ESPN Newest WNBA Mock Draft

bballnut90

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#26
This is an insanely deep draft and there really isn't a huge variation in skill level among the top 15-20 picks. For example, a player like Brianna Turner could easily be a mid-late 2nd round pick and become a better WNBA player than someone like McCowan (potential #1) who could struggle with adjusting to the pros. There isnt a sure fire #1 if Ionescu returns for her senior year.

Lots of very good players this draft. It should be much stronger than the 2020 or 2021 drafts, both of which look very underwhelming as it currently stands.
 
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#27
Sabrina seems like the type of player who probably couldn't wait to play at the next level. Slocum did not have the year expected from her. She started strong but tapered off considerably. She definitely needs that extra year. Although her game is geared more to the pro's, unlike SI, that extra year at this level is important for her.
 

bbsamjj

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#29
Epiphanny Prince left RU early to play overseas, at the time saying she was ready to improve her family's living situation. She was drafted by the Sky at 4th in the draft the following year.
 
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#30
Epiphanny Prince left RU early to play overseas, at the time saying she was ready to improve her family's living situation. She was drafted by the Sky at 4th in the draft the following year.
And I think she was telling the truth. She had, if memory serves, already earned her degree, played in Europe during what would have been the school year, then played in the WNBA. So probably picked up $100-200k during the year she would have been waiting around playing for Rutgers- and risking a career-ending knee injury.

The kid was looking out for her family and herself. Can't fault her for that.
 
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#31
Yes, very deep draft but in my opinion no dominate players like a Stewie or Maya. Likely teams will draft on need versus "best player" ranking.
This is a good point. Hopefully most of the teams have their franchise player (for the Mystics EDD)) and all the teams need to do is complement them with excellent support players which this draft has.
 
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#32
WNBA requires players to be at least 22, to have completed their college eligibility, to have graduated from a four-year college or to be four years removed from high school to be eligible for the draft.

Ionescu turns 22 on 12/6/19
Young turns 22 on 9/6/19
Tiana Mangakahia of Syracuse is already 23 (turns 24 in April). Wondering if she'll take a leap this year.
Will Tiana Mangakahia leave Syracuse early for WNBA draft?
 

CocoHusky

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#33
She was a freshman at Maryland in 2016 so she would only be 3 years out of high school.
Years out of high school is an "or" criteria for being WNBA eligible. The "main overriding" criteria is that you must turn 22 in the year the draft is conducted. Eg. Napheesa Collier was eligible for the WNBA draft LAST YEAR-2018 as a NCAA Junior. Jackie young, Sabrina Inoescu, & Destiny Slocum are eligible this year and are NCAA juniors.
 
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#34
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#38
The problem with A'ja at the 4 is that another big (Coates in college or Brown/McCowan in Vegas) will clog the lane and could make A'ja less effective. The goal is to enhance A'ja's play, not limit it.
I actually disagree. She played the 4 in the W last season. One of the reasons why the lane isn't clogged is because there is a defensive 3 seconds rule. JMO.
 
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#39
I actually disagree. She played the 4 in the W last season. One of the reasons why the lane isn't clogged is because there is a defensive 3 seconds rule. JMO.
and Aja does quite a bit of her work at 15 ' facing the basket for mid range / drives to the basket. She can thrive with a talented 5 with no problem.
 

MilfordHusky

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#40
I actually disagree. She played the 4 in the W last season. One of the reasons why the lane isn't clogged is because there is a defensive 3 seconds rule. JMO.
She may have played the 4, but she played mostly inside, and whoever was at the 5 was not a big body like Kalani or Teaira. My point is that a big body center who plays close to the basket will get in the way, as will her defender.
 

MilfordHusky

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#41
In the medal round of the World Cup, A'ja was shut down rather effectively. I'll be interested in seeing what happens in the W this year. The teams in Tenerife had enough big bodies and the right strategy. They forced A'ja to her right and then trapped her. The result was that she often forced a shot or turned the ball over. If she plays one-on-one and has space to maneuver, she's very good. But she wasn't in the last 2-3 games in Tenerife.
 
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#42
In the medal round of the World Cup, A'ja was shut down rather effectively. I'll be interested in seeing what happens in the W this year. The teams in Tenerife had enough big bodies and the right strategy. They forced A'ja to her right and then trapped her. The result was that she often forced a shot or turned the ball over. If she plays one-on-one and has space to maneuver, she's very good. But she wasn't in the last 2-3 games in Tenerife.
She was also consistently bottled up in her UConn matches but she is a WNBA All Star (with little post help) and I think she has the drive to get alot better on her weaknesses.
 

MilfordHusky

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#43
She was also consistently bottled up in her UConn matches but she is a WNBA All Star (with little post help) and I think she has the drive to get alot better on her weaknesses.
Yeah, she should continue learning and also improve her right hand. A'ja has a rare combo of size and mobility, possibly because she was a guard before a 6" growth spurt. When she gets to her spots, she's deadly. But she didn't get there much in Tenerife.
 
