. If she can continue shooting at a high clip, the Sky could surely use her. 

“We strongly feel that Brynna is the best shooter in the nation,” Pagliocca said. “She can be a floor spacer for us, she has a quick trigger, she is fearless, she can shoot with closeouts, shoot on the move and she sprints into her threes. She sees the rim and nothing else. We are ecstatic to bring Brynna to Chicago.” 

Chicago acquired both strong talents and personalities in their selections. These choices will almost certainly bring more national attention to the rebuilding team.

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Written by Talia Goodman

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