Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Dispersal Draft Set for Dec. 8

There are several layers to today's news that the Houston Comets are suspending operations. I covered the history angle in an article, while Sheryl Swoopes' statement also touches on the emotional aspect. However, the realist angle that cannot be ignored is that this sets up a Dispersal Draft next Monday, Dec. 8.

Teams will draft former Comets players in inverse order of 2008 record. Because of tiebreakers, the Storm will select 12th. By that point, it is possible the Dispersal Draft will already have concluded.

As unrestricted free agents, Latasha Byears, Mwadi Mabika, Hamchetou Maiga-Ba, Michelle Snow and Tina Thompson are ineligble. That leaves eight holdover players available:

Matee Ajavon
Tamecka Dixon
Roneeka Hodges (a restricted free agent)
Sequoia Holmes
Shannon Johnson
Sancho Lyttle
Erica White
Mistie Williams

Teams can also draft players whose rights the Comets hold. According to Paul Swanson at the RebKell board, three such players are eligible:

- Renae Camino, an Australian drafted by Houston in the second round in 2006 who has yet to come to the WNBA
- Lucienne Berthieu, originally a second-round pick by the Storm in 2002 who last played in the WNBA in 2004
- Polina Tzekova, a 1998 first-round pick of the Comets who played in Houston during the 1999 season and has not been seen stateside since

With 11 players available and the Storm drafting 12th, it will take a team passing (which has happened in the past) for the Storm to have the option to make a pick.


Anonymous said...

What sad news for the Comets and the league. I was able to attend a game in Houston a few years ago and it was a great environment and experience. Thank goodness Seattle has the best piece of the Comets in the one and only Sheryl Swoopes.

Sue said...

Wow! My heart goes out to the Houston fans...

At the risk of sounding ghoulish -- any chance that Tina Thompson or Michelle Snow, as unrestricted free agents, would come to Seattle?

Anonymous said...

What happens to the unavailable players? Do they just not play?

Kevin Pelton said...

As unrestricted free agents, they are free to sign wherever they want.

Anonymous said...

Sad, sad news for the Comets organization and the WNBA. Let's hope Sheryl can help lure one of the unrestricted free agents to come play for Seattle! That would be a nice holiday gift.

joewilly said...

Although I consider myself a hardcore WNBA fan, I am ashamed to admit that I had not heard about the Houston Comet until today. How sad that a team that represents the beginning history of the league winning the first 4 championships with arguably the finest big 3 or 4 in the league ever would be allowed to perish. They were the main draw in the beginning. I would hope that the league did everything possible to try to save them. It is not healthy to allow such an important part of the history of the league to just fade away. If this happened to this team, I am afraid no team is safe. There is more to a business besides money, as important as it is.