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#44
Years out of high school is an "or" criteria for being WNBA eligible. The "main overriding" criteria is that you must turn 22 in the year the draft is conducted. Eg. Napheesa Collier was eligible for the WNBA draft LAST YEAR-2018 as a NCAA Junior. Jackie young, Sabrina Inoescu, & Destiny Slocum are eligible this year and are NCAA juniors.
I read "or" as "and".

Also it was confusing to me because for example Ionescu will still be 21 if/when she declares for the draft and still 21 when the WNBA season is over.
 
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#45
Mock Draft

Big surprises in here. I’m not taking much stock into it but good for discussion.

I don’t see how Lou & Kalani go that low. You also can see by looking at the names in the 2nd & 3rd rounds, just how deep this draft is.
While emotionally I believe Naphessa and Katie Lou are one and 2 or 2 and one. I'm not shocked by the mock ranking. Remember they are MOCK, not cast in stone, yet. Some pretty good players in the 1 to 20.
 
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#46
Connecticut will take Lou over Arike any day, Lou is a better all round player and she will fill the seats.
Not to push a slightly dead horse; I think it an actual issue: Should Arike play for Connecticut , at least to begin with, there is a good probability fans will boo her. Not comfortable for Arkie or the Sun Management.
 

CamrnCrz1974

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#47
I actually disagree. She played the 4 in the W last season. One of the reasons why the lane isn't clogged is because there is a defensive 3 seconds rule. JMO.
and Aja does quite a bit of her work at 15 ' facing the basket for mid range / drives to the basket. She can thrive with a talented 5 with no problem.
She may have played the 4, but she played mostly inside, and whoever was at the 5 was not a big body like Kalani or Teaira. My point is that a big body center who plays close to the basket will get in the way, as will her defender.
I posted my thoughts about this a few months ago, so I apologize for doing a cut and paste. But here you go:

"A'ja Wilson is a center. She can shoot from 10-12 feet out, but she plays her best when she forces her way to the basket. She overpowers people in the post with her physique and use of force and uses an array of spin moves, foot pivots, other skills to score in the paint.

"And in terms of minutes, Wilson played over 30 mpg, with most of them as the center. When Laimbeer did start a default center (JiSu Park, for example), it clogged down the offense because of the lack of spacing and shooting."

(Links to my previous posts: WNBA GM'S Mock Draft 2019; Mechelle Voepel WNBA Mock Draft ESPN)

With all due respect to @Shmermerer and @eebmg , Wilson can say she is not a center. Wilson could say she is a unicorn. But if you look at the ways in which she scores and from what places on the floor, she is an interior post player (as @MilfordHusky noted).

Before this year, I thought Napheesa Collier fit best next to Wilson. On August 27, 2018, I posted:
If I were AFO/Bill Laimbeer, I would consider trading a few spots down and looking at Napheesa Collier... Collier will fit well next to Wilson and has expanded range, passing abilities, good athleticism, and the ability to be a primary or secondary scorer (though she is only 6-1/6-2).

And on November 21, 2018, I posted:
Now, is Collier the best player in the draft? Maybe, maybe not.
But is Collier the best fit for Las Vegas, who has Plum/Jefferson at the point, McBride on the perimeter, and Wilson up front? Absolutely.

And on January 30, 2019, I posted:
I do not see Wilson working next to McCowan. Neither has the shot range. Brown has more range on her shot, but neither is a power forward (much less a stretch four). Brown would be a center who can hit an open mid-range jumper; neither has proven to be even a threat from three, much less competent enough to work a high/low game or have one or both rotate onto the perimeter. And frankly, in terms of Baylor players, I believe Lauren Cox would be a much better fit next to Wilson than Kalani Brown.
...
Collier's perimeter shooting has given me a little pause this year. I still think she will be a good fit next to Wilson. But I expected her game to develop more in terms of her outside shooting and prowess from the free throw line, not a step back. Still, she has proven she has the three in her offensive arsenal, and her mid-range jumper is still great. And as I mentioned before, she knows how to be effective and contribute as the #1 option or the #4 option, which is vital in the WNBA as a rookie (especially going to Las Vegas, which has Wilson as the established star and McBride as the clear #2 option right now).

Now, Laimbeer has been known to throw big posts out there without the same levels of outside and three-point shooting (looking at his titles with the Detroit Shock, for example).

But the WNBA has changed so much since 2008, his last title with the Shock. And while he had some success with the bigger (and less outside shooting) lineups with the Liberty in the regular season, it was not nearly as successful in the WNBA in the playoffs. Teams like Indiana (2015) and Phoenix (2016) were able to take advantage of Laimbeer using Charles at the four next to a center (Warley-Talbert, Stokes, Swords, Zahui B, ), because those teams could shoot well from outside the paint (including threes) and had the threats on the floor to do so, forcing UConn's bigger post players to chase all over the court (not their strengths).

