The Las Vegas Aces are clearly rebuilding and have been for a while now. They haven’t had a winning season since 2012. How can the Aces get back to winning like they did with Becky Hammon? The Aces seem like they are headed in the right direction with their 1st pick Aja Wilson. After her 20 point game against the Chinese National Team, Wilson looks like she is ready for the WNBA competition. However, Wilson is only a rookie and can’t carry the team by herself. This is where Kelsey Plum steps in. Plum was the #1 pick a year ago and was expected to take the Aces to new heights. She won Naismith player of the year and AP player of the year her final year of college averaging 31.6 points per game.
This past year, Plum averaged 8.5 points per game on 34.6% from the field and 3.4 assists per game. She was very inconsistent last year. However, during the second 17 games of the season, she showed some progression averaging 12 point per game on 38.8% from the field and 4.5 assists per game. Some of the second half numbers were due to more consistent playing time, but nevertheless it shows she has potential to improve on these numbers this coming season.
Her improvement is needed for a franchise that has struggled to make good draft picks. The last few years the Aces have whiffed on first rounders. 2014 first round pick Kayla McBride has been a solid WNBA player. Other than that the Aces have struggled with their drafting. Their 2015 first rounder Dearica Hamby has been a decent role player. 2016 second overall pick Moriah Jefferson has yet to be the player she was at UConn. These players could still develop in a few years, but with how they’ve played so far makes Plum’s development important.
Plum has so much potential that she has yet to unleash in her short WNBA career so far. Her college career with Washington was special putting up consistently great scoring lines. She has shown the potential with some great scoring and assist games this past season. Hopefully, in the next year or so, Plum will fully develop into the great player that we all hoped she’d become.