MINNEAPOLIS, MN - OCTOBER 5: Angel McCoughtry #35 of the Atlanta Dream brings the ball down court against Taj McWilliams-Franklin #8 of the Minnesota Lynx in the second quarter in Game Two of the 2011 WNBA Finals on October 5, 2011 at Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
Lets turn our attention to a league that isn't locked out and only played a short season because it was scheduled that way.
With the WNBA season concluded, the Atlanta Dream will soon turn its attention to next season as it will once again begin a quest to bring home a WNBA championship to Atlanta. Perhaps the third time will be the charm for Marynell Meadors and her squad and hopefully the 2012 season will bring a lot less adversity.
According to a recent story by Michael Cunningham in the AJC, the Dream have four players under contract for next season. The team plans to exercise its contract option on All-Star forward Angel McCoughtry, and Lindsey Harding, Shalee Lehning and Sancho Lyttle all have deals with the club for next season. Lehning missed most of the 2011 season with a knee injury but is said to be doing well in recovery. Sancho Lyttle signed a contract extension with the Dream just before the playoffs began.
Key free agents for the team include, center Erika de Souza, Armintie Price and Iziane Castro Marques. It is likely that the club will look to re-sign both Erika de Souza and Armintie Price but its less certain with Castro Marques who struggled for the most part in 2011. Meadors said in the AJC article that she would look to add a center in free agency before next season.
Another area where Atlanta could improve is on the perimeter. The Dream was hardly a three-point threat in 2011 and the presence of a long distance shooter could make their offense that much more dynamic.
With just four players under contract for next season, the Atlanta Dream could look very much different should Meadors decide to retool the roster. The pillars of the franchise are in place for 2012 with Harding, McCoughtry and Lyttle. Meadors is now faced with the task of finding the right players to surround the core group to keep the team playing at a high level.