May 18, 2023 - Sports

Fever relying on Aliyah Boston to not be the WNBA's worst team

Aliyah Boston holds a basketball while looking to the left, evading a Chicago Sky defender.

Aliyah Boston handles the ball during the preseason game against the Chicago Sky. Photo: Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images

The super team 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 Indiana Fever largely sat out of free agency but added another hugely talented rookie class during the WNBA Draft.

  • Indiana has just four players with more than a year of experience — by far the youngest roster in the league — and they're being coached by Christie Sides, a career assistant and first-time head coach.
  • The good news is that two of those players are Aliyah Boston (2023 No. 1 overall pick) and NaLyssa Smith (2022 No. 2 overall).

Reality check: The problem is that the Fever keep cutting their top draft picks. Emily Engstler (No. 4 overall pick, 2022), Kysre Gondrezick (No. 4, 2021) and Lauren Cox (No. 3, 2021) were all waived for nothing in return.

  • In a league where young players often take years to fully contribute, there are concerns about the Fever's ability to develop fresh talent.

The bottom line: Boston and Smith might be so good it doesn't matter, but even if things go right, Indiana is years away from competing.

What's next: The Fever will play the Connecticut Sun at 7pm Friday at Gainbridge Fieldhouse.

Go deeper: The Fever's full schedule

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