Great analysis, and thanks for the shout out. I hope you don't mind I posted it all on rebkel, with a link to here.
I am pretty much in the glass half empty stage now. Cooper had his shortcomings, but he did rebuild a roster in just 2 years, after the Angela Taylor era ended. Some of Cooper's success does belong to her for getting us Dantas and eventually Holmes via the Erika trade. Speaking of Dantas, she has only completed 3 seasons in the WNBA so my thought is she would be a reserved player for one more season and then a Restricted FA. The bigger question might be how often she actually shows up to play in Atlanta, or wherever we might want to send her.
As for Cooper - he found a replacement for Erika (Williams), got a good backup for the 2,3 and sometimes even the 4 position (Holmes 11th in the 16 draft), turned Shoni into legitimate point guard (by trading her for a 2nd rounder that became Clarendon) and found the best player (IMHO) in the weak 2017 draft - Sykes. A ageing ship that was sinking (without its Captain going down with it) suddenly had 3 young All stars and ROY candidate. Unfortunately, for Cooper, apparently the owners figures a 3 All star team should win more games so it must be the coach. As you pointed out - Cooper did not play his hand right and Coach Cooper fell victim to the success of GM Cooper (kind of the Hawks/Coach/GM problem in reverse.) I think this Dream team (with Angel) would actually be the best Dream team in franchise history with the best coach (maybe not a high bar). Apparently the owners didn't agree with the second part of that.
My hopes for the road ahead:
1.) A solid WNBA coach (not a college coach) who brings or can get a good post development coach. TBH the only ones I can get excited about now are Bill Lambier and Stef. White. I doubt either would be available to the Dream.
2.) NO TRADES. The Taylor trade machine threw away 2 future All Stars (Bentley and J. Thomas) and got back only one player past her prime who has never produced. I admit - Bentley's All Star year was a bit of an aberration but she is far more useful than Ajavon. Thomas did what she does - continue to work on her game and get better. She eventually became quite good and a legit All Star. So I hate the idea of bringing in someone new who decides this bunch of players is not for him (or her) and has a fire sale in order to produce quick results (e.g. trading Sykes for aged Cappie, or worse. Far worse.)
3. I would make an exception for trading Her Majesty (Angel). She is past her prime and who knows if she is really committed to the Dream or WNBA anyway. Of course, we would want a ransom worthy of her. I don't know - maybe Dallas' FRP+Powers+Chong. I think it is likely though that no coach (who isn't desperate) would want her.
4. Resign Lyttle, Dantas and maybe Young. Sancho is too old to be a starter, but could provide depth. We need Lyttle's replacement. Dantas is the heir apparent. The obvious plan would be to start Williams and Boyette. See No. 1 above though. Young is not a popular player among internet fans, but I don't think she is that bad. (BTW - I think Lyttle might just go to MN, or even LA in hopes of winning a ring.)
5. Put everyone except Hayes and Sykes on a No 3 point diet. I'm looking at you Damaris, Clarendon, Ajavon, Holmes. (Actually I'm hoping they find a replacement for Ajavon.)
6. I'd suggest looking at FA's to fill voids, but the problem is the Dream are lucky to sign their own FA let along anyone else's.
7. Draft - we have only a No. 16 pick. It would be nice if we could find the a backup PG (there were 3 picked up in the weak 2016 draft that stuck with their teams, so if next year's draft is so great....)
Well - with this perfect blue print what could go wrong? Easy - the owners make a bad hiring decision. First of all they are pretty bad at hiring. Angela Taylor is just one example. They have also had more team Presidents, PR people, etc than anyone can count. Executives names would appear and disappear from the team web page like overnight. The ticket sales staff has been a revolving door. I've lost track of how many account exec's I've had. So that's why I'm worried.......