The Indiana Fever traded a second round pick for Kayla Alexander and a third-round pick. This is, quite simply, a steal.
By Matt Hallett
Anybody who watched the San Antonio Stars last season would have seen the development of a young core. This core went from being totally outplayed at the start of the season to being ultra-competitive at the end of the season.
The main developing storylines revolved around their future big three of Kelsey Plum, Moriah Jefferson and their most established star in Kayla McBride. These three were seen to be the future of the franchise and understandably, media outlets and independent scribes tended to focus on these players.
However, in the background, Kayla Alexander was having a break-out year. Her defensive hustle was still there but she has developed into a more than a serviceable offensive player. She found her niche with this fast-paced team and looked like a piece for the future.
Unfortunately, the Stars were sold, moving from San Antonio to become the Las Vegas Aces. With this move, the franchise also changed head coaches, installing Bill Laimbeer into the role, assigning him the general manager duties as well.
Since then, Laimbeer would have been planning on how to make a success of the franchise in their new home. Part of this was to bring in Carolyn Swords who played for him in New York in 2015/16. This meant a frontcourt player had to go. The choices were Isabelle Harrison and Alexander.
History will show us that Laimbeer chose to move Alexander and a third-round pick to the Indiana Fever for a second-round pick. I believe that this was a mistake but one which the Fever coaching staff and fan base will love.
In Alexander, Pokey Chatman has acquired a player who has size and length. She has offensive efficiency and will bolster the paint presence of the Fever on both ends of the floor.
Alexander has a range on her shot which will help space the floor for the Fever. This means the dangerous Candice Dupree will have more room to move, which is dangerous for any opposition team.
On a personal level, this move is fantastic for Alexander. When she had her break out game against the New York Liberty, Alexander was blessed to have her parents watching in the stands. This was not a common thing for Alexander as her family resides in Milton Canada. This was a 25 hour drive away from San Antonio.
Now that Alexander is in Indiana she is less than an eight-hour drive away from her family. This is still a long way but it is manageable. Family is so important to Alexander and this can only be a positive for her career.
Add to this, Alexander is a tremendous locker room presence who helps brings teams together with her warm personality and her incredible drawing. Give me the choice between an unknown second-round pick or Kayla Alexander, I would choose Alexander every time.
Chatman has pulled off a steal with this move and made the Fever a better team as a result.