Atlanta Dream 2022 Season Preview: Rebuilding in the A

The Atlanta Dream went 8-24 last season and are looking to improve in this upcoming season. The team not only struggled on the court, but also in the locker room with multiple reported interpersonal issues throughout the year.

In addition to their recent ownership change, the front office and staff have also been revamped entirely. Atlanta hired former Las Vegas Aces general manager David Padover as their new general manager. Padover hired Tanisha Wright as Atlanta’s new head coach. She was an assistant coach for the Aces, so she and Padover have history. 

Key Departures 

  • Elizabeth Williams (F) 
  • Courtney Williams (G)
  • Chennedy Carter (PG) 
  • Crystal Bradford (PG)
  • Odyssey Sims (PG)

Elizabeth Williams averaged 5.8 points and 4.9 rebounds per game for the Dream last year and was a key player on the team.

Courtney Williams was Atlanta’s leading scorer scoring 16.5 points per game.

Chennedy Carter was supposed to be the franchise player but had issues with teammates and was traded to the Los Angeles Sparks.

Crystal Bradford brought scoring off the bench, and Odyssey Sims brought a veteran presence to the team. 

Key Additions 

  • Erica Wheeler (PG)
  • Nia Coffey (F)
  • Kia Vaughn (C)

Erica Wheeler had a good season last year for the Sparks, averaging 13.6 points and 4.8 rebounds per game; she shot 41% from the field and 35% from beyond the arc. Wheeler should bring scoring punch and toughness to the Dream’s roster. 

Nia Coffey is a good role player who can shoot from the outside; she shot 41% from three-point land. Coffey will do the little things to help the team win.

Kia Vaughn will add size and depth to the frontcourt; Atlanta did not have much length on the team last year. 

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Draft Picks 

  • Rhyne Howard, G, Kentucky 
  • Naz Hillmon, F, Michigan 

Atlanta moved up to the No.1 spot to take Rhyne Howard. It was a no-brainer for the Dream to draft Howard, as she could impact the game on both sides of the court. Howard is an elite scorer who can shoot from the outside and get to the basket. 

Naz Hillmon will give the Dream more depth to the frontcourt. Although Hillmon is undersized, she will do the dirty work to help Atlanta win. She is efficient around the basket, but will need to improve her shooting range to reach her full potential.

Predicted Starting Lineup 

  • C: Monique Billings 
  • PF: Cheyenne Parker 
  • SF: Rhye Howard 
  • SG: Tiffany Hayes 
  • PG: Erica Wheeler 

Monique Billings should be a formidable center for the Dream. She can rebound and do all the dirty work in the paint.

Cheyenne Parker should be back from having her baby, and she will provide toughness to the front line. 

Howard will bring scoring ability and defense. Tiffany Hayes and Howard will make a nice one-two-scoring punch.

Finally, the addition of Wheeler will stabilize Atlanta’s offense. 

Key Bench Players 

  • Aari McDonald (PG) 
  • Nia Coffey (F)
  • Kia Vaughn (C)
  • Megan Walker (F)

I expect a big season from Aari McDonald off the bench. She will be a change of pace guard. McDonald can push the tempo and play good defense. Coffey will be a three and D type player, while Megan Walker and Vaughn will be depth pieces and counted on to do the dirty work. 

Season Outlook 

Atlanta should win more games than last year with their front office and coaching staff makeover. It will take some time to jell with a fairly no roster, but they have some much-needed size upfront. 

Last season Atlanta struggled with rebounding and defense, and they added the players that will help them improve in those areas.

If Hayes can stay healthy, the Dream could be really good. Expect Atlanta to make a run for the playoffs and be a lot of fun to watch for years to come.

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LaMarr Fields has been sports writing for four-plus years now. He is a very dedicated writer that knows sports. LaMarr is from California and has dreams of being a writer full-time. You can follow LaMarr on twitter at @raiderway83.

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