2018 Chicago Sky Training Camp Breakdown

Perhaps no WNBA team heads into 2018 with more questions than the Chicago Sky. Under new management in 2017, they missed the playoffs for the first time in five seasons.

Perhaps no WNBA team heads into 2018 with more questions than the Chicago Sky. Under new management in 2017, they missed the playoffs for the first time in five seasons. The silver lining to the disappointment was a pair of draft lottery picks, but this isn’t just a plug-and-play scenario; newcomers Diamond DeShields and Gabby Williams will need to quickly establish themselves in Chicago’s rotation for the team to compete. These heralded rookies aren’t the only Sky players to keep an eye on this preseason, either. Let’s take a quick look at what Amber Stocks currently has to work with as the Sky attempt to reload and get back into contention.

Courtney Vandersloot

Arguably the best point guard in the WNBA and the face of the Sky franchise, Vandersloot will miss a significant chunk of training camp while playing for Turkish club Yakin Dogu. When she returns, expect her to start and play heavy minutes.

Allie Quigley

The sharpshooting DePaul product and two-time WNBA Sixth Woman of the Year is an integral part of Chicago’s offense. Quigley shot 43% from deep last season (good for 4th in the league) and figures to get plenty of minutes alongside Vandersloot when the regular season begins.

Stefanie Dolson

Dolson was the centerpiece of the trade that sent Elena Delle Donne to Washington last offseason, and she rewarded the Sky with a 60.5% eFG% and her second All-Star appearance. Her shooting and passing make her a lock for a starting frontcourt spot.

Kahleah Copper

The main beneficiary from last season’s midseason trade that sent Tamera Young and Imani McGee-Stafford to Atlanta, Copper’s minutes took a leap in August and September. The uber-athletic wing’s spot on the roster is secure, though she might be splitting minutes with Williams and DeShields when those two players get up to speed.

Cheyenne Parker

After losing Jessica Breland to free agency, the Sky’s power forward position is up for grabs. Parker should get the first crack at it. She’s tall, strong, and extremely active on the glass, but will need to show an expanded offensive skillset to complement Dolson.

Jamierra Faulkner

Faulkner injured her ACL last offseason, and the Sky’s guard depth took a significant hit as a result. One of the speediest players in the league, Faulkner is deadly in dribble penetration, and Chicago’s transition game will instantly get a boost with her back on the court.

Diamond DeShields

The talented DeShields was the first of two lottery picks selected by the Sky in this year’s Draft. Like Vandersloot, she’ll arrive late to training camp (coincidentally, she’s actually playing against Vandersloot for Cukurova in the Turkish League semifinals), so some catch-up time will be necessary.

Gabby Williams

Williams was selected immediately after DeShields and figures to provide a versatile, active defensive presence to the Sky lineup. She’s just 5’11”, but her athleticism and instincts allow her to excel despite that. Where Williams will fit offensively is a question (3-point shooting was not her strength in college), but her activity certainly is not.

Alex Montgomery

The veteran wing signed with Chicago late in free agency, and will likely be asked to bring toughness and leadership off the bench. Her minutes may be limited because of how crowded the Sky’s perimeter situation is, but she has a good shot at making the roster regardless because of how young the rest of Chicago’s core is. 

Alaina Coates

Selected at #2 overall by the Sky in the 2017 Draft, Coates missed the entirety of last season while rehabbing a foot injury. The 6’4” center is healthy now and gives Stocks a strong, mobile rebounder and pick-and-roll target. She’ll likely anchor the Sky’s second unit for the time being. 

Adut Bulgak

Signed late last season as an injury replacement, Bulgak will now get the opportunity to make the Sky’s opening day roster The stretch forward from Florida State brings length and an outside shot to the table, and given the Sky’s lack of depth in the frontcourt, her chances of making the final cut are good.

Jordan Hooper

3-point shooting is what Hooper excels at. She’s put up a ridiculous career 3Pr of .736, and it would be unwise to think that her role on this team would change now. With the Sky investing so heavily in perimeter players this offseason, though, a roster spot for Hooper may not be guaranteed.

Astou Ndour

We last saw Ndour in the WNBA in 2016, when she played for the San Antonio Stars. The lanky Ndour is extremely skilled for a player who is 6’5”, but her Spanish national team commitments have made her a rare show since her debut in 2014. Still, the Sky’s frontcourt situation should at least warrant her a look when she returns from playing in Italy.

Amarah Coleman

The Sky used their 2018 third-round pick on Coleman, who comes out of DePaul as a hometown favorite. As with most Blue Demon products, Coleman is no stranger to pace and shooting, though she remains a long shot to make the team.

Ameryst Alston

The Ohio State product had very brief stints with New York in 2016 and 2017, but hasn’t been able to stick with a WNBA team since then. With Vandersloot out of the country for the immediate future, this could be the chance Alston needs; her ability to score has never been in doubt, and if she can show that she can run a WNBA team, she could be a dark horse to make the final Sky roster.

Chelsea Hopkins

Like Alston, Hopkins is a guard who has bounced around from team to team, but has never gotten an extended shot in the WNBA. She’s had plenty of success overseas (nearly averaging a triple-double in Israel from 2016-2017), and this could be her best opportunity yet to prove herself in the States.

Renee Bennett

Bennett was signed recently to Sky camp after the team waived center Amber Harris. The Ball State product just finished up her Spanish season playing for Valencia. There’s not much indication that she has a chance at making the team, however.

Linnae Harper

This native Chicagoan signed with the Sky as an undrafted free agent. A versatile athlete coming out of Ohio State, Harper might have a better chance to crack the Sky's roster as a point guard, where she's been playing most of her minutes this preseason.

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