The Fever continue making moves in a busy offseason
The Indiana Fever released forward Erica McCall and guard Paris Kea, the team announced Wednesday. The news comes during an offseason in which the Fever overhauled their coaching staff, hiring Marianne Stanley and April Schilling as their new head coach and assistant, respectively.
McCall was drafted No. 17 overall by the Fever in 2018 and was mostly a reserve player for the team, averaging just over 10 minutes per game in her three seasons with the team. She played in 79 games for the Fever and averaged 2.7 points and 2.4 rebounds per game. Last year, her minutes were reduced to 6.9 per game and as a result, her production dropped off.
At Stanford, McCall was twice named to the All-Pac-12 team and helped lead the team to three Pac-12 championships and twice to the Final Four of the NCAA Championship. McCall also has some talented basketball relatives; her father is the head coach of Cal State Bakersfield’s women’s basketball team, her younger brother, Justin, is currently a junior playing for CSUB and her sister is two-time WNBA champion DeWanna Bonner — who also happens to be married to seven-time All-Star Candice Dupree.
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“Erica has been an integral part of the Fever during her time with us,” Vice President of Basketball Operations and General Manager Tamika Catchings said as part of the team’s statement. “Her impact on the court and in the community was superb. This was a difficult decision as we continue to finalize our roster for the upcoming season.”
Kea was drafted by the Fever in the third round last year and made appearance in 11 games her rookie year. Before entering the league, she averaged 16.7 points, 3.8 assists and 3.3 rebounds per game in her last season at the University of North Carolina. She also became UNC’s second all-time scoring leader after averaging 18 points per game in her three years at the school. In the Fever’s backcourt that already had Kelsey Mitchell, Erica Wheeler, Tiffany Mitchell and Shenise Johnson, Kea didn’t see the court much, only playing 5.5 minutes per game and averaging 2.6 points.
Last season, Indiana finished with a 13-21 record, causing them to miss out on the playoffs for the third year in a row. However, there were some bright spots for the team. Wheeler not only was named to the All-Star team for the first time, but she also earned the title of MVP of the All-Star Game in Las Vegas. She averaged 10.1 points, 5 assists and 3 rebounds per game last season for the Fever. Wheeler also set a franchise record for most assists in a season after she finished with 175 on the year. Mitchell also had a strong year, averaging 13.6 points per game while attempting six three-pointers per contest. She finished second in the league with 79 made three-pointers last season.
In the 2020 Draft on Friday, the Fever took forward Lauren Cox third overall, guard Kathleen Doyle early in the second round and point guard Kamiah Smalls with the 28th pick. Looking ahead to this season, the Fever have a young, talented team that includes their draftees, Mitchell, former No. 3 overall pick Teaira McCowan and sharpshooter Victoria Vivians.
Currently, the team has 16 players on its roster — four more than the maximum allowed — so more moves are expected between now and the start of the season. With just 12 teams and 144 possible roster spots, the WNBA is one of the most competitive leagues in the world. Like the Fever, many other teams in the league will face some difficult decisions in the next few months when it comes to shrinking their rosters and managing cap space.
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