2. New York Liberty: Arike Ogunbowale, 5’8 G, Notre Dame
An amusing moment during the coach/GM teleconference this week? Katie Smith was asked whether she saw more value in drafting a guard or a big. “Value? I don’t really want to tip my hand,” Smith began, before Laimbeer interjected: “We all know who you’re picking.” The convential wisdom is that was Asia Durr, but I’m hearing that Ogunbowale has sizable support within the organization, particularly from Tina Charles. For a team that finished eleventh in offensive efficiency last season, there is a roadmap to improving that figure dramatically, and it is a lot of lineups with two-way threats Charles, Kia Nurse and Ogunbowale, surrounded by shooters and/or rim protectors. The roster is filled with both, frankly, and Nurse in year two should be even better. I shouldn’t have to sell you on Ogunbowale, who is “nearly unguardable” one-on-one, as Geno Auriemma put it, who is a strong three-point shooter, underrated passer (assist percentage of 19) and no stranger to the big stage. Listen closely, you can already hear what Barclays sounds like on nights Ogunbowale goes off.