When the Connecticut Sun traded a second round draft pick for Cayla George, they announced to the WNBA they believed they were contenders.
Last season the Connecticut Sun announced to the world they were a team to be reckoned with. Even without the talents Chiney Ogwumike, the Sun were a difficult team to put away.
They put together a season on the back on the improved play of Jonquel Jones, Alyssa Thomas and Jasmine Thomas, Shekinna Stricklen and Courtney Willams also had tremendous seasons.
This season, Ogwumike is back so there will be a readjustment but this team will be the better for her return. Scarily for the rest of the WNBA, a playoff caliber team is adding an Ogwumike. The balance of power may be moving out of Minnesota and Los Angeles.
However, in order to compete, the Sun needed to add an established big to back up Jones as required. The fact they got a player the quality of George for only a second round draft pick is astounding.
The Sun have received a three year WNBA veteran who has experience backing up one of the best centers the league has ever seen in Brittney Griner.
However, during her time in Phoenix, George was rarely used to her full potential. In the WNBL, George plays alongside Suzy Batkovic who is a dominant center. George has the freedom to shoot from beyond the arc or taking the ball in to the paint.
George collects rebounds with vigor and as a result has formed probably the best front court ever to play in the WNBL This is not going to be the case too often in Connecticut but George is able to come on and replace Ogwumike or Thomas without the Sun losing much.
It is this depth which is what will allow the Sun to compete this season with the dominant franchises of the last few years. The Minnesota Lynx over the last few years have had depth down to the ninth or tenth players on their roster. The Los Angeles Sparks are the same.
To add to the starting five, the Sun also have Morgan Tuck, Shekinna Stricklen and Rachel Banham meaning they now have the bench depth required. If the cost was a second round pick to garner this depth, the Sun have made the right call.
The Sun now have players who can hurt you inside the paint and outside the arc. Unfortunately for the opposition they can be the same player. The Sun are now one of the toughest match-ups in the league. George just adds to this.