What the Dallas Wings’ teaching rent means for the WNBA teaching carousel

The WNBA teaching carousel continued to spin Tuesday as a brand new head coach was employed for the second time in 11 days. The Dallas Wings have but to make it official, however Los Angeles Sparks assistant Latricia Trammell is predicted to take over the Wings.

Two teaching vacancies stay after Tuesday’s report and the Sparks’ Oct. 21 hiring of Curt Miller: the Connecticut Solar and the Indiana Fever.

Trammell was a longtime faculty and highschool coach earlier than transferring into the WNBA, and is thought for her strategic expertise. Underneath Vickie Johnson, the Wings had been a .500 group this season, which actually did represent progress. Primarily based on outcomes, it appeared as if Johnson deserved one other season. But when Johnson and the gamers weren’t connecting nicely, which has been speculated, then Trammell might want to deal with that immediately.

After his expertise as an assistant for one season in Los Angeles in 2015, Miller stated he would love an opportunity to be head coach of the Sparks. Would that also have been the case if the Solar had received a championship throughout his Connecticut tenure? Exhausting to say. However regardless of the Solar making the WNBA Finals this season, it appeared like each Miller and the group had been prepared to maneuver on.

Miller’s transfer began the offseason WNBA coaches carousel, and it is unsure how lengthy it is going to maintain spinning, particularly if different present WNBA head coaches are contemplating a transfer. We wait to see if the Fever and Solar make their selections earlier than or after the WNBA draft lottery on Nov. 11.

There are some acquainted names within the teaching rumor mill.

Pokey Chatman was a head coach for the Chicago Sky for six seasons, and for Indiana for 3. Chatman, who has lots of expertise growing younger gamers and took the Sky to the 2014 WNBA Finals, served as an assistant with the Seattle Storm this previous season.

Katie Smith, the previous WNBA standout who was head coach of the New York Liberty for 2018-19, has since been an assistant with the Minnesota Lynx. Possibly she’s prepared for a second probability as a head coach.

And would possibly Johnson additionally get a glance from one other group after main Dallas to the playoffs this 12 months earlier than being let go?

Take into account former NBA assistant Becky Hammon’s success in main the Las Vegas Aces to the WNBA title in her first season: May one in every of her former WNBA teammates, Teresa Weatherspoon, be a consideration to return to the league? Weatherspoon is presently an assistant for the NBA’s New Orleans Pelicans.

Talking of the Aces, Natalie Nakase hung out as an LA Clippers assistant within the NBA earlier than coming to work for Hammon as an Aces assistant this 12 months. She may be within the combine for a promotion with some group.

All these names — or none of them — might be the subsequent head coach of a WNBA group. This is a take a look at the place the teaching carousel is at proper now.

Trammell has lengthy been a candidate for a WNBA head-coaching job. Why is Dallas match for the longtime assistant?

Trammell appeared destined for a head-coaching job sooner or later. Now, she might want to work with Wings president/CEO Greg Bibb, who is thought to be very concerned with all decision-making. Trammel noticed some ups and downs in her 4 seasons with the Sparks, which can assist her. As will the truth that she has a few years of being in cost outdoors of the WNBA.

By way of the expertise obtainable to her, Arike Ogunbowale is beneath contract for the subsequent three seasons. She has been one of many league’s prime scorers (19.8 PPG in 4 seasons) and can flip 26 in March, so she’s nonetheless simply coming into her prime.



Arike Ogunbowale assaults the paint and knocks down a jumper for the Wings.

Ogunbowale handled accidents on the finish of this season and appeared for simply six minutes in a single playoff sport. Extra regarding, although, had been two incidents during which Ogunbowale kicked issues — the prolonged scorer’s desk in a single case, and a basketball in one other — throughout video games. Frustration is comprehensible, however these aren’t actions you wish to see out of your franchise participant. Trammell has to have the ability to click on with Ogunbowale but in addition command respect from her.

The Wings even have to determine if 2021 No. 1 draft decide Charli Collier actually has a future with the group. She averaged lower than 5 minutes per sport final season. Collier simply turned 23 in September, however she goes to need to get time on courtroom to show if she will play. — Voepel

Is Curt Miller the reply in Los Angeles? Why is he match for the Sparks as they attempt to get again to the playoffs?

Within the wake of the Derek Fisher period, the Sparks wanted a confirmed WNBA coach who can reestablish them as a vacation spot without spending a dime brokers after the departures of Chelsea Grey and Candace Parker. Miller’s monitor file of success with the Solar, together with a pair of journeys to the WNBA Finals, suits the invoice.

Though a rebuild would not make sense for a group that ought to nonetheless have Nneka Ogwumike — who can be an unrestricted free agent however indicated her need to return at season’s finish — Los Angeles should keep away from pricey gambles, like buying and selling what grew to become a lottery decide for Chennedy Carter and signing Liz Cambage final offseason.

