2024 WNBA Draft: The case for Kamilla Cardoso or Rickea Jackson at No. 3 overall for the Chicago Sky

The Chicago Sky have the third overall selection in the WNBA Draft, which gives them a chance to select a player who will make an immediate impact in the 2024 season.

This pick holds plenty of value on its own. UConn star Paige Bueckers decided to return to school for another season, taking a potential franchise-changing player off the board for this draft.

Still, the Sky can select a player that should factor into the team’s starting line up for the better part of a decade if they nail the pick.

Pick No. 8 overall is a different conversation, which should come down to the best player available.

The No. 3 overall pick should come down to either Tennessee’s Rickea Jackson or South Carolina’s Kamilla Cardoso.

Both players fit a need the Sky have: In Cardoso’s case, that’s a standout defensive post presence next to Elizabeth Williams; in Jackson’s case, that’s a natural scoring player who can guard multiple positions.

Assuming the Indiana Fever take Caitlin Clark and the Los Angeles Sparks take Cameron Brink, here’s the case for both Jackson and Cardoso at No. 3 overall.

The case for Rickea Jackson

When the Sky acquired the third overall selection, they did so by trading away their best player in Kahleah Copper. Copper could score from anywhere on the court and developed a killer mentality as she won the 2021 WNBA Finals MVP when the Sky claimed their first ever championship.

The Sky need to find another player that can hone that mentality. Jackson can be that player.

Jackson averaged 15.1 points per game in the SEC as a freshman playing for Mississippi State. When she transferred to Tennessee, she averaged 19.6 points per game and shot 33 percent from 3-point range across two years in Knoxville.

This week, ESPN Analyst Andraya Carter praised Jackson’s ability to score in different ways and how she can attack defenses at every level.

"I think with Rickea, she’s special," Carter said on a Zoom call with reporters Thursday. "She can make post moves, she can make guard moves. She’s so versatile, and she has the ability to hit tough shots."

What will help Jackson at the next level are the rule changes. Defensive three second calls and better spacing will give Jackson more opportunities to attack the basket.

Having a versatile offensive skillset just makes her that much more attractive as a prospect.

"For her to be on a professional floor with defensive three seconds and players around her where she can have space to operate, I can see her, again, hitting some of those tough shots and being aggressive in moments where she needs to," Carter said.

The case for Kamilla Cardoso

In 2021, the Chicago Sky won a WNBA championship behind leadership from Copper, Candace Parker, Courtney Vandersloot and Allie Quigley.

Cardoso is not Quigley or Vandersloot, obviously, but she would fill an important role the Sky had filled during that season.

Aside from the Sky’s go-to players that year, they also had Azurá Stevens and Stef Dolson as standout post players who protected the rim and were efficient on offense.

That describes Cardoso’s game.

The Most Outstanding Player during the 2024 NCAA Tournament Final Four, Cardoso has won conference Defensive Player of the Year honors in two leagues: The SEC and ACC. In her final season at South Carolina, Cardoso averaged 9.7 rebounds per game and two blocks per game as she took over as the Gamecocks’ primary rim protector after Aliyah Boston departed for the WNBA.

What goes under the radar is Cardoso’s offense.

"A lot of people have been talking about her ability to run the floor as a 6-7 post player and her relentlessness in doing it in every single possession," Lobo said on the same Zoom call Thursday. "When she demands the basketball, which she did every possession over the course of the last month of the season, she just has to demand extra attention inside."

Cardoso averaged 14.4 points per game last season at South Carolina. She also made a career-high 59.4 percent of her field goals. Drafting Cardoso would mean the Sky have a post player they can rely on for the years to come as they build their new core.

"She is very good at passing out of double teams," Lobo said. "She’s a very good rim protector on the interior."


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