Ramu Tokashi announced she would be missing the 2018 season due to international commitments. Here is how it may impact the Storm.

By Matt Hallett

At the start of the free-agency period, the Seattle Storm bench was suddenly down two tall players. Carolyn Swords signed on the play with old head coach Bill Laimbeer as a member of the Las Vegas Sparks and Ramu Tokashi decided to focus on international commitments.

The loss of Swords meant someone else was going to have to fill the 8.8 minutes per game the backup center played last season. Her 2.6 points and 1.5 rebounds per game were nothing to write home about either.

Tokashi played 12.4 minutes per game, averaging 3.2 points and 1.6 rebounds per game. The difference being, Swords was a one-dimensional center who was not able to do the job she was brought to Seattle to do which was defend the bigger centers in the league. This job still fell to Breanna Stewart.

Tokashi was able to play either center or power forward, has good height at 6'3", a reasonable vertical leap and great energy. However, Tokashi is not without her problems though. Tokashi fouled her opponents 74 times in 33 games.

This is as many fouls as Chelsea Gray, Emma Meesseman and Tina Charles. All of these players played significantly more game time than Tokashi.

With the professionalism associated with Seattle, they replaced the two players with Natasha Howard via trade and Courtney Paris via free agency. This is actually a boost for the Storm as Paris was a starter last season with the Dallas Wings when she was able to play.

With Paris coming off the bench, the loss of Tokashi is not going to be felt tremendously. It is the hope of this scribe that Tokashi uses the time she is spending with the Japanese national team to learn how to play without fouling. If she can do this the Seattle Storm will only benefit from her gap year.