2019 WNBA Mock Draft Version 2.0

The 2019 WNBA Draft is less than two months away from now and it’s starting to get really exciting as March and April are very busy for the women’s college basketball world and the WNBA world. Now that we are near the end of February, it’s time to release my second version of the WNBA Mock Draft. You can read the first version here. I will release another updated version next month in March, during the time of the NCAA Tournament. From now on, I have also listed college eligible juniors and international players.

ROUND ONE

  1. Las Vegas Aces – Sabrina Ionescu**
  2. New York Liberty – Asia Durr
  3. Indiana Fever – Kalani Brown
  4. Chicago Sky – Napheesa Collier
  5. Dallas Wings – Teaira McCowan
  6. Minnesota Lynx – Arike Ogunbowale
  7. Los Angeles Sparks – Katie Lou Samuelson
  8. Phoenix Mercury – Megan Gustafson
  9. Connecticut Sun – Jessica Shepard
  10. Washington Mystics – Jackie Young**
  11. Atlanta Dream – Kristine Anigwe
  12. Seattle Storm – Brianna Turner

ROUND TWO

  1. Phoenix Mercury – Sophie Cunningham
  2. New York Liberty – Marina Mabrey
  3. Chicago Sky – Natisha Hiedeman
  4. Minnesota Lynx – Anriel Howard
  5. Dallas Wings – Eziyoda Magbegor
  6. Minnesota Lynx – Tynice Martin
  7. Los Angeles Sparks – Alanna Smith
  8. Minnesota Lynx – Hallie Thome
  9. Connecticut Sun – Maci Morris
  10. Dallas Wings – Kennedy Burke
  11. Atlanta Dream – Bridget Carleton
  12. Seattle Storm – Kianna Ibis

ROUND THREE

  1. Indiana Fever – Maite Cazorla
  2. New York Liberty – Kayla Goth
  3. Chicago Sky – Allazia Blockton
  4. Indiana Fever – Kitija Laksa
  5. Dallas Wings – Amy Okonkwo
  6. Minnesota Lynx – Cierra Dillard
  7. Los Angeles Sparks – Laura Stockton
  8. Phoenix Mercury – Morgan Bertsch
  9. Connecticut Sun – Teniya Page
  10. Washington Mystics – Kiara Leslie
  11. Atlanta Dream – Kennedy Leonard
  12. Seattle Storm – Zykera Rice

 

 

 

2019 WNBA Free Agency – Where will free agents sign?

WNBA Free Agency signing period is about to open in just a few days and with that comes excitement of a new WNBA season. With that in mind, I decided to write a blog post on my predictions on where the WNBA free agents on every level (core players, reserved players, restricted free agents and unrestricted free agents) would sign for upcoming WNBA season. I have also listed some quick thoughts as to why I believe why that said player may re-sign or go sign somewhere else.

I have never done this type of post before in all my 10+ years of watching and covering the league, so I thought I would try something new. Let me know your opinion in the comments section and let’s see what happens when the free agency signings start on February 1st.

CORE PLAYERS

DeWanna Bonner (PHX) – Worry not, Phoenix Mercury fans. I predict that Dewanna Bonner will re-sign with Phoenix. She’s too important for the Mercury, hence the core tag.

Tina Charles (NYL) – Out of all the core players, this one was the most worrisome. The New York Liberty situation was getting out of hand and Tina Charles is just too valuable to lose. If the NY Liberty had to re locate, Tina Charles probably wouldn’t be on that team. However, that is no longer the case as the New York Liberty will now play in Brooklyn in 2020. This makes both management and Tina Charles happy. So I predict she will re-sign with New York.
Glory Johnson (DAL) – Glory Johnson is an interesting case. It’s interesting that Dallas used their core tag on her which means they value her contributions. Glory Johnson is a solid player but usually star players or MVP types get this designation which means that she will also re-sign with Dallas because she’s not going to get the same treatment among other teams.
Maya Moore (MIN) – Rumors are abound with  Maya Moore and the most heavy one is that she will sit out this season. If that is true, that means she will not play this season which is a loss for the Lynx and the WNBA for the 2019 WNBA season.
Jasmine Thomas (CON) – Jasmine Thomas will re-sign with Connecticut because the Sun really helped her career and let her shine, so she would not go anywhere else. I predict she re-signs with Connecticut.
Courtney Vandersloot (CHI) – Like Jasmine Thomas, Courtney Vandersloot’s career as a starting point guard for the Sky has become increasingly valuable to the Sky franchise, hence why the core tag.  I predict she re-signs with Chicago because she likes playing for the Sky.

