Editor’s Note: In 2019, Nothing But Nylon created Prestige Rankings, a system designed to display the very best and very worst teams any basketball league has had to offer over history. Using points based upon various accomplishments or failures, we have ranked every WNBA team in multiple ways to show you who has truly run the show since 1997. We’re up to #11 Dallas Wings, but take a look at all of the criteria and defunct teams to get a good idea of how things work.
Years Active: 2016-Present (previously Tulsa Shock)
Prestige Score: 6
Prestige Rank: 20/23
Active Rank: 11/12
It hasn’t been a long ride for the Wings. The team has only played three seasons since moving from Tulsa before the 2016 season and hasn’t had much of a chance to make an impact yet, and the team is yet to register a regular-season record better than .500. Dallas has made the playoffs in each of the last two seasons, but it is yet to win a playoff game.
However, there are some positives here. Going to the postseason in two of their three years is decent, and the Wings had their first and second-ever All-WNBA selections last season, with Cambage earning first team distinction and Diggins-Smith being named to the second team.
Three years is not enough time to really be compared to the rest of the league, but the Wings are doing what they can to set themselves up to compete. They hired two-time WNBA Champion Brian Agler as their new head coach this offseason, and their first two picks of the 2019 WNBA Draft, guard Arike Ogunbowale and center Megan Gustafson, have big expectations. This might not be the season Dallas takes the league by storm, with her first pregnancy likely forcing Diggins-Smith to miss at least a portion of the season and Cambage’s trade request and possible holdout.
The gap between Dallas and No. 10 on our list is large, but the team’s age is the reason why. How well the Wings can perform in the WNBA in a broader context is yet to be seen.
WNBA Championships: 0 |0 points|
WNBA Finals Appearances: 0 (0 points|
Series Wins: 0 |0 points|
Playoffs Wins: 0 |0 points|
Playoffs Byes: 0 |0 points)|
Playoffs Appearances: 2 |24 points|
Regular Season Top Record: 0 |0 points|
Above .500 Regular Season: 0 |0 points|
All-WNBA Player on Roster: 2 |6 points|
MVP on Roster: 0 |0 points|
Coach of the Year: 0 |0 points|
Regular Season Worst Record: 0 |0 points|
Below .500 Regular Season: 3 |-12 points|
Total points: |18|
Best Year: 2018
Led by head coach Fred Williams for the most of the year until he was fired with a few regular season games remaining, the Wings narrowly snuck into the playoffs with a 15-19 record, the last team into the postseason with a fifth-place finish in the Western Conference. Dallas lost its opening game of the playoffs, 101-83, to No. 5 seed Phoenix. The two All-WNBA selections of guard Skylar Diggins-Smith and center Liz Cambage provided the campaign the slight edge over 2017 for the team’s best-ever season, albeit a disappointing one with a long losing streak and turmoil making headlines in the final weeks of the year.
Cambage led the team and entire league in scoring with 23.0 points per outing, and Diggins-Smith wasn’t far behind, her 17.9 points per night 10th-best in the WNBA. Cambage also chipped in 9.7 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game.
Worst Year: 2016
In the franchise’s first season in Dallas, the team finished below-.500 at 11-23 under Williams. The team had six double-digit scorers, led by guard Odyssey Sims (14.0 points per game) with Diggins-Smith right behind her (13.1).
Winningest Coach: Fred Williams
Williams was with the franchise for longer, coming with the team from Tulsa to remain head coach in Dallas, but spent almost three seasons as the Wings’s boss. He built a 41-58 record with two playoff appearances, zero playoff wins and zero above-.500 finishes.
Following up Coach Williams will be Brian Agler, brought to Dallas in the offseason from Los Angeles. You can learn more about Coach Agler in our latest series below.
No. 12 – Las Vegas Aces
No. 11 – Dallas Wings
No. 10 – May 15
No. 9 – May 16
No. 8 – May 17
No. 7 – May 18
No. 6 – May 19
No. 5 – May 20
No. 4 – May 21
No. 3 – May 22
No. 2 – May 23
No. 1 – May 24