It was always the Las Vegas Aces’ plan to select Destiny Slocum in the second round of this year’s WNBA draft. In fact, Aces General Manager Dan Padover knew Slocum was destined for this league five years ago.
“I saw her play against UCONN her freshman year, which was at Maryland. It was almost five years ago and at that point, I thought she could potentially be a lottery pick,” said Padover.
A lot has happened from then until now, Slocum transferred to Oregon state and then to Arkansas. But all those experiences led her to her dream.
“Going to a few different schools, I think she may have been a little undervalued, sometimes people look at that and have a little bit of concern, but we did our homework on her,” said Padover. “At (pick) 14 you’re looking for some type of diamond in the rough that can make their way into the pros. It’s not like you have the number one overall pick and she just has something to her game that we are hoping will translate.”
And there is a lot that the Aces like about Slocum’s game.
“Her ability to be a playmaker on the basketball floor is really really special,” said Padover. “(She’s) great in the pick and roll, good court vision, is a perimeter threat. Her physicality is goin to really have to translate to the WNBA. “
Sunday marks the first day of training camp for Las Vegas and it is the first time the coaches can see Slocum live in person as she tries to make the final roster.
“She should just go play her game. Yeah, you have to count out to the veterans in some respect, but just be yourself and I really want to see how it looks like against WNBA talent versus college talent,” Padover said.
Las Vegas is heading into training camp with 15 players on their roster, which needs to be trimmed down to 12 by the May 13 deadline.
And the Aces are already loaded with talent, they have two of the best players in the WNBA in A’ja Wilson and Liz Cambage, not to mention they are coming off a 2020 championship appearance. So for Slocum, the organization wants her to take her time and grow.
“We have a terrific team so we are not going to rely on her right now. Now it’s about her developing, fitting into our team and helping out wherever she can,” Padover said.
Slocum will get her first real taste of WNBA action when the preseason begins on May 1.