The Indiana Fever ended the 2022 season dead last in league standings with a 5-31 record. Indiana has missed the postseason for the sixth straight season.
The Fever entered the offseason with plenty of questions regarding what’s next. However, one question that has been answered is who will be at the helm as head coach next season.
Rebuilding the Fever
Last Friday, Indiana named Christie Sides as their 9th head coach in franchise history. Sides will be able to provide structure, accountability, and detail to this young roster.
Indiana General Manager Lin Dunn is ready to shift the culture of the franchise. The Fever have not won more than 10 games for the last three seasons. Not to mention, the organization is almost a decade removed from their championship year (2012). Despite the lack of success over the years, the team has made a few moves in the right direction.
Indiana’s new core?
Contrary to belief, Indiana had a strong 2022 Draft which was propelled by trading Teaira McCowan, the 2022 No. 7 overall pick, and Chicago’s 2023 first-round pick to Dallas for the No. 4 and No.6 pick in last year’s draft.
In 2022, the Fever drafted NaLyssa Smith (2nd overall), Emily Engstler (4th overall), Lexie Hull (6th), Queen Egbo(10th), and Destanni Henderson (20th). All five rookies instantly contributed and showed flashes of potential at the next level.
Here are three goals the Fever should focus on this offseason to have a better 2023 season.
1. Continue to build through the draft and offseason
Indiana walked away from the 2022 WNBA Draft with a strong win. In order to continue to rebuild effectively, the franchise needs a repeat of the last draft.
This Friday at 5:30 p.m. ET, the 2023 WNBA Draft Lottery will be taking place on ESPN. Since Indiana has the worst combined record over the last two seasons (11-57), they have a 44 percent chance of receiving the first-round pick.
Even if Indiana doesn’t win the first overall pick, they are guaranteed to receive the third overall pick in the worst-case scenario. If the Fever receive the No.1 overall pick, it can change the course of the franchise. Currently, the top three projected selections of the 2023 Draft are Aliyah Boston (South Carolina), Diamond Miller (Maryland), and Haley Jones (Stanford).
WNBA 2023 Draft
All current college prospects can rotate in the mock draft except for Boston. Needless to say, Boston can change anyone’s franchise with her overall dominance, IQ, feel for the game, and high motor.
Indiana is set for another repeat of a successful draft no matter what pick they land in the lottery.
Successful franchises build through the draft and free agency. In order to improve for 2023, the Fever may have to let long-time guard Tiffany Mitchell go.
Although Mitchell shot a career-high percentage this past season, her point production has gone down. Her role has changed with the recent drafting of Destanni Henderson and the ascension of Kelsey Mitchell.
Indiana rebuild continues
A bench role could potentially work for Tiffany, but the team needs more scoring and she could thrive with another team. Another player that the franchise needs to let test the market is Victoria Vivians. Despite her versatility on the floor, the team needs more consistent scoring.
Last season, the franchise struggled to score with other teams late in games. By drafting young talent, this team plans to speed up the offensive tempo.
This season will be for rebuilding and laying the foundation for years to come.