Where the Las Vegas Aces, Connecticut Sun and every other team check in

Uncasville, Connecticut – The 2022 WNBA season ended with the distinction of winning its first title. The Las Vegas Aceswho grew up as the Utah Starzz when he made his WNBA debut in 1997, won the championship on Sunday, defeating the Connecticut Sun 3-1 in the WNBA Finals, the Aces show no signs of slowing down for 2023.

Two of the biggest WNBA legends – Seattle Storm Su Bird guard and Minnesota Linux Sylvia Fowles Center – Retired. This season, we will wait to see if there are two more famous players, Chicago Sky Candice Parker Phoenix Mercury Diana Taurasiwill return in 2023. The league and its players will continue to think about the Phoenix Center Britney Greinerwho has been imprisoned in Russia since February.

At least two head coaches must be appointed, in order to Los Angeles Sparks And the Indiana fever. After another tough season, Fever will be waiting for Draft Draft, where they will see if they will finally get the first pick for the first time in franchise history.

We update the WNBA Power Rankings every Monday of the regular season. Here we list where the teams were in the regular season final standings a little over a month ago and where we expect they could start the 2023 season – knowing that a lot can change with trades, free agency, draft rules and prioritization that can affect season eligibility players depending on their commitments. external.

MORE: Complete WNBA Finals coverage

1. Las Vegas Aces
2022 record: 10–26
Result: WNBA Champion
Regular Season Final Power Ranking: 2

Ace celebrates a five-core championship Aja WilsonAnd the Chelsea GrayAnd the Kelsey BloomAnd the Jacky Young And the Derica Hampi Those aged 30 or younger (Gray turns 30 on October 8) on contract for next season. Depth has been pointed to by many observers as a potential problem this season, but it didn’t stop the Aces from winning the Commissioner’s Cup of the season and the overall title. Can they now become the first WNBA team to repeat since Los Angeles in 2001 and 2002?

2. Connecticut Sun
2022 record: 11-25
Result: Lost to Las Vegas in the WNBA Finals
Regular Season Final Power Ranking: 3

Considering that they were without a public ground Jasmine Thomas (ACL) For nearly all of the season, Sun has nothing to hang their heads on with second place. However, this is the fourth time the franchise has lost in the finals (the others were 2004, 2005 and 2019) and they have some concerns about next season’s personnel. Will they be able to move forward Briona Jonesthe sixth woman of the season, guard Courtney WilliamsWho are both unfettered free agents? Regardless, with Jonquil JonesAnd the Alyssa Thomas And the Bonner’s office Once again, they should be strong contenders once again.

3. Sophia Washington
2022 record: 14-22
Result: Lost to Seattle in the first round
Regular Season Final Power Ranking: 5

Mystics rested strategically star Elena Delle Donne Throughout the regular season due to her back issues, the plan worked, averaging 17.2 points and 6.3 rebounds while playing 25 games. When you can play, Delle Donne is one of the best offensive players in the WNBA. But she’s now 33, so her presence – with a history of her back injury – will likely be somewhat restrictive for the rest of her career. Washington’s top five scorers in 2022 – Daily Dawn, Ariel AtkinsAnd the Natasha CloudAnd the Misha Heinz Allen And the Shakira Austin They are all contracted for next season.

4. Seattle Storm
2022 record: 14-22
Result: Lost to Las Vegas in the semi-finals
Regular season final strength ranking: 4

We’re rolling the dice and storming this high, because things could look drastically different by next season. As my colleague Kevin Bilton wrote recently, the Storm faces an uncertain future. Bird has been the team leader for two decades, and no one will ever replace her. but forward Brianna Stewart, the free agent at the beginning of her career, is irreplaceable. Altogether, there are seven free agents and guards Joel Lloyd He is the only major player from 2022 on contract for next season. Stewart’s comeback will be much stronger. But if it doesn’t come back, the storm will start next season dropping a lot less.

5. Chicago Sky
2022 record: 10–26
Result: Lost to Connecticut State in the semi-finals
Regular season final strength ranking: 1

For a long time, the sky will once again live the nightmare of the last four minutes of Game Five against the Sun, wondering how that game, that streak and their chances of repeating in a terrible, goalless period got away with it. But coach/general manager James Wade has a lot of work to do in the off-season. As with Seattle, the sky may not be that high in the power ratings next season if it looks completely different. Will Parker return? How about the tallest player in the series, Courtney VanderslotAnd her wife is a fellow keeper Ali Quigley? Kolaya copper He is the main player that Sky has signed for 2023.

