May 18, 2023 - Sports

Atlanta Dream ready to grow young nucleus in 2023

Rhyne Howard #10, Allisha Gray #15 and Naz Hillmon #00 of the Atlanta Dream poses for a portrait during WNBA Media Day

Rhyne Howard Allisha Gray and Naz Hillmon pose for a portrait during WNBA Media Day. Photo: Adam Hagy/NBAE via Getty Images

The superteam era has officially hit the WNBA, which kicks off its 27th season Friday with four games.

  • A crazy offseason full of former MVPs and All-Stars joining forces sets the table for what could be an epic summer of basketball.

Why it matters: The Atlanta Dream might not be contenders this season, but they're setting the foundation as well as any team in the league.

  • The Dream went an ugly 23-65 from 2019 to 2021 and were then sold to an ownership group that includes former player Renee Montgomery.
  • Two short years later and Atlanta is looking primed to make the playoffs for the first time since 2018.

Zoom in: Rhyne Howard was last season's Rookie of the Year and could be a national star by next season.

  • Rookie Haley Jones was an intriguing Swiss Army knife at pick No. 6 in the WNBA draft and adds to a core of young talent that also includes Aari McDonald and Naz Hillmon.
  • And by trading for veteran scorer Allisha Gray, the Dream might've found the right bridge player to lead its young talent to the next level.

Of note: The Dream did trade away Tiffany Hayes, who led the team in scoring several times during her 10 seasons in Atlanta.

Take a look at every WNBA team's chances at a 2023 title, ranked by their odds.

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