3. Indiana Fever select Lauren Cox
It is easy to lose sight of what is directly in front of us. The conversation about Sabrina Ionescu shifted for a bit earlier this year, and I am convinced it was because Ionescu has been part of the national conversation for four years, with people always looking for something new. Well, the same effect seems to be happening with Lauren Cox, an emphasis on the questions about her mobility, her health. And so it’s important to remember: Lauren Cox is going to really help a WNBA team, and right away! She’s a top-notch rebounder, she gets blocks in bunches, often on the help side, she shoots it from anywhere, including beyond the three-point line. She’s an elite passer for her size, she seldom turns the ball over. Just imagine this Indiana front line. Who is scoring at the rim with Cox and Teaira McCowan protecting it? Who is defending McCowan one-on-one, and when the help comes, who is dealing with the endless good looks the Fever get from Cox and Victoria Vivians? This is a playoff team with Lauren Cox, period.
There are many scenarios, though, where Indiana doesn’t keep this pick. The easiest one to imagine is Dallas trading 5 and 7 for the 3, which would allow Greg Bibb to take both Sabally and Cox to anchor his frontcourt for years to come. A lot comes down to how much Indiana values Cox, which they should (see above), and whether Chennedy Carter is in play for them as well — remember, Erica Wheeler is in the final year of her contract, and some people wonder whether 2019 was an anomaly for her. Still, a 5/7 for 3 deal would allow Indiana to do something like take Ty Harris and Bella Alarie, for instance, and solve both the one and the four long-term. Don’t sleep on this pick moving.