WNBA 2021 mock-up project, version 5.0

WNBA 2021 mock-up project, version 5.0

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As the countdown to Thursday’s 2021 WNBA Draft (7 p.m. ET, ESPN / ESPN app) continues, the bigger question isn’t which player might be selected first. Texas junior Charli Collier remains the expected first choice.

But with the Wings trading the No.7 pick for the Los Angeles Sparks before Wednesday’s trade deadline, we now wonder: which player are the Sparks targeting for this pick? Dallas still has four of the first 13 caps, but now the Sparks have two in the first round.

Could Los Angeles be after a local college star in UCLA’s Michaela Onyenwere? If playmakers Aari McDonald and Dana Evans make it into the top six, and Onyenwere is still available, she could be the Sparks’ pick in 7th place. Los Angeles coach / general manager Derek Fisher has said he wants versatile playmakers and defensemen. Players such as Onyenwere and DiJonai Carrington could also do the trick.

As the league released its schedule on Tuesday, the 2021 season image continues to focus. It will be very difficult for a lot of Thursday’s draft picks to make a WNBA roster. But we’ll soon find out which players might have the best odds and where.

First round

1. Dallas Wings: Charli Collier, C, Texas

Collier finished the season averaging 19.0 points and 11.3 rebounds per game, while shooting 51.1 percent from the field. With Dallas’ need for more strength on the inside, Collier fits the bill. As a draft-eligible junior, she could have stayed another season in Texas. But with a chance to become # 1, it makes sense for her to step up to the pro level. There will be a lot to learn and improve, but as she told ESPN’s Dave Wilson, “I’ve shown it all my life, that I can compete with the best of the best. “

2. Dallas Wings: Awak Kuier, PF, Finland

Like Collier, Kuier is 6ft 5in with the ability to score in many ways and grew up shaping her game after two-time WNBA MVP Candace Parker. Kuier is only 19, so she scratches the surface of her talent. Currently playing professionally with Ragusa in Italy, she knows she will need to get stronger for the WNBA. As Kuier told Sean Hurd of The Undefeated, “I like players who like to play hard with me. I know it will help me in the future. “

– Full coverage of the draft: player rankings, team needs
– For Charli Collier, the projected first choice, determination is a family trait
– The 12 must-see games of the 2021 WNBA regular season

3. Atlanta Dream: Arella Guirantes, SG, Rutgers

Guirantes is known for her scoring talent, but she’s also a good all-rounder who should be able to step in fairly quickly and make an impact. She finished her senior season averaging 21.3 points, 6.0 rebounds and 5.2 assists. Dream already have several offensive threats, including last year’s No.4 pick Chennedy Carter, but another tax-defensive scorer could be a great addition for Atlanta.

4. Indiana Fever: Rennia Davis, SF, Tennessee

The Fever is still building the kind of team it will be in coach Marianne Stanley’s second season. But it looks like bringing in 6-foot-2 Davis, who is a multi-dimensional goalscorer and good defenseman, could be a fever advantage. She finished her senior season averaging 17.3 points and 8.8 rebounds, but only shot 26% from behind the arc which she will need to improve.

5. Dallas Wings: Aari McDonald, PG, Arizona

Is Dallas going for a point guard here, and if so, which one? McDonald ended his senior season averaging 20.6 points, 5.6 rebounds and 4.0 assists, with an appearance in a National Championship game. McDonald’s defense is top notch, but how will she perform offensively without the ball? If Dallas feels her speed, defense, and the chip-on-the-shoulder attitude she’s playing with are strong enough in her favor, the Wings could select her.

6. New York Liberty: Dana Evans, PG, Louisville

Liberty selected Sabrina Ionescu with the first pick last season, but they could take on another point guard this year. If Evans is still available, she could join three other Louisville players on the New York roster. Evans has averaged 20.1 points and 3.9 assists this season, and she had a solid finish in the NCAA tournament, with 29 points in a Sweet 16 victory over Oregon, then 24 in a Elite Eight defeat against Stanford.

7. Los Angeles Sparks: Michaela Onyenwere, SF, UCLA

Onyenwere will need to improve her guarding skills in the WNBA, but she is well aware of it and is working on it. This includes his 3-point shot. Onyenwere, a 6-foot-tall waist tweener who averages 19.1 points and 7.2 rebounds as a senior, doesn’t necessarily fit right into a WNBA position coming out of college. But that might not matter: she has a great motor, can keep a variety of players, and has a tendency to shake things up on the pitch. If she’s still available, she could be one of the reasons the Sparks made the trade on Wednesday.

