The WNBA season is finally here, and it is a lot to be excited about. There are a lot of teams that have a chance to win the championship. The Chicago Sky will look to defend their crown, with teams like the Las Vegas Aces, Seattle Storm, Connecticut Sun, Phoenix Mercury, and Washington Mystics shooting for the title as well.
In a league full of star-studded rosters and compelling storylines, let’s take a stab at predicting some of the league’s awards and major outcomes.
A’ja Wilson, Las Vegas Aces
A’ja Wilson will win the MVP. With Liz Cambage no longer with the team, it will give Wilson more room to work. New Aces coach Becky Hammon wants to spread the floor, and it will benefit Wilson. Last season she averaged 18.3 points and 9.3 rebounds. Wilson should average close to 22 points and 11 rebounds per game this season.
Rookie of the Year
Rhyne Howard, Atlanta Dream
This is a no-brainer, as Rhyne Howard is head-and-shoulders the most pro-ready player in the WNBA Draft. Howard is a two-way player that can score on all three levels. In addition, she can defend multiple positions and has the physical attributes to be good in the WNBA. Howard will be essential in helping turn the Atlanta Dream around.
Defensive Player of the Year
Brittney Sykes, Los Angeles Sparks
I’m going out on a limb and saying Brittney Sykes will win Defensive Player of the Year. She is very athletic and has very quick hands, and is respected around the league for being one of the premier perimeter defenders in the game today.. She averaged 1.8 steals per game last season, and with the size of Liz Cambage behind her, she could take more chances to get more steals. In addition, Sykes can disrupt the opposing team’s offense with her defensive ability.
Most Improved Player
Chennedy Carter, Los Angeles Sparks
Chennedy Carter went through a lot last season with the Dream. With a fresh start and being surrounded by better talent, Carter should thrive in Los Angeles. Carter is one of the most explosive point guards in the league and can beat anybody off the dribble.
Sixth Player of the Year
Kelsey Plum, Las Vegas Aces
I’m not sure if Kelsey Plum will start or not, but if she comes off the bench, I have her repeating as Sixth Women of the Year easily. Plum has had a strong training camp and looks ready to put on a show this season. With guards Chelsea Gray, Riquna Williams, and Jackie Young also on the roster, coach Hammon has a lot of flexibility with her backcourt rotation.
Coach of the Year
Becky Hammon, Las Vegas Aces
This season, many eyes will be on Becky Hammon, and she will perform well under that pressure. The Aces will be a true title contender under Hammon. They may not win the title, but it will be another successful Aces season. Except Las Vegas to be near the top of the Standings, and the new Hammon offense to give them a faster and more open look.
The Connecticut Sun has a lot of size inside, with Jonquel Jones, Brionna Jones, and Alyssa Thomas healthy. Connecticut also has DeWanna Booner, who can score the basketball. The Sun also added Courtney Williams to strengthen their backcourt; they will be a dangerous team this season.