RESERVED PLAYERS

Lindsay Allen (LVA) – I predict she re- signs with Las Vegas.
Anna Cruz (MIN) – I predict she re-signs with Minnesota.
Blake Dietrick (ATL) – I predict she may sign somewhere else.
Cayla George (DAL) – I predict she may sign somewhere else.
Linnae Harper (CHI) – I predict she re-signs with Chicago.
Astou Ndour (CHI) – I predict she re-signs with Chicago.
Sonja Petrovic (PHX) – I predict she re-signs with Phoenix.
Nayo Raincock-Ekunwe (NYL) – I predict she re-signs with New York.
Angel Robinson (PHX) – I predict she may sign somewhere else.
Mercedes Russell (SEA) – I predict she may sign somewhere else.
Karlie Samuelson (LAS) – I predict she re-signs with Los Angeles.
Asia Taylor (IND) – I predict she re-signs with Indiana.
Kayla Thornton (DAL) – I predict she re-signs with Dallas.
Marianna Tolo (LAS) – I predict she re-signs with Los Angeles
Yvonne Turner (PHX) – I predict she re-signs with Phoenix.
Marta Xargay (PHX) – I predict she re-signs with Phoenix.
Cecilia Zandalasini (MIN) – I predict she re-signs with Minnesota.

RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS

Natalie Achonwa (IND) – I predict Natalie Achonwa will re-sign with the Indiana Fever.
Rebecca Allen (NYL) – *update: Rebecca Allen is out with an ACL injury, unlikely to be available this season.*
Brittany Boyd (NYL) – I predict Brittany Boyd will re-sign with the New York Liberty.
Natasha Cloud (WAS) – I predict Natasha Cloud will re-sign with the Washington Mystics.
Damiris Dantas (ATL) – I predict Damiris Dantas will re-sign with the Atlanta Dream unless another team has a higher offer.
Jamierra Faulkner (CHI) – I predict Jamierra Faulkner may sign with another team if another team has a higher offer.
Chelsea Gray (LAS) – I predict Chelsea Gray will re-sign with the Los Angeles Sparks
Dearica Hamby (LVA) – I predict Dearica Hamby will re-sign with the Las Vegas Aces.
Cheyenne Parker (CHI) – I predict Cheyenne Parker will re-sign with Chicago unless another higher offer comes.
Odyssey Sims (LAS) – I predict Odyssey Sims will re-sign with the Los Angeles Sparks unless another higher offer comes.
Erica Wheeler (IND) – I predict Erica Wheeler will re-sign with the Indiana Fever.
Amanda Zahui B (NYL) – I predict Amanda Zahui B will re-sign with the New York Liberty unless another higher offer comes.

UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS

Seimone Augustus – I predict she re-signs with the Minnesota Lynx. Seimone Augustus has made Minnesota home, so she would want to stay as long as possible and possibly retire there.

Alana Beard – I predict she re-signs with the Los Angeles Sparks because the Sparks have done so much for her career and now when she is reaching the end of her playing career, she would want to have stability.

Rebekkah Brunson – I predict she re-signs with the Minnesota Lynx.  Like Seimone Augustus, Brunson has made Minnesota home and the fans and organization have been with her. I imagine she would also like the opportunity to possibly retire in Minnesota.

Essence Carson – I predict she signs somewhere else. I’m not sure what teams have offered, but if New York is in the running, I predict she would want to go back to New York, her previous team.

Karima Christmas-Kelly – I predict she re-signs with the Dallas Wings because Dallas has helped Karima Christmas-Kelly’s career and I think she would want to stay with the Dallas Wings because Dallas is a great city and has a championship coach in Brian Agler now.

Marissa Coleman – I predict she signs somewhere else. I’m just not sure where she would go.

Sydney Colson – I predict she re-signs with the Minnesota Lynx just because she will have a bigger opportunity to shine this season.

