Swore I spotted Washington Mystics G Katie Smith seated next to Storm PG Sue Bird at the No. 1 Connecticut win against No. 2 Baylor on Tuesday. That would add even more validity to Seattle coach Brian Agler reviving talk about adding Smith to the 2011 roster.
According to a story in Wednesday’s The Marion (Ohio) Star, Agler admitted adding Smith to next season’s squad was a possibility. “My goal right now is to put the team back together as close as I can,” he said after speaking to the Marion Rotary Club’s Athletic Day on Tuesday. The Storm has five unrestricted free agents. “We will be the team everyone will be shooting for, so we’ll need to find ways to improve.”
Smith, a free agent, was wooed by Seattle prior to the 2010 season. She opted to play alongside Lindsey Harding with the Mystics instead. A free agent, again, Smith remains in pursuit of another WNBA championship. She won one with Storm F Swin Cash for Detroit.
The Mystics, despite advancing to the WNBA postseason as the No. 1 seed in the East, losing in the opening round to Atlanta, went through a myriad of changes that may set them back this summer. The former Ohio State star averaged a career-low-tying 9.5 points and 2.6 assists as a full-time starter.
Pursuing Smith (who’s pictured above by the WNBA) could mean rookie PG Alison Lacey and G Svetlana Abrosimova may be closer to deciding not to return, although free agency doesn’t open until 2011. Lacey, a native Australian has been in America since beginning her college career at Iowa State, commenting after Seattle’s championship season that it was difficult to accept the lesser role. Under contract, she’s currently back home playing for the WNBL’s Canberra Capitals.
Abrosimova, who’s playing in her native Russia, said she may be fulfilled after winning the elusive title, giving her body a rest from year-round play. But, an unrestricted free agent, she flashed her Washington state driver’s license proudly prior to the Finals run.
Smith is 36 and hampered by various injuries — including her back — but Bird, 30, averaged a career-low 30.5 minutes last season and is monitoring her play to extend her career. Smith, who can play either backcourt position, is a 13-year vet who played for Agler in Minnesota and the defunct ABL.
It could just be more sparks to keep fans warm through the winter. But, as of now, it appears Agler, the WNBA Coach of the Year, is looking at another reunion to help Seattle repeat.