July 3, 2022 

Daily Briefing — July 3, 2022: All-Star Draft Drama

There was a game in Chicago, too, that one team showed up for

Happy Sunday! Welcome to The Next’s Daily Briefing, featuring the W Roundup, daily Watch List, and Yesterday’s Recap. Day 49 of the WNBA season is here, following the WNBA All-Star Draft, easily the most dramatic thing that happened in Chicago yesterday. Team captains A’ja Wilson and Breanna Stewart hopped on a teleconference with ESPN’s Kelsey Riggs to decide the teams.

Here’s how the draft went down:

Starters:

  1. Candace Parker, Team Wilson
  2. Jackie Young, Team Stewart

“I had to pick Jackie Young in the first round, because otherwise [Team Wilson]’s just gonna be the Aces!” Stewart later said.

  1. Kelsey Plum, Team Wilson
  2. Jonquel Jones, Team Stewart
  3. Nneka Ogwumike, Team Wilson — later traded for Sabrina Ionescu
  4. Sabrina Ionescu, Team Stewart — later traded for Ogwumike

“Okay then, race to the triple-double,” said Wilson.


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Reserves:

  1. Jewell Loyd, Team Stewart
  2. Rhyne Howard, Team Wilson
  3. Kahleah Copper, Team Stewart
  4. Dearica Hamby, Team Wilson
  5. Skylar Diggins-Smith, Team Stewart
  6. Courtney Vandersloot, Team Wilson
  7. Alyssa Thomas, Team Stewart
  8. Ariel Atkins, Team Wilson
  9. Arike Ogunbowale, Team Stewart

“That one hurt,” said Wilson.

  1. Brionna Jones, Team Wilson
  2. Emma Meesseman, Team Stewart
  3. Natasha Howard, Team Wilson

Stewart said after, “What concerns me on A’ja’s roster is, uh… buckets, size— actually, nothing.”

Wilson responded, “No, not one [concern about Stewart’s roster].”

But then! Even after the Ogwumike-Ionescu trade, Stewart traded co-captain Sylvia Fowles to Wilson for co-captain Sue Bird. Which I’m sure is great for the optics of the league’s forthcoming promos.

As a reminder, Team Wilson is coached by Las Vegas’ Becky Hammon, while Team Stewart is piloted by Chicago’s James Wade — meaning Hammon plays against one of her starters in Young, while Wade faces two in Parker and Vandersloot.

“You know what, it’s great that I don’t have to make this rotation,” said Wilson.

But first, read:

Watch List, Sunday, June 3

(All times in Eastern, Game Of The Day in bold)

Washington @ Connecticut, 1 p.m., ESPN

Seattle @ Atlanta, 3 p.m., NBA TV (Local: FOX13/Amazon Prime video, Bally Sports Southeast Extra)

New York @ Los Angeles, 6 p.m., CBS Sports Network (Local: Spectrum SportsNet)

Las Vegas @ Minnesota, 7 p.m., Amazon Prime (Local: My LV TV, Bally Sports North)


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Saturday, June 29 recap

Chicago (15-5) beat Phoenix (9-13), 91-75. The Sky led by two after five minutes, then went on a 20-2 run. Chicago shot 52.6% from the field and 50.0% from three, while assisting on 24 of its 30 buckets; held the Mercury to 25.0% from deep while winning the rebounding battle by 10; the teams combined for 38 turnovers and 41 fouls.

Big Candace Parker led the Sky with 14 points on 5-for-8 shooting (2-3 3pt.), eight rebounds, and seven rebounds against seven turnovers in 26 minutes; combo guard Allie Quigley had 19 points on 6-for-10 from the field and 3-for-5 from three and five rebounds; big Emma Meesseman notched 10 points on 3-for-7 FG, four rebounds, and four assists without a turnover. Every player on Chicago’s roster saw the court, with eight recording between 18 and 27 minutes.

Phoenix was led by combo guard Skylar Diggins-Smith with 8-for-17 from the field (0-3 3pt.) and 9-for-9 from the line, four rebounds, three assists, and four steals against six turnovers; backup wing Diamond DeShields had 21 points on 7-for-16 shooting (2-3 3pt., 5-7 FT), nine rebounds (three offensive), two steals, and no turnovers against five fouls in 21 minutes; big Brianna Turner notched eight points on 4-for-6, seven rebounds, and three steals against three turnovers and four fouls in 35 minutes.

Written by Em Adler

Em Adler (she/they) covers the Seattle Storm and college basketball for The Next, while also writing for The Chronicle, Duke's independent student paper

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