Monique Currie – I predict she re-signs with the Washington Mystics because she enjoys playing there and the DMV area is home to her.

Jelena Dubljevic – I predict she re-signs with the Los Angeles Sparks.
Adaora Elonu – Not sure of her plans, this one is up in the air.

Briann January –  I predict she re-signs with the Phoenix Mercury because she enjoyed a great season last year and she would want to continue playing there.

Shenise Johnson – Shenise Johnson is an interesting case. She could be highly valued for other teams and I predict that if a good deal comes along, she would take it over what the Fever would offer. I predict she may sign somewhere else.

Betnijah Laney – *update- I predict she probably sign somewhere else*

Crystal Langhorne – I predict she may sign somewhere else because while she became a WNBA champion, she may be looking for a new team as she had her worst season last season and may not want to be the Storm any longer.
Erlana Larkins – I predict she may sign somewhere else. I just don’t know where or what team.
Maggie Lucas – *update: I predict she may sign somewhere else*

Sancho Lyttle – I predict she re-signs with the Phoenix Mercury but would sign later as she still coming off recovering from a torn ACL.

Alex Montgomery – I predict she re-signs with the Chicago Sky.
Devereaux Peters – I predict she signs somewhere else.
Cappie Pondexter – I predict she signs somewhere else where the right fit would be for her as well as for the team.

Alexis Prince – I predict she signs somewhere else.
Epiphanny Prince – I predict she re-signs with the New York Liberty because the ownership situation is resolved and she would want to continue playing for the franchise.

Allie Quigley – I predict she re-signs with the Chicago Sky because Chicago has done so much for her career and she would want to continue playing for the Sky.

Noelle Quinn – I predict she may sign somewhere else.

Leticia Romero – I predict she may sign somewhere else where she could get an opportunity to shine.

Tierra Ruffin-Pratt – I predict she re-signs with the Washington Mystics.

LaToya Sanders – I predict she re-signs with the Washington Mystics.

Krystal Thomas – I predict she signs somewhere else.

Kia Vaughn – I predict she re-signs with the New York Liberty.

Riquna Williams – I predict she re-signs with the Los Angeles Sparks.

Shavonte Zellous – I predict she re-signs with the New York Liberty.

2019 WNBA Mock Draft Version 1.0

The WNBA Draft is coming up in three months and with that in mind, I have released the first version of my WNBA Mock Draft. These versions of the mock draft will be updated monthly. Also, after the NCAA Tournament, the mock drafts will be updated weekly until the actual WNBA Draft.

NOTE:**This first version of the draft does not include international players and will be included in the next version. It also does not include possible early declaration players and possible WNBA Free Agency movement which impacts the draft. That will be in the later versions of the draft which will be out in March or April.

ROUND ONE

  1. Kalani Brown – Las Vegas Aces
  2. Asia Durr – New York Liberty
  3. Katie Lou Samuelson – Indiana Fever
  4. Napheesa Collier – Chicago Sky
  5. Teaira McCowan – Dallas Wings
  6. Jessica Shepard – Minnesota Lynx
  7. Arike Ogunbowale – Los Angeles Sparks
  8. Megan Gustafson – Phoenix Mercury
  9. Sophie Cunningham – Connecticut Sun
  10. Alanna Smith – Washington Mystics
  11. Kristine Anigwe – Atlanta Dream
  12. Brianna Turner – Seattle Storm

ROUND TWO

  1. Natisha Hiedeman – Phoenix Mercury
  2. Marina Mabrey – New York Liberty
  3. Kianna Ibis – Chicago Sky
  4. Anriel Howard – Minnesota Lynx
  5. Maci Morris – Washington Mystics
  6. Kenisha Bell – Minnesota Lynx
  7. Danni Williams – Los Angeles Sparks
  8. Hallie Thome – Minnesota Lynx
  9. Jenna Allen – Michigan State
  10. Kennedy Burke – Washington Mystics
  11. Bridget Carleton – Atlanta Dream
  12. Kennedy Leonard – Seattle Storm

