In a 12-team league, the WNBA doesn’t allow much room for error.
You have to hit your first-round pick or risk a playoff team scooping her up and continuing to rule the league.
The following three franchises have a lot of pressure to nail their first-round pick on April 16 to ensure they don’t have a repeat of 2011.
No. 4 Tulsa Shock (3-31)
The Shock finished with the worst record in the league yet landed the fifth pick because of two trades. They surrender the top pick to the LA Sparks and landed the fifth pick with a trade with San Antonio.
They could desperately use Stanford forward Nnemkadi Ogwumike, but she is not going to be on the board at No. 4. D’oh.
There isn’t a whole lot of talent on the team and landing a surefire pro like guard Samantha Prahalis from Ohio State would be a safe pick to ensure they improve on last year’s abysmal record.
No. 5 San Antonio Silver Stars (18-16)
When will guard Becky Hammon ever get any help?
The one-woman team needs to beef up their front line and landing a proven rebounder is a good start.
That means a player like Glory Johnson (Tennessee) or Courtney Hurt (VCU) should be on the top of their wish-list.
No. 8 and No. 10 Washington Mystics
The Mystics have been in the gutter for a few years now and if the team ever plans on getting back to the glory days of Chamique Holdsclaw they need to nail these two first-round picks.
Looking for a player with star potential that can sell tickets is the best move to make for the franchise.
That means players like Riquna Williams and Tiffany Hayes need to be on their radar. Both can score at will and look good doing so.
The Mystics can rebound quickly in 2012 if they get an outstanding return from their top picks.