The future ladies of WNBA got next up this week.
ESPN has named April 17 “WNBA Night” and will follow the draft with a replay of the 2019 Game 5 Finals between the Washington Mystics and Connecticut Sun.
The draft is also being held virtually with league commissioner Cathy Engelbert announcing the picks from a to be announced location. Here is a projected look at the top 10 lottery picks in this year’s WNBA draft.
1. New York Liberty – Sabrina Ionescu, 5’10” G, Oregon
Ionescu’s game is exactly what the city of New York needs. Great court vision, great midrange game, and not to mention, she was Kobe Bryant’s favorite college basketball player. The Naismith Player of the Year will be an immediate boon to a struggling Liberty team.
2. Dallas Wings – Satou Sabally, 6’4″ F, Oregon
Sabally could’ve been the No. 1 pick in most other drafts. Either way, Oregon is producing the first two picks of the draft. Sabally is a lengthy, athletic forward who will make a great swingwoman next to second-year standout Arike Ogunbowale in Dallas. Her mid-range game will help stretch the floor out in Dallas.
3. Indiana Fever – Lauren Cox, 6’4 F, Baylor
Cox is a 6’4 defensive-minded big who averaged three blocks and a steal this season for Baylor. The Big 12 Player of the Year averaged nearly a double-double last season, with 12.5 points and 8.4 rebounds per game. Cox would fit in perfectly with Indiana because her skill set would be paired with last season’s rookie sensation Teaira McCowan.
4. Atlanta Dream – Chennedy Carter, 5’7″ G, Texas A&M
Carter can create her own shot and is great of the dribble. Carter would be teaming up with her playmaking doppelgänger Courtney Williams, and veteran guards like Renee Montgomery and Tiffany Hayes. Realistically, Carter would be coming off the bench to provide instant offense, which is something she is well equipped to do.
5. Dallas Wings – Meghan Walker, 6’1″ F, UCONN
Walker was a stud at Connecticut. The 6-foot-1 junior provided instant offense for the Huskies and could always be counted on to make the right play. Walker was the American Athletic Conference Player of the Year last season and led UConn in scoring with 19.7 points per game. Walker is a great floor general and would help a rebuilding Wings team.
6. Minnesota Lynx -Tyasha Harris, 5’10” G, South Carolina
Harris is an excellent ball-handler and floor general. Harris could dish the ball to reigning Rookie of the Year Napheesa Collier and do pick-and-rolls with All-Star Sylvia Fowles and is capable of creating her own shot as the clock winds down. Harris may need to work on her shooting at the next level, but the Lynx wouldn’t rely on that so much.
7. Dallas Wings – Ruthy Hebard, 6’4″ F/C, Oregon
If your keeping score, this is the third pick for the Wings in the first round. Hebard is an excellent pick-and-roll player. Hebard averaged 18 points on 68 percent shooting (no threes) and 10 rebounds this season for the Ducks. Dallas needs paint production. That’s exactly what Hebard would provide them.
8. Chicago Sky – Te’a Cooper, 5’8″ G, Baylor
The Sky look to already boost their roster and extend their bench by adding Cooper. Cooper being capable of both guard spots gives Chicago a high volume scorer and a reliable ball-handler. Cooper will be an offensive project for the Sky.
9. Dallas Wings – Beatrice Mompremier, 6’4″ F/C, Miami
Mompremier saw limited action in her senior season due to a foot injury, but she still averaged a team-high 16.8 points and 9.8 rebounds. She is a walking double-double. Since this is Dallas’ fourth pick in the first round, expect her to be trade bait asset. Either way, Mompremier is a big and bigs are always valuable.
10. Phoenix Mercury – Kiah Gillespie, 6’2″ F, Florida State G
Gillespie is a big that’s capable of running the floor and also an asset to crash the boards. Gillespie averaged a near double-double her senior year. Gillespie will have to work on her outside shot. She only shot 25 percent from the three-point line. While the Mercury has a loaded roster, Gillespie would fit in well on the second unit.