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The 2023 WNBA Draft will take place in New York City on Monday night, but it runs through Dallas. The Wings have picks No. 3, 5 and 11, giving them control of a quarter of the first round. That is just how team president and CEO Greg Bibb likes it. 

"I'm of the opinion you can never have too many draft picks, just like you can never have too many good players, too much talent," Bibb said. "You have to figure out how to manage that and maximize it, but I'm never afraid of draft picks."

Monday's draft will be the latest entry in an active offseason for the Wings. After winning their first playoff game since 2009 last season, Bibb reshaped the roster through a series of trades and free agency decisions and hired Latricia Trammell as the new head coach. All with the goal of adding experience and becoming more competitive in the short term. 

At the same time, Bibb was acquiring additional draft picks, both for this year and the future. The Wings got the No. 3 overall selection and a 2025 first from the Atlanta Dream for Allisha Gray, while the four-team trade that sent out Marina Mabrey brought back the No. 11 pick, a 2024 first and a 2025 first-round swap from the Chicago Sky. 

In both transactions, the Wings took advantage of a new league rule that allows teams to trade picks two years out instead of just one year. Those extra chances in what could be historic draft classes – 2024 has the potential to be, in Bibb's estimation, "one of the top two or three drafts ever" – will give the Wings a continuous pipeline of young talent to supplement or perhaps join their core. 

Of course, that's only if the Wings make the right picks. Bibb and the front office are firmly in the camp of the draft being an "inexact science," which is why they try to give themselves as many opportunities as possible. Still, they have a clear process they go through when evaluating players. 

It starts years before they're eligible for the draft, sometimes as early as high school. Due to smaller front offices and scouting departments compared to their NBA counterparts, WNBA teams such as the Wings rely more heavily on video. The proliferation of live-game streaming at the high school and collegiate level has made keeping up with players from afar easier than ever, as has the advancement of scouting programs such as Synergy Sports. 

But when it comes time to narrow down the draft board, nothing compares to seeing a player in person. Bibb, assistant GM Travis Charles, new head coach Latricia Trammel and other members of the front office are on the road all winter, hitting college gyms for games, and, perhaps more importantly in some cases, practices. 

While players need to have the requisite skills, size and athleticism to even be considered, there are other qualities Bibb and Co. examine which are only clear when you get to see a player multiple times in person. Those include age-old intangibles that any team would investigate: work ethic, leadership, coachability, how vocal they are on defense and how engaged they are on the bench.

But Bibb also has his own personal tests that give him a sense of whether a player would be a good fit for the Wings. 

"One of the things I always look at is if a player gets knocked down, how quickly is a teammate coming over to pick them up?" Bibb said. "That seems like a silly thing, but to me that's a telling example of how that teammate is viewed within that locker room."

As the Wings approach this year's draft, they'll do so as a team emerging from the early stages of a rebuild and ready to start winning playoff series. Instead of just taking the best player available, or the one with the most upside, and trying to amass as much talent as possible like they may have done in past years, this time around they are looking for "very specific things skillswise."

Trammell, who was hired in the winter and will soon begin her first season as a head coach in the WNBA, noted the Wings are looking for an "impact player" player at the top of the draft, and specifically mentioned outside shooting as a weakness they're looking to address. Of course, given Trammell's history and style, competitiveness and an ability to defend are near the top of the list as well. 

Looking at the players likely to go in the lottery, the name that jumps off the page as a fit for the Wings is Maddy Siegrist. The Villanova forward led the nation in scoring this season at 29.2 points per game, set the school's single-game scoring record with 50 points against Seton Hall and shot 36.1 percent from 3-point range. 

Many analysts have concerns about how Siegrist will fare defensively at the next level, though Bibb said her abilities on that side of the ball are "underestimated." There's no question, though, that she'd bring a scoring and shooting threat that the Wings could use. 

"She's a proven offensive threat," Bibb said. "I think she is flat-out one of the best players in the draft." 

Whether the Wings will actually select Siegrist remains to be seen, but all signs point to it being a real possibility. Another name at the top of the draft to keep an eye on is Tennessee's Jordan Horston, whom Bibb described as an "unquestioned" athlete and competitor. She doesn't have the outside shot the Wings are looking for, but she's a versatile player on both sides of the ball who should be able to contribute right away. If they want to address shooting later in the draft, there are the likes of Lou Lopez Senechal out of UConn and Taylor Mikesell from Ohio State, to name a few. 

Or, the Wings may just go ahead and do something no one expects. One thing is for sure: the Wings have a plan, and they're not afraid to implement it. 

"When you look at our draft you may say 'Gosh, I don't know if I would have evaluated that player to the same height or extent as you would,'" Bibb said. "But then you may look at it differently when you understand what we're trying to do."