The Indiana Fever were one of the best teams in the WNBA this past season. Although they finished third in the standings in the Eastern Conference regular season, they made it out of the Eastern Conference as champions and faced the number one seed out of the West, the Minnesota Lynx in the WNBA finals. In Stephanie White’s inaugural season she led the Fever to a 20-14 record and an appearance in the WNBA finals where they took the series to five games and were on the brink of bringing home the championship trophy. Disappointed to have lost in the finals the Fever are looking forward to getting back on the court next season and fighting for another chance at a second championship for the franchise.
Tameka Catchings has announced that the 2016 season will in fact be her last as she plans to retire upon its conclusion. Catchings, who is superstar and future hall of famer will have one last chance to cut down the nets. She has a great supporting cast around her who were a huge part of the teams success this season. Bringing in Shenise Johnson from San Antonio proved to be a great move by the Fever in the offseason as she played an integral role throughout the season. She is currently a restricted free agent and I imagine the Fever are eager to extend a contract with her.
Also restricted are, Lynette Kizer and Jeanette Pohlen. Both players didn’t see a lot of action this season but Kizer proved to be a valuable asset when filling in for the injured Erlana Larkins over the summer. It will be interesting what decision the team makes with their front court. Larkins is an unrestricted free agent this off season and is the kind of player who does all the “dirty work” for your team. She was a big reason why the fever won the WNBA championship in 2012. Larkins recently had knee surgery to hopefully rid her of the issues she had during the season. A healthy Larkins is definitely an asset to any team. There will definitely be interest from other teams in securing her services. Will she stay with the team that gave her a second chance in the WNBA or will she take her talents elsewhere? My guess is that the Fever will definitely put in a bid to keep Larkins but who knows if they are willing to match any other offer she receives.
Another big free agent on the Fever’s roster is Shavonte Zellous. Zellous had a quiet 2015 season and had to miss several games because of her commitment to the Croatian National Team. However, everyone knows what Zellous is capable of as she was named the most improved player in the WNBA in 2013. Zellous would be a great addition to several teams around the league and expect them to come calling in February. Both her and Larkins will have some tough decisions to make this offseason.
A consistent back up for Catchings should be a priority. She turns 37 next season and will definitely need to manage her playing and practice time. Also needed is a legitimate backup for Briann January who recently extended her contract with the team. Layshia Clarendon has shown signs of taking that role but we haven’t seen it done consistently. The Fever have a nice squad to put on the court next year. They don’t need to make a lot of changes but may be able to pick up a new piece in free agency or through the draft. What do you think about the Fever? What, if anything at all, do they need to do to make it back to the WNBA finals in 2016?