January 25, 2023
What we learned about the Dallas Wings from Greg Bibb, Latricia Trammell’s press conference
"April can't come quick enough"
President CEO Greg Bibb and head coach Latricia Trammell addressed the media in a news conference on Monday about the free agency moves that have been made so far. The Dallas Wings will look completely different with the acquisition of 2019 Defensive Player of the Year Natasha Howard, 2020 Rookie of the Year Crystal Dangerfield and the No. 3 pick in the upcoming WNBA draft.
In his opening comments Bibb stated that both players, Dangerfield and Howard, bring versatility to their defense and adding Howard brings more playoff experience than the entire roster last season, combined.
“When you think about our organization the past few years there’s been a recurring narrative around two things. In particular number one, that our team has lacked experience, particularly experience in the playoffs and number two, our need to improve defensively. In [Howard] we had 48 games a playoff experience and three championships. At the end of this past season, our combined roster had played in 47 playoff games, and no one had won a WNBA championship, so that helps us tremendously in terms of our experience, in particular our playoff experience,” Bibb said.
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Dallas gave up two of the top defenders with the loss of guard Allisha Gray being traded to the Atlanta Dream and Kayla Thornton to the New York Liberty. Also, guard Tyasha Harris was traded to the Connecticut Sun. The Dallas Wings had a deep roster that were in a place to grow and compete for a championship. The team just ran out of time and they are not able to keep the roster together due to the WNBA salary cap. Bibb said the Wings still have a win now mentality and the free agency moves have been somewhat influenced by the financial element.
“We’re now getting to the place where those rookie contracts are starting to age and we’re going to have decisions to make around extensions and salary cap management. This third overall pick resets one of those spots for us and that we add an impact player but at the same time we’ll have a rookie scale contract for the next four seasons to help us as we manage that cap situation not only this year, next year and the year beyond.”
New coach, new players and a new identity for Wings
Under a new coach with a mix of some different players, a clean slate may be just what Dallas needs to get out of their playoff rut. Trammell said this training camp is going to be huge and everyone will get a seat at the table and the players will have a new opportunity.
‘It’s a new beginning and that’s the message that I’ve sent to each one of these players that it’s a new chapter, a new beginning, a new start and that’s how we’re going to handle it,” Trammell said.
One takeaway from the news conference is that Bibb and Trammell were confident about the future of the Dallas Wings, that the team can still win now. Trammell described herself as a “manic grinder” and that she has been preparing offensively and defensively with the roster the Wings currently has. The news conference was more about looking ahead to the future of the Wings instead of focusing what has been lost. Howard is the quick fix for it. She is meant to be used in a variety of ways.
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Center Teaira McCowan be joining the team late as she will be competing in the 2023 Euroleague championship for Turkey which could keep her out until June. Unlike last season, the absence of McCowan will not have as much of an effect on the team. This season the will be used as the chance for Howard to get acclimated at the four and five position. Once McCowan returns it will add versatility to the team having had Howard playing at both positions prior to her return to the team.
With the free agency moves that have take so far the future of the Dallas Wings appears to be muddled, but they are going into 2023 with a defensive mindset. Trammell said Howard and Dangerfield are great defenders, but she does not like putting players in a box offensively or defensively because she likes athletes to be athletes.
“We’re gonna do a lot of different things and both players are versatile enough that they can do it and I’m going to add in our other roster members as well,” Trammell said. “Greg has done an amazing job of putting together a roster so far and don’t think we’re finished yet.”