Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Vulture Culture, or "What Happens to Sacramento"

Let's assume for the sake of argument that Sacramento will not relocate, because if they do it makes the following exercise useful only as a thought exercises. Already, fans are asking, "what happens to Sacramento's players?" They've already asked on the Atlanta Dream Message Board; they will ask elsewhere.

It all seems a bit untoward. It undoubtedly reminds Sacramento fans of the scene in A Christmas Carol where Scrooge's former servants are covetously divvying up his personal effects before the body isn't even cold. And in the case of Sacramento, the body isn't even dead yet - it's on life support with the family perched about the bed and someone waiting for a miracle cure.

The problem with sports franchises is that they are not islands in themselves. If Sacramento expires, this means a "dispersal draft". This is how we got Sancho Lyttle in Atlanta. The former players of Sacramento are divvied up among the teams of the WNBA, in the order of worst finish to best finish. The order would go thusly:

1. New York
2. Minnesota
3. Connecticut
4. Chicago
5. San Antonio
6. Washington
7. Tulsa
8. Los Angeles
9. Atlanta
10. Seattle
11. Indiana
12. Phoenix

Note that Sacramento technically only has 11 players to distribute. That leaves Phoenix out.

Furthermore, three of Sacramento players - Hamchétou Maïga-Ba, Kara Lawson, and Ticha Penicheiro - are unrestricted free agents and immune to a dispersal draft. Which knocks out Indiana, Seattle...and Atlanta. Unless Atlanta decides to sign a free agent, Sacramento's loss will not be Atlanta's gain.

So where do the other eight players go? If we assume that teams will draft for the best players available and not draft for need, here's how I see it going:

1. New York: Rebekkah Brunson
2. Minnesota: Nicole Powell
3. Connecticut: Courtney Paris
4. Chicago: Laura Harper
5. San Antonio: DeMya Walker
6. Washington: Kristin Haynie
7. Tulsa: Chelsea Newton
8. Los Angeles: Scholanda Robinson
9. Atlanta: pass
10. Seattle: pass
11. Indiana: pass
12. Phoenix: pass

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I wonder if a possible dispersal draft of Sacramento players may be affected by the fact that Tulsa looks to be losing two of the players it thought it would get from Detroit? The league may have to adjust picks or something so as not to unfairly penalize the people who just bought into the WNBA.