Stefanie Dolson re-signed with the Chicago Sky this summer. This has long lasting positive ramifications.
By Matt Hallett
Last season the Chicago Sky finished ninth in the league. For a period of time, they were the second worst team in the league. Only the San Antonio Stars, now the Los Vegas Aces, were worse.
Then, suddenly the team just clicked. Courtney Vandersloot became the starting point guard, Allie Quigley played to her All-Star potential. Dolson also showed why the Sky were happy to receive her in return for Elena Delle Donne, who will be one of the greatest players in the league all-time.
Dolson started showing a potential similar to that of Lauren Jackson. Last season her 1.3 blocks per game was good enough for tenth in the league. Her 5.8 rebounds were good for 19th in the league.
However, where I get the Jackson comparison is at 6"'5", Dolson was third last season in 3-point percentage. On 2.2 shot attempts per game, Dolson hit 43.7 percent from behind the line. Jackson had career shooting of 35.1 percent from range on her 3.9 attempts per game. She is also hard to stop in the paint.
Dolson averaged a career high 14.5 points per game last season, which is 4.4 points per game behind Jackson's career average of 18.9. I am not saying Dolson is the next Jackson, she is showing incredible potential.
Where this fits with the Sky
Dolson is a long term piece to build around. The Sky have an amazing back-court. Vandersloot and Quigley are a tough match-up for most teams. Future hall-of-fame player Cappie Pondexter is a more than adequate bench piece.
Dolson is entering her fifth season in the WNBA. This is the time of her career to move forward and give what she showed us last year, she should continue to grow. The Sky has more than half their roster with the same experience or less than Dolson. This does not include the 3rd and 4th pick of this years draft either.
In short, the Sky are going to be able to build around Dolson, effectively moving on from the Delle Donne era. Teams are built around certain types of players. Dolson needs a different roster to succeed than Delle Donne and the Sky are going to give it to her.