L.A. Sparks add first-round talent with later WNBA draft picks

Without a first-round pick in the draft, the Sparks made some solid selections with their second and third-round picks.

The Los Angeles Sparks headed into draft night with three picks (No. 20, 22, and 34) in the 2020 WNBA draft. The team already has the maximum number of players allowed on the roster at 12, but in a conference call with reporters last week Sparks assistant general manager Michael Fischer said the draftees will have an opportunity to make the final roster.

With the 20th pick in the draft, the Sparks selected Beatrice Mompremier out of the University of Miami. With the 22nd pick, they selected Leonie Fiebich from Germany, and with the 34th pick they selected Tynice Martin from West Virginia.

After the draft, they also signed Dominique McBryde from Arizona. In the case of Fiebich, she is likely a draft and stash candidate who they may look at somewhere down the line. Mompremier and Martin are both interesting players, however.

Mompremier was hampered by a foot injury last season, but she has a skill set that can thrive in today’s game. She is a mobile big who has a pretty solid back to the basket game. But she can also face up and shoot a little bit and she has worked on expanding her game to the three-point line.

She is also a solid defensive player and was a double-double threat in college. On a post-draft conference call with reporters, both Sparks assistant general manager Michael Fischer and head coach Derek Fisher spoke of Mompremier as a first-round talent.

“Her rebounding prowess is something that we’re looking forward to seeing in training camp. She’s a really versatile and really skilled player,” Fisher said. “We’re excited about her skill set and what she can do in terms of playing multiple positions.”

Martin was another player who was once projected to be a first-round talent. She had the option to declare for the 2019 draft but chose to return to West Virginia for her senior season.

She is a scoring guard who excels at creating her own shot on the perimeter whether it’s attacking her defender off the dribble or utilizing screens to free herself up for a jump shot.

“She was all-conference all four years at West Virginia, she was one of the most athletic guards,” Fischer said. “I couldn’t ask for a more perfect draft. I’m very excited with who we have here now.”

It might be a bit of an uphill climb for the new draftees to ultimately make the Sparks final roster, but as they said in their call last week, both Fisher and Fischer reiterated that they will have every opportunity to earn a roster spot.

“Oftentimes those young players who are hungry for an opportunity to make it, to prove themselves that they belong, they raise the level of everybody else,” Fisher said. “There are people that actually have guarantees that aren’t guaranteed. We’re just going to come to training camp and see how things work out. We drafted these players as if they’re talented enough to be on our roster.”

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