In 2022, the Los Angeles Sparks missed the playoffs for the second season in a row. The result was a cleaning out of the organization: new coaches, general managers, and players. With the 2023 WNBA Draft just days away and the team having three picks to select, what will the Sparks’ approach be?
Los Angeles Sparks draft picks
- Round 1, Pick No. 10 (acquired in a trade with Connecticut Sun in January)
- Round 2 Pick No. 2 (14 overall)
- Round 3, Pick No. 2 (26 overall)
The Sparks’ first selection is at the 10th spot in the draft. Ashley Joens from Iowa State is an option that will likely be available at that spot. As an athletic wing, she can add shooting and spacing to the new-look Sparks. There is still uncertainty about how new head coach Curt Miller will want to play with this roster, but Joens shows promise and her 35 percent shooting from deep would be welcomed in Los Angeles.
Another potential option would be Zia Cooke from South Carolina. She is a dynamic guard who averaged 15.4 points during her senior campaign with the Gamecocks. Mock drafts have her going in the back half of the top ten or the mid-teens, but bringing a player from a winning program to training camp and having her compete with the Sparks’ guards would be intriguing to watch.
With the 14th pick, the Los Angeles Sparks select … Laeticia Amihere from South Carolina (potentially).
A defensive-minded forward who can add depth and versatility to the roster would be a great addition to the Sparks’ training camp roster. Amihere doesn’t have the best offensive numbers, averaging 7.1 points and 3.4 rebounds, but her rim protection and ability to guard positions 1 through 4 would be valuable to any WNBA team.
When drafting with the 26th pick, you are officially in a “take a flyer” position. LA is not at all certain if anything this deep in the draft will pan out, so what risks will Sparks general manager Karen Bryant take here?
Can you ever have too many guards? How about Keishana Washington from Drexel? She improved every season and ended her collegiate career with a career-high 27.7 points per game. Why not take a chance and see if her game can translate to the W? Brooke Flowers is another intriguing player. The center from Saint Louis is someone to keep an eye on. She nearly averaged a double-double with 12.2 points and 9.3 rebounds per game. One of her better games was against then-No. 21 Baylor: she had 13 points on 62.5 percent shooting and grabbed five rebounds.