THE DALLAS WINGS HAVE PULLED OF THE SIGNING OF THE OFF-SEASON. LIZ CAMBAGE TO SIGN A MULTI-YEAR DEAL.
By Matt Hallett
After an incredibly quiet Super Bowl Sunday, the Dallas Wings have literally changed the balance of power in the WNBA. They signed Liz Cambage to a multi-year deal which effectively, barring injury, keeps the Wings in the upper echelon of the WNBA.
The Minnesota Lynx and the Los Angeles Sparks have been the powerhouse teams in the WNBA for a number of seasons. Last year, the Wings surprised many pundits, mainly behind the play of Skylar Diggins-Smith and rookie of the year Allisha Gray.
The Wings always struggled against teams like Minnesota, Los Angeles and the Phoenix Mercury. All of these teams have tall centers which the Wings had difficulty countering.
However, each of these teams lost a game to the Wings last year meaning the Dallas team had heaps of pluck. Now, they are the ones with a highly skilled 6-foot-8 center who needs to be stopped.
Diggins-Smith was the undoubted leader of this team last year and as such had to play through some incredibly tough defense. The rise of Allisha Gray certainly helped but now with the signing of Cambage, frontcourt players are going to be focused on stopping the big Aussie.
This will give Diggins-Smith, Gray and the rest of the Wings a heap of space on the court, giving them better looks at the hoop.
One scary proposition for the rest of the WNBA is Cambage's development in passing out of the double team. I can see Diggins-Smith and Cambage forming a chemistry which will rival Sue Bird and Lauren Jackson.
My only concern is if the Wings become too Cambage focused. This is a danger for any team which has such a dominant center. Go to one option too often, other teams will counter the play, causing unnecessary losses.
However, this should not happen in the professional environment which is the WNBA. Especially where the Wings have Diggins-Smith, Gray, Glory Johnson, Karima Christmas-Kelly and Aerial Powers who will share the load.
This signing has me even more excited for the new season. It also has me believing the WNBA finals will be between the Connecticut Sun and the Dallas Wings.
The best bit of this is the quality within the WNBA just increased again meaning even better games and series. Bring on the new season.