The WNBA draft is almost here! The event is scheduled for April 15th, and like almost every other event this year, it will be hosted virtually.
WNBA draft eligibility rules require that players be 22 years old, and either graduated from college or has no further college eligibility. If the player does have eligibility remaining and enters the draft, they are effectively renouncing any future eligibility to play college basketball.
This is especially important in this year’s draft with the NCAA granting an extra year of eligibility across the board due to covid-19 cancellations. Some of the players on this list do have eligibility remaining, and may ultimately choose to stay in school for another year.
As we get through the first round of this mock WNBA draft, you’ll notice a running theme: the Dallas Wings will spend a lot of time on the clock. They own four of the first seven picks in this draft, including both the 1st and 2nd overall.
The Wings just missed the playoffs last season, finishing 9th of 12 teams in the league. With an influx of young talent from the draft, they’ll look to crack into the playoff mix and contend throughout the 2020’s.
Without further ado, let’s get to our projected first round draft picks.
1. Dallas Wings: Charli Collier
6’5” C, Texas
There is little debate this year on who will be selected #1 overall. Charli Collier is an imposing presence on both ends of the floor, and has presented a huge matchup problem for Texas’ opponents throughout the past few seasons. Collier averaged an impressive 20.9 points, 12.2 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks per game in the 2020-21 campaign, and her 80.5% free throw shooting indicates clear potential as a stretch-big, three point shooting threat at the next level.
2. Dallas Wings: Awak Kuier
6’4″ PF, Finland
The only player in this mock draft who you haven’t seen playing American college basketball is Awak Kuier. Her height and length are striking, and the potential to become an elite defensive stopper at the next level is obvious. What’s perhaps even more intriguing about Kuier is a jumper that has looked increasingly smooth over the past few years. Without seeing her on the NCAA stage, it’s hard to know what Awak will look like against the top American players, but performances in the 2021 Eurobasket have fans and scouts extremely excited to see her suit up next year in the WNBA.
3. Atlanta Dream: Rennia Davis
6’2” G/F, Tennessee
If you’re seeking a two-way, versatile wing player, you’ve found her in Rennia Davis. We’ve seen flashes of dominance on the boards from Davis, and her offensive skillset is extremely impressive. Able to dribble and finish with both hands, pull up from mid-range, and shoot efficiently off catch-and-shoot opportunities, Davis is ready to be plugged into any WNBA offense this year and start contributing. Rennia averaged 17.3 points, 8.8 rebounds, and 2.3 assists in her senior campaign.
4. Indiana Fever: Aari McDonald
5’6″ G, Arizona
This year’s NCAA tournament certainly did not hurt the draft stock of Arizona’s scrappy point guard. Leading her 3rd seeded Wildcats on an impressive title game run, Aari McDonald turned heads throughout the tourney with her lightning-fast speed and confident playmaking. The frenetic pace that McDonald plays with paired with her incredible quick lefty jumper release makes her an off-ball nightmare, and despite her underwhelming size, Aari possesses a skillset that would fit well at either guard position.
5. Dallas Wings: Arella Guirantes
5’11” G, Rutgers
There’s one thing that no team will ever turn down in this league: more shooting. Arella Guirantes brings one of the smoothest shooting strokes this draft has to offer. Her mastery of the midrange is undeniable, but Arella will also pull it back out and drain a deep three from the hash if you give her too much room. The face-up game in the mid post and elbow areas is reminiscent of Carmelo Anthony’s, and she has a bag full of tricks to go to before either rising up or blowing right by you.
6. New York Liberty: Dana Evans
5’6″ G, Louisville
The back-to-back ACC player of the year is headed to the pros. Dana Evans is an elite scoring guard with best-in-class quickness and explosiveness. Even after putting the league on notice in her Junior season, Evans was able to dice opposing teams up with a 20.1 points per game average on the year. While her three point percentage did dip from 43.1 to 35.3, her stellar performance at the stripe indicates a pro-level shooting stroke. Paired with the 2020 #1 overall pick, Sabrina Ionescu, the Liberty would have a potent scoring backcourt for years to come.
