It’s been two weeks since I last published the first edition of the 2022 WNBA MVP Contenders. You can view it here.
My original plan was to update this every week, but because of important events coming up in July, I will not be able to do that. So this update will be every two weeks. The WNBA MVP contenders can change throughout the season.
Listed below are the top players who I feel are the MVP candidate as well as the detailed explanation of why they are the best candidate from their team.
A’ja Wilson – Las Vegas Aces
The Las Vegas Aces continue to roll since the last update and are now 11-2 overall. In Her Hoop Stats Top 2022 WNBA Players list on the front page of the website, there’s still three Aces players listed in the top 10. Jackie Young is currently second, A’ja Wilson is fifth and Kelsey Plum is ninth. Even with 3 Aces players who could be in serious contention for WNBA MVP consideration, in my personal opinion, I still believe the best WNBA MVP candidate from that team is A’ja Wilson. She’s listed in the top 10 in various major offensive categories such as scoring and rebounding. Her PER (Player Efficiency Rating) continues to remain high at 25.5 which is fourth overall. She’s also listed in the top 10 in both win shares and defensive win shares.
Jonquel Jones – Connecticut Sun
There’s a new WNBA MVP contender this week for the Connecticut Sun. Two weeks ago, it was Brionna Jones. This week, it’s reigning MVP Jonquel Jones. She’s back at her former MVP play. She’s currently averaging 15.0 points per game and 8.7 rebounds per game which is fourth in the league. Although her team mate Brionna Jones has the highest amount of win shares overall, she’s still fourth in the league at 2.6 overall. Her PER is 23.7 which is tenth in the league. She’s also fifth in defensive win shares with 0.9 overall. She still has extremely talented team mates but in terms of MVP candidates, she remains the best for now.
There is no clear cut candidate for the Chicago Sky and their resurgence into the top 3 WNBA standings. Emma Meesseman has the highest win shares out of all her team mates but that is not enough to make her a MVP candidate. Candace Parker is still in the top 50 in major various categories but her numbers are down from previous years. Kahleah Copper’s numbers and impact are also down. And as for Courtney Vandersloot, the only high stat that is higher than others, is the assist rate and that is not enough for WNBA MVP consideration. As the season progresses, I will see which player steps up their play for being a possible WNBA MVP candidate.
Breanna Stewart – Seattle Storm
The Seattle Storm have recently gone on a win streak and climbed up a bit in the current WNBA standings. While doing all of that, Breanna Stewart has continued to excel. She’s currently averaging 21.7 points per game which is first in the league and 7.5 rebounds per game. She’s currently first in the league in steals with 2.5 per game. She’s shooting 50.8% from the paint which is effective. Per 40 minutes, she’s first in points at 27.9. That means she’s able to score at a high rate so far this season. What stands out the most is her ability to be #1 in both PER and in win shares. In PER, she is at 29.5 which is first in the league. In win shares, she’s third in the league at 2.7. Talk about being a highly effective WNBA MVP candidate. In my personal opinion, she’s just behind A’ja Wilson as the leading WNBA MVP front runner.
Ariel Atkins – Washington Mystics
With Elena Delle Donne being in and out of the lineups due to her back, her team mate Ariel Atkins has stepped up to the plate. She’s currently averaging 15.5 points per game which is 15th overall in the league. She’s shooting 43.7% from the field, even more effective from the paint at 48.1%. Her win shares are what sets her apart from her other team mates. She has 2.4 win shares which is sixth in the league. Her offensive win shares are at 1.8 which is eighth in the league.
Rhyne Howard – Atlanta Dream
The WNBA MVP candidate from the Atlanta Dream continues to be Rhyne Howard. She is tenth in the WNBA Top Players list and continues to play well even though the Dream have lost two straight games. Being a rookie and being 10th overall in win shares at 2.3 is mightily impressive. She’s also #1 in defensive win shares at 1.0. Although her numbers have slipped up a bit since the last update, she’s still in good company and remains the best player.
That ends the WNBA MVP contenders update for the WNBA teams as only teams with current winning records were used in this post. As teams move up or down the WNBA standings, the updates will change with the teams record.