ROUND THREE

  1. Kayla Goth – Indiana Fever
  2. Maite Cazorla – New York Liberty
  3. Allazia Blockton – Chicago Sky
  4. Kitjia Laksa – Indiana Fever
  5. Amy Okonkwo – Dallas Wings
  6. Ciara Duffy – Minnesota Lynx
  7. Morgan Bertsch – Los Angeles Sparks
  8. Laura Stockton – Phoenix Mercury
  9. Teniya Page – Connecticut Sun
  10. Kiara Leslie – Washington Mystics
  11. Rosemarie Julien – Atlanta Dream
  12. Zykera Rice – Seattle Storm

My final thoughts on the 2018 WNBA season

Wow. I cannot believe the 2018 WNBA season is over. It seems surreal to me that the time just flew by. It feels like it was just yesterday that the 2018 WNBA season got underway. It was by far the most fastest, hectic, rewarding and amazing season. The Twitter support I received along with writing articles for Hashtag Basketball made the season go faster than normal for me. It was a ton of fun writing and interacting with people via on Twitter. Thank you to everyone who took time to read my articles. It meant the world to me. This season was by far the most fulfilling season for me on a personal level because I got to connect with a new basketball audience that was not there in previous seasons. I got to reach out to other basketball fans and try to bridge the gap between the WNBA and other sports fans. It was so nice to see other outlets cover the WNBA in their own unique way and try to bring more coverage forward. I am so thankful for each and everyone of you who also viewed this blog when looking for updates. The blog was not frequently as updated as in previous seasons, but I will have coverage of the upcoming FIBA Women’s World Championship — specifically for Team Canada.

Thanks for always tweeting, reading, commenting, interacting on various mediums on the WNBA this year. I may have not always replied, but I always appreciated. Thank you to everyone for the constant support. I appreciate you all!

Best wishes,

Aneela

 

 

WNBA Draft Lottery — Who will win the #1 overall pick?

The 2019 WNBA Draft Lottery will take place tonight during half time of the WNBA semi final game 2 (Washington vs Atlanta). The four worst teams in the league this season have the opportunity to grab a great college player in yet another deep WNBA draft class.

The four worst teams this season were the Indiana Fever, Chicago Sky, Las Vegas Aces and the New York Liberty. The lottery rules have shifted and instead of the 1 year record, it now accounts for 2 years (or seasons). So, this means that the Fever and the Sky have the best odds of landing a top 2 pick. The Las Vegas Aces improved significantly this season but can still land a top 3 pick. The “worst” odds out of all the teams belongs to the New York Liberty. The Liberty were great in 2017, and that great year will affect them for this draft lottery. However, it should be noted that finishing fourth in this year’s lottery is not that bad. There are a ton of talented players available and the Liberty should fare well.

Keeping all that in mind, I believe that lottery drawings are a luck of the draw. The Indiana Fever REALLY need this top pick and would be thrilled to have it. However, I do not think the Fever will win tonight. I have a feeling it will be the Chicago Sky who come away with the #1 overall pick. I think the Fever will pick #2, the Aces at #3 and the Liberty at #4 overall. (I could be totally wrong, and it could just be the Fever who finally manage to win the #1 overall pick)

Whatever team will end up winning the #1 overall pick in 2019, they will have plenty of talented senior college players to choose from. Players such as Teaira McCowan, Asia Durr, Arike Ogunbowale, Katie Lou Samuelson, Napheesa Collier, Kalani Brown and more. I tracked all of the college players for two years running and here was the latest on who the top overall junior player was for 2018.

This could change a WNBA teams fortune. So, who do you think will win the #1 overall pick? Tune in tonight to find out!

The 2018 WNBA Season at the first quarter point.

A'ja Wilson

The 2018 WNBA season has now reached the quarter point of the season as a large majority of teams have played 10 or 11 games now. Only Phoenix has played up to 13 games (the most in the WNBA, currently). A month of WNBA games has flown by in this condensed schedule, which has meant craziness around the league. Let’s break it down in terms of what teams have stood out, what players have excelled and those that have not yet so far. There’s still a lot of season left to be played, but at this point, we are starting to see what potential playoff and championship contenders could be.

