After last season’s free agency period the Atlanta Dream have a lot less to do this off-season. As a result they looked likely to make it to the finals until the heart wrenching injury to Angel McCoughtry. They are going to reload and try to go again this season.
After signing Nikki Collen as their coach, the Atlanta Dream had the off season of a lifetime. They re-signed Angel McCoughtry and then signed Jessica Breland and Renee Montgomery. Collen would then go on to deservedly win the coach of the year award.
This season the Dream have such a solid core under contract they are going to be a threat next season but they need to add 3-point shooting. Here is a list of players who are coming back for the Dream.
Alex Bentley – After coming over via trade, Bentley was solid for the Dream. She needs to improve her overall efficiency from the floor but is a tremendous spark off the bench.
Monique Billings – Playing 32 games last season, Billings was serviceable off the bench. Has spent the off season overseas and has been working solidly on her game. She will be able to contribute more this season, judging by her overseas numbers.
Jessica Breland – I am on record saying that Breland is the best glue player in the entire league. She is able to anchor the defense as well as be a solid inside presence on offense.
Imani McGee-Stafford – A tremendous defensive player, McGee Stafford needs to be more assured on offense. Is a really good rotation bench player with a face up game most cannot defend.
Tiffany Hayes – A potential franchise player who needs to take the next step, even with McCoughtry in the lineup. Has the ability to lead the league in any category except blocked shots and rebounds. Has a killer instinct on plays, but has room to improve from deep only going at 32.1 percent last season.
Angel McCoughtry – If there is anyone playing in the league at the moment who DESERVES a WNBA championship it is McCoughtry. She has led this team on deep playoff runs only to come up short. If she did not get hurt at the end of last season, who knows. Hopefully back prior to season start so the Dream can become a reality.
Renee Montgomery – Arguably the best pickup of last offseason, Montgomery shot close to her best numbers from deep, going at 37.1 percent. This team needs better numbers overall from three and I would like to see Montgomery nudge over 40 percent from out there. She has that talent.
Brittney Sykes – After almost taking rookie of the year, Sykes had a bit of a sophomore slump. This was to be expected with the influx of talent over the offseason but I would have liked to have seen Sykes improve her efficiency as other players were getting the defensive attention. She was slightly better from the field 40.8 percent to 41.1 percent. From deep she had a worse season, going 26.8 percent compared to 33.6 percent in her rookie year.
Elizabeth Williams – The starting center for the Dream was incredible on defense again. Pairing her up with Breland for the season meant the Dream were hard to score against inside. She was efficient on offense, leading the team in offensive boards and field goal percent (of players who played more than two games).
Free agents to be re-signed
The Dream have only three players who are off contract this season. Not all of them will be re-signed with the franchise looking to get to the top of the pile. They have about $140,000 salary cap space.
Damiris Dantas – Played just under half the season before ankle surgery ended her season. Always solid off the bench, Dantas provided good minutes for the team.
Blake Dietrick – With so little salary cap room, Dietrick can be re-signed on a low-cost contract. She played 26 games last season taking 23 of her 35 shots on the season from deep. If she can improve on her 39.1 percent from the perimeter she might get more playing time.
Unlikely to be re-signed
Alexis Prince – While the Dream need a low value contract for their 12th roster slot, Price was only given two games for the season in 2018. The Dream will likely use this slot to sign their first round draft pick.
The Dream were so close last season. Had McCoughtry not been injured for those final playoff games, they most probably would have made the finals. They probably would have put up a better show against the Storm too. They need to add some complimentary pieces and go again.