Welcome to the first edition of Saturday Sparks where we cover stories surrounding the Los Angeles Sparks for the last week.
Any WNBA fan who watched last season would have seen the devastation of the Los Angeles Sparks losing the finals to the Minnesota Lynx. Like the truly professional organisation they are, the Sparks looked back at their roster and decided to make improvements.
Basketball experts like Eli Horowitz @CoachHorowitz13 believed they were a guard short as well as a front-court player short. Well, with very little cap space room they worked some incredible magic. Odyssey Sims signed for less than the max deal she deserved and this gave them a little room.
With this room they managed to signed Cappie Pondexter who is an incredible role player to get. They also drafted Maria Vadeeva with the 11th pick. This was incredible as she was projected to be a top two pick. The Sparks then signed a number of players to training camp bringing their training camp roster to 18.
As with every team there are core players, ones which should get a spot and the ones fighting for the end of the bench. Below is how the Sparks will probably view their roster.
|Definite||Probable||Fighting for a spot|
|Alana Beard||Essence Carson||Jolene Anderson|
|Chelsea Gray||Cappie Pondexter||Ana Dabovic|
|Nneka Ogwumike||Karlie Samuelson||Sandrine Gruda|
|Candace Parker||Maria Vadeeva||Kaylee Jensen|
|Odyssey Sims||Sydney Weise||Julie Resingerova|
|Jantel Lavender||Riquna Williams||Shakayla Thomas|
The Sparks have one of the best starting fives in the league today and they are automatic selections. Alana Beard is the reigning Defensive Player of the Year and is a crucial part of the Sparks success.
Nneka Ogwumike and Candace Parker are former league MVP’s. They are also one of the best one-two punches in the WNBA. Chelseas Gray and Odyssey Sims have form a tremendous understanding in the back court and Sims is the x-factor of this championship caliber team.
Jantel Lavender was one of the most important players in the WNBA last season. Without her All-Star talents coming off the bench the Sparks were not able to compete with the Lynx in the Finals.
However, the probable list just got harder to make. The addition of Cappie Pondexter makes the Sparks team deeper. Essence Carson, Sydney Weise and Riquna Williams will make the squad as they have gained a little trust from the coach Brian Agler.
Maria Vadeeva should get a spot if she comes over for the WNBA season. Her talents are too great for her not to be on the court. The final spot will probably go to Karlie Samuelson but this is the one which is up for grabs.
The players fighting for a spot have a great chance to make a championship caliber roster. This should make for a fascinating training camp and electric preseason games.
The Sparks open their preseason by taking on the Connecticut Sun in Connecticut on the 7th of May. They then take on the New York Liberty again in Connecticut on the 8th of May. The Sparks then head to Pasadena to take on the Chinese National Team on the 12th of May.
In the season opener the Sparks are hosted buy the Minnesota Lynx on the 20th of May. This is a tremendous opening to the season, renewing the rivalry in the opening days of the season.
Come back next week for the next edition of Saturday Sparks.