8. Chicago Sky: Kiana Williams, PG, Stanford

If there’s one thing that seems almost certain about this project, it’s that Chicago is interested in a backup point guard for star Courtney Vandersloot. Williams could be the answer. She won an NCAA title with Stanford, leading the Cardinal in scores (14.0 PPG), assists (3.1 per game) and minutes played (32.3 per game). She finished with the best 311 3 point program in her college career.

9. Lynx du Minnesota: Jasmine Walker, PF, Alabama

If Walker and Chelsea Dungee are still available here, the Lynx could go with Walker’s size (6-3) and formidable 3-point shooting ability. She averages 19.1 PPG and 9.4 RPGs this season, and she was 78 of 196 behind the arc (39.8%). The Lynx have a strong contingent of post players, and Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve said they are really looking to the future with the pick. Walker is perhaps the type of player Reeve sees well developing in his system.

10. Los Angeles Sparks: Chelsea Dungee, SG, Arkansas

Dungee is an elite goalscorer and playing at a fast pace, which is what the Sparks want. Admittedly, she hasn’t shown so much when it comes to play or rebounding (she had 41 assists for 70 turnovers and an RPG average of 3.9 as a senior), but that could be attributed to the style of game and staff of the Razorbacks. But we know what Dungee can bring: Her 22.3 PPG this season shows she could be a real open-pit threat as a pro.

11. Seattle Storm: DiJonai Carrington, SG, Baylor

Carrington averages 14.1 points and 4.9 rebounds for Baylor and has played really well in the NCAA tournament. The Storm lost defensive pillar Alysha Clark to free will. The 5-foot-11 Carrington – who often took on the role of defensive goalscorer for Baylor last season – could perhaps help fill that void for the defending champions, while also adding a bit of oomph.

12. Las Vegas Aces: Natasha Mack, PF, Oklahoma State

It’s not fair to compare a rookie to Natasha Howard, a key part of Seattle’s last two championships who is now with New York. But maybe Mack has similar qualities to Howard. Mack is a bit taller at 6-foot-4 and with her long wingspan she was the Division I leader in blocked shots (112, 4.0 per game) this season. She averages 19.8 points and 12.4 rebounds as a senior, and her defensive prowess could put her in a good game with Las Vegas.

Second turn

13. Dallas Wings: Iliana Rupert, C, France

14. Las Vegas Aces: Destiny Slocum, PG, Arkansas

15. Atlanta Dream: Unique Thompson, PF, Auburn

16. Chicago Sky: Lindsey Pulliam, SG, Northwestern

17. New York Liberty: Janelle Bailey, C, North Carolina

18. Seattle Storm: Shyla Heal, PG, Australie

19. Indiana Fever: Chelsey Perry, PF, UT Martin

20. Connecticut Sun: Stephanie Watts, SG, Caroline du Nord

21. Connecticut Sun: Ivana Raca, SF, Wake Forest

22. Los Angeles Sparks: DiDi Richards, PG, Baylor

23. Seattle Storm: Raquel Carrera, PF, Espagne

24. Indiana Fever: Ciera Johnson, C, Texas A&M

Third round

25. New York Liberty: Aleah Goodman, SG, State of Oregon

26. Indiana Fever: Selena Lott, PG, Marquette

27. Atlanta Dream: Tiana Mangakahia, PG, Syracuse

28. Los Angeles Sparks: Aaliyah Wilson, SG, Texas A&M

29. New York Liberty: Kysre Gondrezick, PG, Virginie-Occidentale

30. Connecticut Sun: Jenn Wirth, PF, Gonzaga

31. Indiana Fever: N’dea Jones, PF, Texas A&M

32. Phoenix Mercury: Natalie Kucowski, PF, Lafayette

33. Indiana Fever: Valerie Higgins, SF, Pacific

34. Los Angeles Sparks: Sierra Campisano, PF, Cal Poly

35. Seattle Storm: Trinity Baptiste, SF, Arizona

36. Las Vegas Aces: Micaela Kelly, PG, center of Michigan

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