The veteran free agent opted to remain with the Sparks.
Last offseason, Tierra Ruffin-Pratt made a big decision when she chose to sign with the Los Angeles Sparks. She left the Washington Mystics, the only team she’d ever played on in six years in the WNBA to that point.
A free agent once against this offseason, Ruffin-Pratt chose to re-sign with the Sparks. Throughout her seven-year career, she’s made a name for herself as one of the WNBA’s top glue players. She’s the type of player that doesn’t need the ball in her hands and doesn’t need to score to make an impact on the game.
In Washington, she emerged as a starter and she was able to carry that over to Los Angeles. She started in 33 of 34 games and all four of the Sparks playoff games. She was a dependable role player for the Sparks in the form of a 3&D player.
She shot a career-high 34.2 percent from the three-point line while continuing to play solid perimeter defense. She’s a versatile defender who can guard multiple positions.
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Heading into the 2020 season, it appears as if Ruffin-Pratt will have a little competition for the starting small forward spot with newly acquired Brittney Sykes, who brings a bit of a different skill-set to the lineup.
Sykes hasn’t proven to be quite the shooter that Ruffin-Pratt is, but she is more adept at being able to put the ball on the floor, attack the rim and get herself to the free-throw line. She is also a solid wing defensive player as well.
Should the Sparks opt to go with Sykes in the starting lineup, then Ruffin-Pratt will likely take over the role her mentor Alana Beard had before announcing her retirement. She’ll provide veteran leadership, defense and shooting off the bench.
It’s possible Ruffin-Pratt and Sykes could see time alongside each other in the lineup with one at small forward and the other at shooting guard, but for now, the starting backcourt appears to be Chelsea Gray and Kristi Toliver.
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