7. Los Angeles Sparks: Ezi Magbegor, 6’4 F/C, Australia
If there’s one thing that’s certain, it is that Brian Agler understands how and when to evolve. And after a 2018 season in which the Sparks finished 19-15, there are likely to be changes afoot. Agler knew this when he and general manager Penny Toler picked Maria Vadeeva last year, a potential star of the next great Sparks team. And those changes are likely to be expedited thanks to a salary picture that is going to force some roster maneuvering regardless, finding a way to re-sign free agents like Riquna Willams, Odyssey Sims, Essence Carson, Chelsea Gray (she’s going to get PAID this offseason) and Alana Beard, should she return (please return, Alana) while staying below the league’s salary cap might be a bridge too far.
But there’s the outline of that next Sparks team, built around Gray, Vadeeva, a healthy Sydney Wiese and potentially, the ultra-talented Ezi Magbegor, versatile enough to play next to Liz Cambage for Australia, big enough to handle defending international bigs already, and still just 19 years old. There’s not a pathway to transitioning in L.A. yet, nor should there be with Candace Parker still dominant and Nneka Ogwumike just 28. Magbegor can learn from Nneka, caddy for her for now, and by the time her rookie contract is up, well, the Sparks could have themselves another Nneka.