7. Dallas Wings: Evina Westbrook
6’0” G, UConn
After stints with each of the sport’s two most esteemed programs, Tennessee and Connecticut, Evina Westbrook is ready to take her place in the WNBA. Westbrook’s vision and playmaking ability are elite; she put up a career-high 10 assists and played lock-down defense on Caitlin Clark in their sweet sixteen matchup versus Iowa. This type of passing and defense at the guard position are exactly what Dallas will be looking for after adding top-level scoring threats with their first three picks in this draft.
UPDATE 4/6: Westbrook has announced that she’s returning to school for her upcoming redshirt senior season and will not be entering the draft.
8. Chicago Sky: Chelsea Dungee
5’11” G, Arkansas
One of the most complete scorers in the draft this year, Chelsea Dungee is a threat at all three levels. If Dungee gets a few open looks early in the game, she’s likely to heat up and make a defense scramble to stop her. In addition to the breadth of scoring weapons in Chelsea’s game, she was able to pile up 136 steals in just three seasons with the Razorbacks. Dungee did struggle a bit with turnovers throughout her college career, so it’s likely that she’ll spend more time off the ball in her first few WNBA seasons.
9. Minnesota Lynx: Natasha Mack
6’4” F, Oklahoma State
Before you drive into the paint, make sure Natasha Mack isn’t standing there. Oklahoma State’s now all-time blocks leader will be taking her elite rim protection and dominant inside presence to the WNBA, and Minnesota should be doing backflips if she falls to ninth. Mack is solid on the offensive end, too. Scoring at a clip of 19.8 points per game this season, Natasha has proven to be a post threat that requires extra attention. The only hole in Mack’s game is the lack of an outside shot and just over 63% free throw shooting – but even if the shot never develops, she’ll still be an awesome piece for any WNBA roster for years to come.
10. Los Angeles Sparks: Jasmine Walker
6’3″ F, Alabama
Few players in this draft possess the combination of size and shooting that Jasmine Walker does. Walker showed off her whole offensive arsenal when she exploded for 41 points and set a program record against Auburn this season. Finishing the season at 39.8% from three and 83.5% from the charity stripe, Jasmine looks poised to become and elite-shooting wing at the next level. With the departure of Candace Parker, Los Angeles will be looking to add depth at the wings and Walker could be the perfect fit for that need if still available at #10.
11. Seattle Storm: Kiana Williams
5’8″ G, Stanford
With legendary point guard Sue Bird in the twilight years of her illustrious career, Seattle would be wise to find a new running mate for Jewell Loyd in the backcourt. Kiana Williams is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a high-level ballhandler and scoring threat from outside. She helped lead her Stanford Cardinal to a national championship this year and averaged 14.3 points per game, shooting 38.4% beyond the arc. Kiana is perhaps best known for her thrilling game-winner against Colorado in 2020.
12. Las Vegas Aces: Destiny Slocum
5’7″ G, Arkansas
Coming off of a finals run on the back of league MVP A’ja Wilson, the Aces are looking to add pieces that will help them get over the hump and win it all. One of the best guards left in the draft at this point will be Destiny Slocum, who had stops at Oregon State, Maryland, and finally Arkansas during her college career. Slocum’s career high for the Razorbacks came against LSU, where she dropped 29 points. Destiny shot 39.7% from three on the year and was a reliable option for Arkansas from deep.
After a chaotic free agency period that saw more player movement than ever before, WNBA franchises are looking to round out their rosters with exciting, young players.
No matter how the draft picks shake out, the 25th season of the WNBA is sure to be one of the league’s most exciting.
Following the draft, we’ll be updating the WNBA Social Media directory to reflect all player movement and rookie additions to the WNBA’s rosters this season. Make sure you’re following all of your favorite players and teams heading into the 2021 season!