Team(s) that have stood out:

The Connecticut Sun stood out in the very early part of the season before the schedule as well as injuries caught up to them. They were in first place for the start of the season but now have lost three straight and sit in fourth place overall. The Los Angeles Sparks have been the steadying force and as a result of other teams slipping up, they are now in first place. They’ve been solid and playing to their expectation level as many thought they would still be a top team. The Seattle Storm have been excellent as well and they have played really well under new coach Dan Hughes. Last but not least, is the Phoenix Mercury. Many had the Mercury making the playoffs and possibly a top 4 team, but no one expected this hot start from them. They have won eight straight games, they have the best road record and Diana Taurasi is playing excellent basketball along side Brittney Griner. Diana Taurasi may have a serious case for the WNBA MVP award if the Mercury keep this up.

Players that have stood out:

As mentioned above, Diana Taurasi has stood out early one quarter in the WNBA season, but Natasha Howard has been an excellent addition to the Seattle Storm. She has played well beside Breanna Stewart which has allowed her offensive game to flourish. She’s on track to being a WNBA All Star next month. Chiney Ogwumike has also stood out from the Sun simply because she was injured last season and has performed well so far. If not for her injuries, she would have already been in star form. She’s just that good. Elizabeth Cambage from Dallas also stands out because, despite not playing in the WNBA for many years, she’s become the second best player for the Wings and she’s performed really well for that team.

Team(s) that have not performed well so far

The two teams that have not played well so far are the defending WNBA champion the Minnesota Lynx and the New York Liberty. Prior to the season starting, many thought the Lynx would be the #1 team to beat but so far they have not been that team. As for the New York Liberty, they were thought of being a playoff contender but so far, they have struggled. Even with a healthy lineup, they have not been consistent so far and would miss the playoffs as they sit in ninth place overall.  Both the Liberty and the Lynx can be better than they are right now and they still have three quarters of the WNBA season to prove it.

The 2018 WNBA Rookie Class

ROOKIES!! These WNBA rookies came to play this season. Led by A’ja Wilson, the #1 overall WNBA draft pick, Kelsey Mitchell, Kia Nurse, Ariel Atkins, Victoria Vivians, Myisha Hines Allen, Azura Stevens, Diamond DeShields, Gabby Williams have ALL shown flashes or have had games in which they have stood out so far. These rookies are different from previous recent classes because they have played well or have contributed to their teams in some kind of capacity. The WNBA is in good hands with these rookies as some of them have shown superstar or WNBA All Star potential. Some have shown they can be future great defenders or great starters.

SCHEDULE

The WNBA schedule is a talking point because let’s face it, these condensed schedule is nuts. We are already in Week 5, some teams have been on crazy road trips out West, some teams have played 4 games in 7 days, etc. Also there have been some really bad back to back game schedules. Each team will experience it or already have experienced it. Teams are now starting to lose players due to it which does not help teams in terms of making the playoffs. Thanks a lot, FIBA. It’s all your fault. (On the other hand, it does increase the amount of WNBA games on the schedule, which is a bonus for us, personally speaking)

STAT LEADERS

Point guard / Shooting guard Skylar Diggins-Smith currently leads the WNBA in scoring with 21.9 points per game followed by Breanna Stewart and Tina Charles.

Center Sylvia Fowles leads the way in rebounding with 11.8 rebounds per game followed by Elizabeth Williams and Alyssa Thomas.

Point guard Sue Bird leads the way in assists with 5.9 assists per game followed by Chelsea Gray and Skylar Diggins- Smith

There’s many more categories, but I chose the main three statistics.


 

That wraps up the 2018 WNBA season at the quarter point. There’s still so much to be decided, and we will have much more to discuss when the WNBA reaches at it’s halfway point, so stay tuned for that blog post. (The halfway point — believe it or not, is in two weeks!)

