As Seattle Times reporter Jayda Evans reported last week, unrestricted free agent Tina Thompson has signed with the Seattle Storm along with Ewelina Kobryn, who originally joined the team last season.
With the signing of Thompson, the Storm now have the top three active scorers in the WNBA on their roster. Yet they’re apparently not done adding scorers, as Evans also reports that Seattle is “close” to signing former Storm player and 2012 unrestricted free agent Iziane Castro Marques.
However, while the Thompson signing could fill a clear need with her ability to shoot the three, signing a pure scorer – someone for whom the majority of their production is scoring – like Castro Marques might be a bit more difficult to see the logic of at first.
Although Castro Marques is a career 32% 3-point shooter, her decline from beyond the arc has been even more severe than that of Thompson.
Year Tm 3P 3PA 3P% 2007 SEA 1.8 4.6 .385 2008 ATL 1.0 3.2 .309 2009 ATL 1.4 4.2 .345 2010 ATL 1.4 4.6 .295 2011 ATL 0.5 2.4 .213 Career 1.0 3.0 .320 3-point shooting for Iziane Castro Marques over the last five seasons provided by Basketball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Last season was a particularly sub-par season for Castro Marques as she had the least efficient scoring year in her career (42.3% true shooting percentage) since her rookie season with the Miami Sol; in those previous years of 3-point decline, she managed to keep her shooting efficiency (and usage rate) relatively high.
Throughout the 2011 season, some of us around here speculated that Castro Marques’ struggles as a scorer were due in part to adding point guard Lindsey Harding to the roster – with Harding being more of a scoring point guard that the previous combination of Shalee Lehning and (mostly) Kelly Miller as well as Angel McCoughtry having a career-high 35.5% usage percentage as the league’s highest scorer, there were simply less shots to go around for a player like Castro Marques. So in addition to getting less minutes, she wasn’t getting the same type of shots in those minutes that she had been getting in the previous two years.
Another explanation is simply that the Dream took some time to hit peak form again and once they did, Castro Marques was the beneficiary. The combination of Harding becoming a far more efficient distributor as the season went on and Castro Marques shooting a scorching 53.6% from beyond the arc during the playoffs helped immensely in getting the Dream to their second straight WNBA Finals.
In other words, Castro Marques’ down season could be explained away somewhat easily as the result of a roster change that was remedied once the Dream team hit more of a rhythm. If she can give the Storm the type of quality minutes as a scorer that she gave the Dream in the playoffs, perhaps this could work out well for the Storm as they look to find points while Lauren Jackson is out for the 2012 Olympics. But she’s also among the purest scorers in the league and if she isn’t scoring efficiently, it’s difficult to say what else she might contribute.