After the San Antonio Stars chose Kelsey Plum out of Washington with the number one overall draft pick, much of the expected conversation was expected to be how she may be the next big star in the WNBA.
It was also expected to translate into how Plum could be the first building block into building the Stars into a contender—as was expected with Breanna Stewart last year when she was chosen with the number one overall pick by the Seattle Storm.
It was not expected that the conversation would go into possible tension between those close to Plum and the organization.
There was plenty of speculation leading up to the draft that another team would potentially trade up to the top pick. With the Stars in prime position to take what many considered to be the draft’s best player, Ruth Riley had to have received a plethora of phone calls.
Kelsey Plum on trade rumors: “If San Antonio wants to keep me great, if they want to trade me great. I just want to play” #WNBADraft
— Adam Grosbard (@AdamGrosbard) April 14, 2017
Kelsey Plum picked first by San Antonio — now we have to see if they’ll keep her or trade her.
— Lindsay Gibbs (@linzsports) April 13, 2017
Plum, prior to the draft, was one of the first prospects out of college to sign with an agent as she signed with Wasserman’s Lindsay Kagawa Colas. That agent ripped the Stars over reported trade talks involving Plum (as well as how to use Plum when she’s on the floor) when she spoke with Howard Megdal.
You don’t take Kyrie Irving, John Wall, Sue Bird, or Derrick Rose to play the two. This is a woman who has twice been selected for USA Basketball as a point guard and broke the NCAA scoring record as a 1—and you’re going to ask her to essentially change positions?
–Lindsay Kagawa Colas per Howard Megdal
Plum will sign with San Antonio, but the season starts in three weeks and training camp commences in a few days—and it appears we may already have one of our first new storylines for the 2017 season.
Either way the Stars appear to be in a tough spot. The player a team drafts with the first overall pick is not supposed to be simply a role player to fit in an offense. That player is supposed to be a potential franchise changer. The Stars, coming off two seasons where they have won a total of 15 games, are in need of just that. Plum, with her college resume, has the potential to be just that.
Every playoff team from last year won a total of 15 games just last year alone.
It will be something to see as the season plays out how things are turning out and how it may affect Plum’s play. But, if Colas, or even Plum herself, believes that Riley, along with head coach Vicki Johnson are continuing to put Plum in a tough scenario, it only puts the Stars as an organization under more scrutiny.
Be sure to check out our Instagram page (@BeyondTheW) for more of the behind the scenes sights and sounds from the 2017 WNBA Draft!