With all the draft picks the New York Liberty took and all the trades it made last season, one thing they still need coming into this year’s WNBA draft is a true point guard. And as they prepare to pick sixth on Thursday, the franchise could remedy that issue.
Fresh off of leading Stanford to a National Championship last week, Kiana Williams would be a great fit with the Liberty. She grew tremendously during her time with the Cardinal, and averaged 14 points on 42 percent shooting this past season. In the NCAA Tournament, Williams overcame defense to impact games greatly in other areas and push her team to the final win to cap an historic year.
Drafting Williams would help New York transition into a Championship contender by pairing her alongside last year’s No. 1 pick, Sabrina Ionescu, who is rehabbed from an ankle injury that ended her season prematurely last summer. This could be a great matchup in the back court, as Williams has shown that she can play any role that she is placed in, whether that is a player who moves without the ball on offense, or as a dominant playmaker. Ionescu has played both point and shooting guard effectively, as well.
Newly-acquired guards include Sami Whitcomb, from the Seattle Storm, and last year’s most improved player Betnijah Laney. Forward Natasha Howard, signed after three years in Seattle, veteran guard Layshia Clarendon and veteran center Kiah Stokes should provide guiding presences to a youthful squad that featured seven rookies in 2020.
Can New York secure Williams with their first-round pick? If her name remains on the table by the time it’s their turn to select, the franchise would do well to snap her up.