If I were Laimbeer, I would try package the #1 pick and make a trade to acquire another pick in 2020. Maybe trade #1 and a player to Indiana for the #3 pick in 2019 and the Fever's first round pick in 2020 (since Indiana likely will miss the playoffs again). Maybe trade #1 and a player to Indiana for the #5 pick in 2019 and Dallas's first round pick in 2020 (since the Wings likely will miss the playoffs, with Skylar Diggins-Smith missing the season for pregnancy and Liz Cambage missing the season because of her trade demand).
 

psconn

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#48
I posted my thoughts about this a few months ago, so I apologize for doing a cut and paste. But here you go:

"A'ja Wilson is a center. She can shoot from 10-12 feet out, but she plays her best when she forces her way to the basket. She overpowers people in the post with her physique and use of force and uses an array of spin moves, foot pivots, other skills to score in the paint.

"And in terms of minutes, Wilson played over 30 mpg, with most of them as the center. When Laimbeer did start a default center (JiSu Park, for example), it clogged down the offense because of the lack of spacing and shooting."

(Links to my previous posts: WNBA GM'S Mock Draft 2019; Mechelle Voepel WNBA Mock Draft ESPN)

With all due respect to @Shmermerer and @eebmg , Wilson can say she is not a center. Wilson could say she is a unicorn. But if you look at the ways in which she scores and from what places on the floor, she is an interior post player (as @MilfordHusky noted).

Before this year, I thought Napheesa Collier fit best next to Wilson. On August 27, 2018, I posted:
If I were AFO/Bill Laimbeer, I would consider trading a few spots down and looking at Napheesa Collier... Collier will fit well next to Wilson and has expanded range, passing abilities, good athleticism, and the ability to be a primary or secondary scorer (though she is only 6-1/6-2).

And on November 21, 2018, I posted:
Now, is Collier the best player in the draft? Maybe, maybe not.
But is Collier the best fit for Las Vegas, who has Plum/Jefferson at the point, McBride on the perimeter, and Wilson up front? Absolutely.

And on January 30, 2019, I posted:
I do not see Wilson working next to McCowan. Neither has the shot range. Brown has more range on her shot, but neither is a power forward (much less a stretch four). Brown would be a center who can hit an open mid-range jumper; neither has proven to be even a threat from three, much less competent enough to work a high/low game or have one or both rotate onto the perimeter. And frankly, in terms of Baylor players, I believe Lauren Cox would be a much better fit next to Wilson than Kalani Brown.
...
Collier's perimeter shooting has given me a little pause this year. I still think she will be a good fit next to Wilson. But I expected her game to develop more in terms of her outside shooting and prowess from the free throw line, not a step back. Still, she has proven she has the three in her offensive arsenal, and her mid-range jumper is still great. And as I mentioned before, she knows how to be effective and contribute as the #1 option or the #4 option, which is vital in the WNBA as a rookie (especially going to Las Vegas, which has Wilson as the established star and McBride as the clear #2 option right now).

Now, Laimbeer has been known to throw big posts out there without the same levels of outside and three-point shooting (looking at his titles with the Detroit Shock, for example).

But the WNBA has changed so much since 2008, his last title with the Shock. And while he had some success with the bigger (and less outside shooting) lineups with the Liberty in the regular season, it was not nearly as successful in the WNBA in the playoffs. Teams like Indiana (2015) and Phoenix (2016) were able to take advantage of Laimbeer using Charles at the four next to a center (Warley-Talbert, Stokes, Swords, Zahui B, ), because those teams could shoot well from outside the paint (including threes) and had the threats on the floor to do so, forcing UConn's bigger post players to chase all over the court (not their strengths).

If I were Laimbeer, I would try package the #1 pick and make a trade to acquire another pick in 2020. Maybe trade #1 and a player to Indiana for the #3 pick in 2019 and the Fever's first round pick in 2020 (since Indiana likely will miss the playoffs again). Maybe trade #1 and a player to Indiana for the #5 pick in 2019 and Dallas's first round pick in 2020 (since the Wings likely will miss the playoffs, with Skylar Diggins-Smith missing the season for pregnancy and Liz Cambage missing the season because of her trade demand).
Trading the #1 pick is a bold move... has it ever been done in the W?
 

CamrnCrz1974

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#49
Trading the #1 pick is a bold move... has it ever been done in the W?
In 2007, Lindsey Harding became the first No. 1 overall pick in WNBA draft to be traded when the Mercury sent the former Duke point guard to Minnesota for All-Star forward Tangela Smith. Phoenix then won the 2007 WNBA title, the first of the franchise's three championships.
 

Gus Mahler

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#50
If I were Laimbeer, I would try package the #1 pick and make a trade to acquire another pick in 2020. Maybe trade #1 and a player to Indiana for the #3 pick in 2019 and the Fever's first round pick in 2020 (since Indiana likely will miss the playoffs again). Maybe trade #1 and a player to Indiana for the #5 pick in 2019 and Dallas's first round pick in 2020 (since the Wings likely will miss the playoffs, with Skylar Diggins-Smith missing the season for pregnancy and Liz Cambage missing the season because of her trade demand).
I've been thinking for some time now his best option is to trade his pick. I like your ideas.
 

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