Indiana Fever – Draft Summary
By Matt Hallett
The Indiana Fever are in a rebuild mode for the first time in about 13 years. This means that they had their first lottery pick in that time as well. They also traded away a favorite daughter in Briann January to the Phoenix Mercury for the 8th pick in the draft. The Fever are in need of quality and this is what they got in this draft.
In order to restock their talent, the Fever had the 2nd, 8th and 14th pick in the 2018 draft.
Pick 2 – Kelsey Mitchell
When you struggle to score the ball as a team it is always a good thing to add the second leading scorer in NCAA Division 1 history. The Fever were second last with 75.1 points per game last season. Mitchell scored 24.5 points per game for her entire college career. This seems like a match made in heaven
When the Fever traded away Briann January, they pretty much announced to the world that they intended to sign Mitchell. However, with the questions regarding Mitchell as to whether she can run a team. She was asked to score a lot in college, so score she did. She also averaged 3.9 assists, showing she can find other players in position to score.
It will be interesting to see whether Pokey Chatman starts Mitchell from the start of the season. It is well believed that the Fever are in a rebuild process so it is a good chance she will.
Pick 8 – Victoria Vivians
In an effort to sure up the scoring of the Fever they selected Victoria Vivians with the eighth pick. Vivians, who had a tremendous NCAA tournament, has an ability to score when required. She averaged 16.9 points and 5.2 rebounds per game in college. Her ability to step up at the collegiate level shows that she should be able to flourish at the professional levels of the WNBA.
While she may not be the best defensively, her sheer size of 6’1” makes her a difficult proposition for the opposition to guard. She can play the off-guard role or slide up to the wing as required. Considering the issues the Fever had last year with injured wing players, this could be a valuable attribute which gets Vivians more court time.
Pick 14 – Stephanie Mavunga
In a deep and talented draft the Fever had the ability to pick a player who would normally go midle of the first round. With the 14th pick they chose 6’3” forward Stephanie Mavunga. Last season she averaged a double-double with 16.6 points and 11.0 rebounds per game.
Mavunga is a good chance to see plenty of court time as the Fever has very few players who have her rebound ability. This is shown by the fact they were last in rebounding percentage last season.
Draft grade: A-
I give the Fever an A- for the players they got in this draft. They filled positions of need with quality players. The problem is, they left Azura Stevens on the draft board when they could have used a front court player of her quality. Had they of taken Stevens with the second pick, one of the franchise quality point guard would have been available still.
However, this rebuild is going to take a couple of seasons. The Fever will be able to find some quality players for their needs then.