With the signing of Alex Montgomery, the Chicago Sky showed they are more than just making up the numbers this season.
By Matt Hallett
The Chicago Sky are looking to make an impact on the 2018 season. They will debut the number two pick from last year Alaina Coates. They have the third and fourth picks in this year's very deep draft.
With all of this excitement and potential, coupled with the top class players the Sky have, it could be easy to miss the signing of Alex Montgomery. However, miss this at your own peril.
The biggest weakness for the Sky is at the 3. Last season Tamera Young started there before being traded. Kahleah Copper replaced Young after the trade but this position could be the difference between becoming a playoff team or missing out.
Enter Alex Montgomery. For those who don't know, Montgomery spent her first four seasons at the New York Liberty. Under this regime, you either play defense or sit on the bench. Fortunately for Montgomery, she is quite a good defender.
Montgomery then played three seasons for the San Antonio Stars. Last season for the Stars, Montgomery started 31 of 34 games. This was due to her defense. She did average 6.0 points per game which is a nice complimentary piece.
However, Montgomery averaged 5.7 rebounds per game. This was second on the team, behind only Isabelle Harrison who averaged 6.4 per game and 21st in the league.
Rebounding aside, Montgomery has many potential benefits. With her starting at the 3, there is going to be a greater defensive presence on the court. The Sky are a transition offense team and Montgomery will fit this offense like she did in San Antonio. However, defensively Montgomery will stop some of the hemorrhaging from the Sky.
As she is not a prolific 3-point shooter, Montgomery will be inside fighting for the rebounds. Hopefully this will help increase her rebounding percentage up from 14.2 percent of all rebounds while she is on the floor.
Montgomery will also be a great mentor for any young forward drafted with a high pick. She will provide them a good grounding of how to play in the WNBA. Montgomery already coaches a team in the off-season.
This is mainly so she can stay close to her family but it will help her in any mentoring role. It will be interesting to see how Montgomery and Stefanie Dolson play together. It is possible Montgomery will play center on offense, letting Dolson space the floor with her high quality 3-point shooting.
With her ability to play both forward roles well, coach Amber Stocks has given herself options with this signing.