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Seattle Storm the WNBA With Big Offseason Moves

Phoenix Mercury v Seattle Storm

(Photo : (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)) SEATTLE, WASHINGTON – JUNE 24: Jewell Loyd #24 of the Seattle Storm reacts during the third quarter against the Phoenix Mercury at Climate Pledge Arena on June 24, 2023 in Seattle, Washington.

A Storm is coming!

Now a season removed from the Breanna Stewart era for the Storm, Seattle’s lone professional basketball team is still acclimating to a life without the future Hall of Famer after a down year of missing the playoffs with an 11-29 record. 

After an offseason of significant signings including Nneka Ogwumike and Skylar Diggins-Smith, there are substantial expectations for the Seattle Storm to have a bounce-back year; possibly adding another WNBA Championship banner in the Climate Pledge Arena this season.

RELATED ARTICLE: New York Liberty Stars Set Goals for Another WNBA Finals Trip

Seattle Storm Offseason 

There’s a lot of excitement for the Storm heading into the 2024 season, and that has to do with a strong offseason fueled by some major signings and a perfect draft. 

Their first order of business was re-signing franchise cornerstone Jewell Loyd, who re-signed last September to a two-year deal with Seattle.

Loyd is the team’s heart and soul, and it showed last season when she led the WNBA in scoring. In the previous season, Jewell Loyd became an All-Star for the fifth time as she looks to take it to another level once again this year. 

Nneka Ogwumike, a top player in the WNBA and formerly with the Los Angeles Sparks, signed with the Seattle Storm during the offseason. Ogwumike, a WNBA MVP, has the potential to form a dynamic duo with Loyd, creating one of the best tandems in the league.

Before signing with the Storm, Nneka Ogwumike played 11 seasons in Los Angeles. 

Seattle is also adding more fuel to the fire by signing point guard Skylar Diggin-Smith.

Diggin-Smith missed last season due to maternity leave and will look to bounce back in a new environment. 

Although her time in Phoenix with the Mercury didn’t go as well as the six-time All-Star had hoped, she has a chance to remind the world again how talented she is.

In her WNBA career, Skylar Diggin-Smith has averaged 16.7 points, 5.0 assists, 2.9 rebounds, and 1.3 steals per game. 

In addition to these signings, the Storm took one of the steals in this year’s WNBA draft; Nika Muhl, who was taken with the 14th pick in the second round by Seattle. 

Muhl, who has experience playing with Connecticut under Geno Auriemma, played a major role in helping the Huskies become so formidable in the previous NCAA season.

Her defensive skills made her a two-time Big East Defensive Player of the Year, and she is a willing passer, breaking Sue Bird’s collegiate assist record at 686. 

READ MORE: WNBA Las Vegas Aces Hunting for a Three-Peat

Storming the Court 

All eyes will be on Strom after some major signings in free agency. How their new big three, Loyd, Diggins-Smith, and Ogwumike mesh together on the court is pivotal if the team hopes to stop juggernauts like the Las Vegas Aces and New York Liberty.

Storm head coach Noelle Quinn seemed optimistic about the team getting things clicking early during training camp.

“If we could get that chemistry accelerated, then I feel like the on-court stuff will be accelerated as well,” Quinn said via The Next. 

“Yes, there’s some reality to the fact that we’re new. It’s not going to happen overnight. But … we’re going to be disciplined in everything. We’re going to be competitive in the way in which we approach every single day,” she added. 

Other questions on the Seattle roster to consider are how All-Star center Ezi Magbegor, who came into her own last season as the starting center, will play and whether we will see more from Jordan Horston, who will likely be the starter as a small forward. 

Will Jade Melbourne and Dulcy Fankam-Mendjiadeu, who played minutes for the Storm last season, make the final roster? And what could we expect out of veteran Sami Whitcomb, who has made an impact on every team she has played for so far.

READ MORE: Sparks Set to Fly for LA’s Youthful WNBA Team

Seattle Storm vs. the World

There seems to be a stellar optimism surrounding the Storm how they stack up against other teams around the league, and the players know this.

“I think the exciting part obviously, is we have all of the pieces, I think people know that, but I think we’re not jumping ahead too far, either,” Sami Whitcomb explained to the press. 

“I think we know how hard it is to win in this league, even if you have a lot of talent. So I think we’re really trying to stay present and make sure we get the most out of every single training every single possession,” she added.

The Seattle Storm’s first real test will be on May 20th when they face up against the New York Liberty,  who are fresh off a WNBA Finals appearance.

READ MORE: Mercury’s Aging Stars Fight for One More WNBA Championship

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