The Las Vegas Aces have had an interesting offseason. However they are not done with roster moves yet.
The Las Vegas Aces are a team on the rise. They have had the top pick in the last three drafts and the second pick in 2016. With these picks they have chosen Moriah Jefferson (2016), Kelsey Plum (2017), A’ja Wilson (2018) and now Jackie Young this season.
If you go back further the then San Antonio Stars took Dearica Hamby with the sixth pick in 2015 and Kayla McBride with the third pick in 2014 draft. In an incredible feat of player retention, even through a franchise relocation, all of these players are still on the Aces roster.
However, this is has to be about to change. The Aces have taken quality guards in Jefferson, Plum, Young and McBride. They also just traded for Sugar Rodgers, who was the 2017 Sixth Woman of the Year. There are too many quality players for the guard role, and there wil be misgivings about minutes aloocations which will be to the detriment of the success of the franchsie.
The only real relief is that McBride can play the wing spot but there are still not enough minutes to go around at guard for the rest. This surely has to mean that the Aces are gearing up for a huge trade, aiming to get a quality big for one of their high level guards.
At the moment, the team most in need of strength at the guard spot is the Dallas Wings. They are without their heart and soul Skylar Diggins-Smith for a large chunk of the year due to pregnancy. However, they are also having to offload Australian superstar Liz Cambage.
I do not believe that Vegas will be able to land the Aussie as she has stated that she would prefer to go to the Los Angeles Sparks. However, they would do well to be the third team in on the biggest trade since Elena Delle Donne demanded a trade from the Chicago Sky. They may be able to add a piece which pushes them to contender status.
Who gets traded
At the moment I am assuming that McBride is untouchable. She is one of the top 25 scorers per game in the history od the league. It would take a player such as Nneka Ogwumike or Candace Parker to be included in the trade to make this happen. As a result, this leaves Rodgers, Plum, Jefferson and Young.
Given that Young has been recently drafted and her mid range game fits the shot profile of a Bill Laimbeer offence, it is unlikely that she will be traded. Rodgers has been traded for by the club to provide leadership and guidance of the bench as well as floor spacing.
This leaves only Plum and Jefferson as major trade pieces. Both players have their positives and negatives. Plum was the second leading scorer in college ball all time, behind on Pete Maravich for total points. This scoring prowess has not quite translated into the WNBA.
There is a good chance that with a change of system that Plum will recapture her college form and be a dominant force in the league. However, I do not think that Plum will be the first player the Aces will shop around. This honour will go to Jefferson.
Unfortunately, Jefferson has had her share of injury issues in her career, specificaly her knee problems. This should not stop a team like Dallas being interested in her as she is a good single season signing due to Diggins-Smith being out. There is a lot of upside to a team getting a healthy Jefferson.