Many unrealistic fans may have expected the Indiana Fever to immediately rise to the top of the WNBA after drafting Caitlin Clark first overall. However, the Fever's heartbreaking loss to the Connecticut Sun on Monday shows that while they've been struggling, they are inching closer to where they need to be.

Former NBA player Richard Jefferson even compared Indiana's situation to Victor Wembanyama and the San Antonio Spurs, via ESPN's WNBA Today show.

“Victor Wembanyama we raved about…He went to the worst team,” Jefferson said. “They sucked. It's going to take some time!”

Is Jefferson making excuses for Clark and Indiana's rough start, or is the comparison warranted?

There are many parallels between the Fever and Spurs

Indiana Fever guard Caitlin Clark (22) reacts after being injured during the first half of an WNBA basketball game against the Connecticut Sun, Monday, May 20, 2024, at Gainbridge Fieldhouse.
© Doug McSchooler/for IndyStar / USA TODAY NETWORK

Jefferson's comparison makes sense, as both organizations lucked into drafting generational prospects after being bottom-feeder squads. Victor Wembanyama and Caitlin Clark are both seen as players who could be on all-time great lists by the time they hang up the sneakers.

The Spurs still struggled after drafting Wemby, limping to a 22-60 finish this past year. However, the French international had a historic year, becoming the first rookie in NBA history to make All-Defensive first team. He also was the Rookie of the Year and could be the first rookie to make an All-NBA team since San Antonio legend Tim Duncan 26 years ago. The All-NBA squad will be announced Wednesday.

It's hard to tell if Clark will reach similar heights this season, in large part because of the ankle injury she suffered on Monday. While the Iowa alum returned after going down with the ailment, it could be a lingering issue as the year wears on.

Clark brushed it off postgame, via ESPN's Stephen Holder: “Every basketball player's had an ankle injury,” she said. “If you [haven't], you're not a true baller, I guess. I don't know. It'll be a little stiff, but I'll be good.”

Fever coach Christie Sides admitted that she was worried, but also admired Clark's resilience.

“She's tough,” Sides said. “She didn't want anybody to help her off the court. I love that about her. I love that's what she's about. She walked it off herself, did what she needed to do to come back in the game.”

If this injury turns out to be anything more than a blip on the radar, it'll be hard for Clark to live up to Wembanyama's rookie year. The 20-year-old was lucky enough to not have any major issues, appearing in 71 out of 82 games.

It's rare for teams with the first overall pick to completely turn it around the following year. While drafting a potential Hall-of-Famer is exciting, it doesn't immediately undo the organizational issues that cause a team to draft that highly in the first place.

The Spurs, for example, may not be good next season, either. The team won't contend until it gets standout players to support Wembanyama.

With this in mind, it's important to keep expectations at bay for the Fever this year. If the team approaches the .500 mark to end the season, that should be considered a win.