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Los Angeles Sparks draft needs season preview: Veterans chasing one last ring

The Sparks added some veteran presence with championship pedigree to try and bring the title back to Tinseltown.

The Los Angeles Sparks huddles up against the Connecticut Sun before Game Three of the 2019 WNBA Semifinals on September 22, 2019 at the Walter Pyramid in Long Beach, California  Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images

The LA Sparks under first year coach Derek Fisher finished atop the WNBA’s Western Conference last season, but were swept out of the playoffs by the Connecticut Sun in three games, none of which were particularly close.

It forced one of the league’s marquee franchises to hit a reset button, trading the promising Kalani Brown for immediate help, and signing two players that can contribute right away.

WNBA title odds: 9/2 (Westgate Superbook)

Offseason moves

The Sparks brought Kristi Toliver home after winning a championship in Washington last season. She also won a ring with the Sparks playing in LA from 2010-16. Her 13.0 points and 6.0 assists will add the guard play LA needs, and she’ll have more options with one of the greats in women’s basketball history in Seimone Augustus coming over from Minnesota. Augustus leaves Minnesota for the first time following a 14-year career in Minneapolis, including eight All-Star appearances and four championships.

Additions

Kristi Toliver (free agency)
Seimone Augustus (free agency)
Brittney Sykes (via trade with Atlanta)
Marie Gülich (via trade with Atlanta)

Departures

Kalani Brown

2020 WNBA Draft

Picks

No 1st round pick
2nd, #8 (20th overall)
2nd, #10 (22nd overall)
3rd, #10 (34th overall)

Needs

With all the veteran talent including Nneka Ogwumike the Sparks have, they could use youth with some bounce and energy. Mikiah Herbert Harrigan of South Carolina or Kalia Charles of Maryland might be a great fit if available.