So long as the Sparks have their home so as, the draw of L.A. must be enticing to free brokers. With solely Katie Lou Samuelson beneath contract for greater than $130,000 for 2023, per Her Hoop Stats, the Sparks can afford to deliver again Nneka and sister Chiney Ogwumike and add confirmed expertise this offseason. — Pelton

It occurs to many coaches as gamers tire of their voices after some time. I am not saying that is what occurred in Connecticut with Miller, but it surely appeared prefer it was time for a contemporary begin for him and the Solar. For that matter, the Sparks want a contemporary begin, too.

As Kevin stated, Miller’s monitor file with the Solar was excellent. He made a degree in an interview with ESPN when employed to say that he needs the gamers to be entrance and middle in Los Angeles, and praised Nneka Ogwumike’s management. The previous two years have not been a lot enjoyable for the Sparks. They not solely missed the playoffs however watched as two gamers who left as free brokers, Parker (Chicago) and Grey (Las Vegas), had been pivotal in bringing titles to their new groups.

One thing appears actually off when L.A. would not really feel like a desired vacation spot for gamers, and Miller ought to be capable to assist repair that fairly rapidly. — Voepel

What’s subsequent for Connecticut, and who’re the highest candidates to take over as head coach of the Solar?

Miller’s substitute will possible inherit a different-looking group. With 4 starters (DeWanna Bonner, Jonquel Jones, Alyssa Thomas and Jasmine Thomas) beneath protected contracts for at the least $190,000, Connecticut would possible need to commerce one in every of them with the intention to deliver again unrestricted free agent Brionna Jones.

Probably the most the Solar can supply Jones with these 4 gamers on the roster is $199,200, and that is in a state of affairs during which everybody else makes the league minimal for gamers with fewer than three years of service.

In each that call and the teaching search, I am to see the involvement of group president Jennifer Rizzotti, who has a training background on the faculty degree. May Rizzotti be a candidate for head coach? — Pelton

Properly, that will be an fascinating improvement, however at this level I do not suppose Rizzotti needs to return to teaching. The candidates talked about earlier all might be within the combine. The Solar’s window for a championship has been open the previous 4 seasons, and it looks like that ought to nonetheless be the case in 2023. However the franchise feels some weight in having gotten shut a number of instances with out successful. The brand new coach has to navigate that. — Voepel

What’s the most recent on the teaching emptiness in Indiana?

We’ll discover out subsequent week if the Fever get the No. 1 choice within the draft for the primary time in franchise historical past. In that case, Aliyah Boston of the South Carolina Gamecocks might be the highest decide, and Indiana would have a possible franchise-changing participant.

The group has wanted that since Tamika Catchings retired in 2016. It additionally hasn’t made the playoffs since, and she or he had some difficulties because the group’s normal supervisor earlier than she left the function. Longtime WNBA coach Marianne Stanley wasn’t the reply in Indiana, both: She took over in 2020 and was let go early final season. The group received three video games beneath interim coach Carlos Knox, and is now beginning over on the teaching entrance.

Former coach Lin Dunn got here again as normal supervisor and has stated she has a three-year plan to return to competitiveness. A giant a part of that plan this previous season was counting on very younger expertise, and that would be the case once more, irrespective of who’s teaching. — Voepel

What different teaching jobs ought to we be keeping track of?

The Phoenix Suns and Phoenix Mercury can be getting a brand new proprietor, which could additionally imply an analysis of Mercury coach Vanessa Nygaard. She had a really difficult first season within the WNBA, because the group handled Brittney Griner’s imprisonment in Russia, the departure of Tina Charles in June, Diana Taurasi’s late-season harm and Skylar Diggins-Smith leaving the group for private causes within the midst of a playoff push.

It was clear Diggins-Smith, who just lately introduced she is pregnant, and Nygaard did not see eye-to-eye. Diggins-Smith is beneath contract to the Mercury for subsequent season, however will she play in Phoenix or anyplace else? Will the Mercury’s new possession give Nygaard credit score for making the playoffs regardless of so many hurdles, or will it go a distinct course?

The Washington Mystics appear to have a fairly strong succession plan in place as longtime assistant Eric Thibault sooner or later is predicted to take over for his father, head coach Mike Thibault. There hasn’t been any indication it is going to occur earlier than subsequent season, but it surely’s nonetheless one thing to look at.

And is there any probability Minnesota’s Cheryl Reeve is perhaps lured elsewhere? Reeve has guided the Lynx since 2010 and received 4 WNBA titles. However with Sylvia Fowles having retired, the final of Minnesota’s championship core gamers is gone. Each the Lynx and NBA’s Timberwolves are additionally in an possession transition. Minnesota missed the playoffs this 12 months for the primary time since Reeve’s first season on the helm. However the Lynx will get franchise standout Napheesa Collier again in 2023 after she missed most of 2022 on maternity go away.

Reeve can also be GM for the Lynx and appears entrenched there. She can also be busy with the U.S. nationwide group as head coach. So whereas a transfer would not appear possible, a franchise seeking to make a serious assertion and a blockbuster rent might nonetheless try to pry her away. — Voepel