Saturday, April 11, 2009
One day the Commissioner is shaking hands with you, the next....
Initially, the Atlanta Dream had two picks in the second round for the 2009 WNBA Draft. With roster sizes being cut from 13 to 11 and with the chances of non-veterans making a team diminishing, that second second-round pick became one pick too many. Enter Trader Bill Laimbeer, who needed a second-round draft pick that we just happened to have and wanted to get rid of.
Therefore, he traded Ashley Shields to us. Detroit used their brand-new second round pick to pick up Britany Miller, formerly of Florida State and now of Valosun in the Czech Republic.
So who is Ashley Shields? Shields was a first-round Draft Pick in the 2007 WNBA Draft by the Houston Comets, and was probably one of the reasons there isn't a Houston Comets anymore. She was a guard chosen out of Southwest Tennessee Community College; I have no idea if she graduated.
I'll look at Shields by Wins Score and by John Hollinger's PER. In Career Wins Score, she is fourth from the bottom in WNBA history - and since Wins Score is an additive metric that takes away points for doing bad things, she has a worse score than those players that literally played for just a few minutes. The only active player worse than Ashley Shields is Tan White. Most likely, Shield's low rating comes from her horrible 27.5 percent percentage shooting inside the 3-point line - she's 34.5 percent shooting from behind it. Her 72.8 percent free throw percentage isn't that impressive.
Both of these are what we euphemistically call "below replacement level". Let me put it this way - Shield's PER for 2008 was below that of Chioma Nnamaka. In 2007, it was above Chioma Nnamaka's 2008 stats, but that was the only player on the 2008 Dream she was above.
I suspect - strongly - that Ashley Shields will not see her way on a Dream roster, unless the Dream either a) knows something about the talents of Ashley Shields that two franchises weren't able to see, or more likely b) have lost their damn minds. We basically burned the second round pick; I'll guess we'll know for sure when those training camp invites come out.