6. New York Liberty
2022 record: 16-20
Result: Lost to Chicago in the first round
Regular season final strength ranking: 10

We’re optimistic about Liberty based on the best things we’ve seen from them this season, on guard Sabrina Unescu It broke through to be the kind of triple-double threat we were expecting. Liberty’s core players are on contract, and will have a year of playing in coach Sandy Brundello’s system. Liberty will certainly keep trying to improve in the off-season, but this team may be ready to take a positive step forward that includes a longer playoff.

7. Dallas Suites
2022 record: 18-18
Result: Lost to Connecticut State in the first round
Regular season final strength ranking: 6

The Wings were the only .500 team in the WNBA in 2022, and this was a step in the right direction for Dallas. Eric Ogunpoel He was injured at the end of the season and was unable to participate in the playoffs, but Dallas pushed the Sun to three games in his series. But can Dallas break into that group of title contenders, rather than just being a team that can make the playoffs? straight ahead Isabel Harrison It is an unrestricted free proxy. Protect Marina Mabrywho took on a great leadership role especially when Ogunbowale was injured, and middle Tierra McEwan, who continued to improve as the season went on, became restricted free agents. It would be advantageous for the Wings to approach a full season in 2023 from the front Sato SabaliWhich was credited every year for three years in the league with injuries.

8. Atlanta Dream
2022 record: 14-22
Result: missed out on the qualifiers
Regular Season Final Power Ranking: 8

With a new coach in Tanesha Wright, a mostly young team and a veteran goalkeeper Tiffany Hayes Limited to 11 matches, it wasn’t reasonably expected from Dream in 2022. However, they almost booked a playoff spot, thanks in large part to the Rookie of the Year season from the goalkeeper. Ryan HowardDraft Choice #1. She quickly answered any questions people might have about how well she’s adapting to the professional game. This was a great squad, a great story for one year in the WNBA but not something you want to build a franchise over the long term. Young players like Howard, Ari MacDonald And the Naz Helmon It competes with a lot of energy, but general manager Dan Badover has work to do in the off-season to add even more talent.

9. Minnesota Linux
2022 record: 14-22
Result: missed out on the qualifiers
Regular Season Final Power Ranking: 9

Pretty much everything that could go wrong last season for the Fowls has gone wrong, yet Lynx wasn’t disqualified from the final until the last day of the regular season. Coach/GM Sheryl Reeve was candid in her post-season assessment that a lot of the buttons she tried to push for 2022 in terms of roster building didn’t work. Also, forward Nafisa Collier She played only four matches in 2022 after she gave birth to her daughter. It is expected to return to normal in 2023. Collier, Kayla McBride And the Air Force All are under contract for 2023, but the Lynx will need more help inside. Going back after the season would be a very positive step. The things that Lynx had just expected in their dynasty years could not be taken for granted anymore.

10. Phoenix Mercury
2022 record: 15-21
Result: Lost to Las Vegas in the first round
Regular season final strength ranking: 7

Even if you don’t take into account the fact that the Mercury Greiner star was in prison thousands of miles away, it’s been a season full of drama for Phoenix. From Tina Charles’ mid-season divorce, to Torres’ injury late in the season, to Skylar Diggins Smith He left the team for personal reasons while Mercury was fighting for a playoff place, first-year coach Vanessa Nygaard Her hands were full. Diggins Smith, Diamond DeShields And the Brianna Turner They are Mercury players under contract for 2023. It seems hard to believe that Diggins-Smith and Nygaard could co-exist for another season, so what will Mercury do about it?

11. Indiana fever
2022 record: 5-31
Result: missed out on the qualifiers
Regular Season Final Power Ranking: 12

The Fever parted ways with coach Marian Stanley early in the 2022 season, but it didn’t change anything. Indiana was very young, and while Team Fever struggled to at least challenge the teams, they didn’t have the cutting-edge talent to do so. Their next coach should help nurture that growth in 2023. No. 2 in draft pick Nalissa Smith He’s had a solid season (13.5 PPG, 7.9 RPG), but Fever needs the lottery to go his way so he can add a potential franchise-changing player like another player in South Carolina. High Boston.

12. Los Angeles Sparks
2022 record: >13-23
Result: missed out on the qualifiers
Regular season final strength ranking: 11

Sparks has only two key players on contract for next season Shenedy Carter forward Katie Lou Samuelson – Neither of them scored a double-digit average in 2022. The face of the franchise Nika Ogomec Among the unrestricted free agents. With so much to discover, you might think Sparks would feel an urgency to hire a new GM—but you never know about the franchise. The position has not been filled at Sparks since coach/general manager Derek Fisher was fired in June. Will Sparks try to replace Coach/GM with one person again, or will she hire for both jobs? Prior to 2021-22, Sparks had not missed the playoffs for two consecutive years since 1997-98, the first two seasons in the league. The franchise appears to be at a crossroads now.

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