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Sky draft Cardoso, Reese in 2024 WNBA Draft

1 month agoKarli Bell

Three more names will be added to the 2024 Chicago Sky after the WNBA Draft as the team looks to build towards the future.

New general manager Jeff Pagliocca went to work to build up lost draft capital with the blockbuster trade of Kahleah Copper to the Phoenix Mercury as well as other roster moves throughout the offseason.

The Chicago Sky drafted Kamilla Cardoso (South Carolina) at No. 3, Angel Reese (LSU) at No. 7 and Brynna Maxwell (Gonzaga) at No. 13. 

Kamilla Cardoso, C

The 6-foot-7 National Champion was set to be a Top 5 pick all season but moved her capital up into the Top 3 after her stellar performance in the NCAAW March Madness tournament. In just postseason play – including the SEC tournament – she averaged 15.1 points, 8.8 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 1.8 blocks and 0.5 steals.

“We had a need to add somebody at that size,” Pagliocca said after the draft. “She can run the court, got good hands, leading shot blocker. She’s just scratching the surface of what she’ll become as a player, and she’s got a story which is very important to us. She sacrificed a ton, been through a lot, away from her family. She’s doing what she’s doing to give them a better life, and we want to work with people like that. At that size with that speed and that skillset, it was somebody we had targeted Day 1.”

Size was the biggest concern for Chicago last season with Elizabeth Williams standing the tallest on the roster at 6-foot-3. With this addition and as someone from Dawn Staley’s camp, the Sky created depth in post play that they desperately need. Having her and Williams is going to create a lot of disruption for other teams trying to drive inside. Williams and Cardoso is a post pairing to watch all season long.

Angel Reese, F

Pagliocca made a last minute move the day before the draft to move up to No. 7 in a trade that sent Sika Koné and future draft picks over to the Minnesota Lynx to get the 7th overall pick and Nikolina Milić. Milić will most likely sit out the 2024 season, giving the Sky the opportunity and space to snag one of the biggest names out of the NCAAW in Angel Reese.

“We got the one we were looking for. She is an absolutely relentless competitor. She pursues the ball better than anybody I’ve ever seen. She’s a winner,” Pagliocca said. “She’s a player that fits the narrative our coach wants to play with: relentless energy, toughness, grit and she’s a fighter.”

Reese’s length and physicality will go far in the WNBA. Her relentlessness inside to crash the boards to create consistent extra possessions will translate, seeing she averaged about a double-double in her final season with 18.6 points and 13.4 rebounds. Giving her the opportunity to learn from Isabelle Harrison at the wing and Elizabeth Williams inside is setting up Reese to have a very smooth transition into the pros. 

Brynna Maxwell, G

After a heavy front court focus, the Sky looked to fill in the back court with the selection of Brynna Maxwell out of Gonzaga. Maxwell brings some more offensive versatility to the Chicago Sky, including a 3-point shooting threat.

“Coach [Weatherspoon] and I feel like that’s the best shooter in the country,” Pagliocca said. “She’s can sprint into 3s. She’s got a quick trigger. She’s absolutely fearless. Shooting is pretty critical. lf you have people that can space the floor, we want to give a player like that confidence.”

Maxwell finished her season with a solid stat line of 14.2 ppg along with 2.9 rpg. However, she shot upwards of 44% from the arc, something that will always be a need in the WNBA. With the loss of Copper, Gardner and others in trades this offseason, Maxwell steps right in to fill that hole. Having her learn under Diamond DeShields, Dana Evans and Marina Mabrey gives her the ability to tighten up defensively while adapting to high-speed game play. 

With all these additions, Weatherspoon closed out the post-draft press conference saying, “We have everything we need.”

This now expands the Sky roster to 14 players, including training camp contract signings. The roster will be cut down to no more than 12 by the start of the regular season.

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