WNBA draft: Chicago Sky select South Carolina star Kamilla Cardoso with the No. 3 pick

Julia Poe, Chicago Tribune on

Published in Basketball

The Chicago Sky selected South Carolina star Kamilla Cardoso with the No. 3 pick in the WNBA draft, the next step in a new era for the franchise.

Few players bring the dominant presence in the paint of Cardoso, a 6-foot-7 Brazilian native. Cardoso averaged 14.4 points and 9.7 rebounds in her first year as the primary option for the national champion Gamecocks after Aliyah Boston departed for the WNBA a year ago.

Earlier in the year, this selection might have seemed like a slight reach for the Sky, who will need to develop Cardoso offensively to build her into a more versatile player. But after a star-making performance in the NCAA Tournament — averaging 16.6 points, 10.8 rebounds and 1.6 blocks in five games — it’s clear Cardoso can make an immediate defensive impact at the highest level.

The Sky acquired the No. 3 pick from the Phoenix Mercury in February in a blockbuster trade for three-time All-Star Kahleah Copper. The trade signaled a shift in the Sky’s approach to building a roster under a new front office and coaching staff helmed by general manager Jeff Pagliocca and coach Teresa Weatherspoon.

The Sky since parted with other roster mainstays such as Rebekah Gardner, leaving only five returning players from the 2023 season. And with only one player — guard Dana Evans — left from the franchise-record-setting 2022 season, the Sky are undergoing a rebuild after recouping necessary draft stock lost in recent seasons.

The Indiana Fever selected Iowa star Caitlin Clark with the No. 1 pick in a highly touted draft class. The Los Angeles Sparks selected Stanford’s Cameron Brink with the No. 2 pick.


The Sky also have the No. 7 pick in the first round and the No. 13 pick, the first selection in the second round. They traded up from No. 8 to No. 7 with the Minnesota Lynx on Sunday, also acquiring forward Nikolina Milić while sending forward Sika Koné, their 2025 second-round pick and the right to swap 2026 first-round picks to Minnesota.

The Sky initially acquired the No. 8 pick in February from the Los Angeles Sparks in exchange for Julie Allemand, the rights to Li Yueru and a third-round pick in 2025.

The Sky’s 2024 season begins May 4 at Minnesota, with the home opener scheduled for May 7 against the New York Liberty.


©2024 Chicago Tribune. Visit at Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.


blog comments powered by Disqus