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Aces look to round out championship roster in WNBA draft

There’s one guarantee entering Monday’s WNBA draft. The Indiana Fever will use the No. 1 overall pick to select Iowa star Caitlin Clark.

The two-time defending champion Aces, on the other hand, are in wait-and-see mode with their four picks. The team has three second-round picks — the 16th, 18th and 24th overall selections — plus a third-round pick at 36th overall that will close out the draft.

“We have no real idea who will go in the first 15 picks, so we are just looking to take the time at No. 16 and 18 to take the best available player that will make our camp even more competitive,” Aces general manager Natalie Williams said.

The Aces gave away their 2024 first-round pick to the Los Angeles Sparks as part of the Dearica Hamby trade January 21, 2023.

The Aces received the 16th pick from Los Angeles in the deal. They also added the 18th pick from the Washington Mystics as part of another trade February 5, 2023.

The Aces made just one pick in last year’s draft. They selected Alabama guard Brittany Davis 36th overall but waived her before the start of the season.

Williams said one thing the Aces are looking for this year is shooting help.

“Obviously, (coach) Becky Hammon loves shooters,” Williams said. “And then just kids that work hard, have a great work ethic, (are) great teammates and who understand the importance of playing as a team and also play at a pretty good level of defense as well.”

The Aces begin training camp April 28. Williams said the team plans to bring the league maximum of 18 players to camp after making its four selections.

The Aces signed free-agent center Megan Gustafson to a two-year contract in February. They also brought back free agents Kiah Stokes and Sydney Colson and added free agent Morgan Jones on a training camp deal.

Guards Chelsea Gray, Kelsey Plum and Jackie Young are under contract with the Aces through 2025. Two-time WNBA MVP A’ja Wilson is signed through 2026.

“We’re happy with what we’re looking at in regards to training camp,” Williams said. “Our veterans that are all coming back and you know, really excited about our addition of Megan Gustafson, who just won the EuroCup championship, so we’re looking forward to seeing what we get in the draft.”

Contact Alex Wright at awright@reviewjournal.com. Follow @AlexWright1028 on X.

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