Storm briefly acquire #1 pick in WNBA Draft, end up with Samuelson, Herbert, Talbot

by Kevin Nesgoda


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When WNBA free agency kicked off on February 1, the Storm immediately lost a major piece of their 2020 Championship team when forward Alysha Clark signed with the Washington Mystics. The Storm today made a big move of their own, acquiring the #1 pick in the 2021 WNBA Draft. The price? Natasha Howard, the 2019 Defensive Player of the Year.

The sign-and-trade deal will see Howard make $215,000 in 2021, $221,450 in 2022, $227,900 in 2023, and $234,350 in 2024.

The Storm also received a 2022 first and second round pick in the deal. The team additionally sent guard Sami Whitcomb to New York for forward Stephanie Talbot. In a separate trade, the Storm acquired Mikiah Herbert Harrigan from Minnesota in exchange for a 2022 first round pick. Harrigan was the sixth overall pick in last year’s draft.

In YET ANOTHER deal, the Storm turned around and traded the #1 overall pick to the Dallas Wings in exchange for forward Katie Lou Samuelson and a 2022 second round pick. Samuelson averaged 5.0 points and 2.0 rebounds last year, leading many (myself included) to wonder why Seattle would send the first overall pick for her. They must be very unimpressed by this year’s class. The Storm still have their own first round pick, eleventh overall.

Earlier in the week, the Storm signed veteran forward Candice Dupree. Dupree is a seven-time WNBA All-Star and won the 2014 WNBA Championship with the Phoenix Mercury. Dupree has averaged 14.4 points and 6.6 rebounds per game in her career.

“Candice brings championship experience and has been an impact player in the WNBA during her entire career,” Storm CEO and General Manager Alisha Valavanis said. “We are excited to welcome Candice to Storm basketball.”

The WNBA has yet to set dates for either the draft or the beginning of the season. We’ll see if the Storm are done dealing or if there is more to come. Stay tuned.

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