WNBA Players Scoring/Rebounding/Assists Milestones for the 2018 season

A new WNBA season is upon us. There’s so much to look forward too, but for these following WNBA players, it will be even more special as they can cross certain milestones and move themselves up in the WNBA lists. As always, my inspiration for this comes from Kevin Brown’s WNBA site where you can find all of these information and much more. I also used Across the Timeline’s website in which they detailed all of the upcoming WNBA players milestones.  I only cover the three main categories and will update every single time via my Twitter when a player is near a certain milestone just like I have in previous years. *Note: I only put WNBA players who I think are capable of reaching the milestone THIS season ONLY.*

SCORING MILESTONES

8000 points

Diana Taurasi needs 133 points to reach 8000 points.  She will be the FIRST EVER WNBA player to reach that scoring milestone. (Phoenix Mercury)

7000 points

Cappie Pondexter needs 409 points to reach 7000 points. (Los Angeles Sparks)

6000 points

Sue Bird needs 160 points to reach 6000 points. (Seattle Storm)

Candice Dupree needs 398 points to reach 6000 points. (Indiana Fever)

Seimone Augustus needs 521 points to reach 6000 points. (Minnesota Lynx)

5000 points

Angel McCoughtry needs 10 points to reach 5000 points. (Atlanta Dream)

Tina Charles needs 228 points to reach 5000 points. (New York Liberty)

Candace Parker needs 422 points to reach 5000 points. (Los Angeles Sparks)

Maya Moore needs 628 points to reach 5000 points. (Minnesota Lynx)

Sylvia Fowles needs 681 points to reach 5000 points. (Minnesota Lynx)

4000 points

Rebekkah Brunson needs 32 points to reach 4000 points. (Minnesota Lynx)

DeWanna Bonner needs 353 points to reach 4000 points. (Phoenix Mercury)

3000 points

Renee Montgomery needs 141 points to reach 3000 points. (Atlanta Dream)

Epiphanny Prince needs 146 points to reach 3000 points. (New York Liberty)

Shavonte Zellous needs 322 points to reach 3000 points. (New York Liberty)

Elena Delle Donne needs 352 points to reach 3000 points. (Washington Mystics)

2000 points

Courtney Vandersloot needs 84 points to reach 2000 points. (Chicago Sky)

Karima Christmas-Kelly needs 162 points to reach 2000 points. (Dallas Wings)

Danielle Robinson needs 182 points to reach 2000 points. (Minnesota Lynx)

Kia Vaughn needs 214 points to reach 2000 points. (New York Liberty)

Alex Bentley needs 239 points to reach 2000 points. (Connecticut Sun)

Allie Quigley needs 243 points to reach 2000 points. (Chicago Sky)

Odyssey Sims needs 288 points to reach 2000 points. (Los Angeles Sparks)

Kayla McBride needs 433 points to reach 2000 points. (Las Vegas Aces)

Jewell Loyd needs 473 points to reach 2000 points. (Seattle Storm)

1000 points

Chelsea Gray needs 68 points to reach 1000 points. (Los Angeles Sparks)

Chiney Ogwumike needs 104 points to reach 1000 points. (Connecticut Sun)

Alex Montgomery needs 113 points to reach 1000 points. (Chicago Sky)

Bria Hartley needs 144 points to reach 1000 points. (New York Liberty)

Elizabeth Williams needs 170 points to reach 1000 points. (Atlanta Dream)

Erica Wheeler needs 225 points to reach 1000 points. (Indiana Fever)

Jonquel Jones needs 246 points to reach 1000 points. (Connecticut Sun)

Natasha Howard needs 262 points to reach 1000 points. (Seattle Storm)

Liz Cambage needs 294 points to reach 1000 points. (Dallas Wings)

Moriah Jefferson needs 337 points to reach 1000 points. (Las Vegas Aces)

3000 rebounds

Tina Charles needs 347 rebounds to reach 3000 rebounds. (New York Liberty)

Sylvia Fowles needs 374 rebounds to reach 3000 rebounds. (Minnesota Lynx)

1000 rebounds

Noelle Quinn needs 6 rebounds to reach 1000 rebounds. (Seattle Storm)

Marissa Coleman needs 45 rebounds to reach 1000 rebounds. (New York Liberty)

Jessica Breland needs 86 rebounds to reach 1000 rebounds. (Atlanta Dream)

Karima Christmas-Kelly needs 136 rebounds to reach 1000 rebounds. (Dallas Wings)

Elena Delle Donne needs 143 rebounds to reach 1000 rebounds. (Washington Mystics)

Krystal Thomas needs 197 rebounds to reach 1000 rebounds. (Washington Mystics)

1000 assists

Renee Montgomery needs 75 assists to reach 1000 assists. (Atlanta Dream)

Kristi Toliver needs 79 assists to reach 1000 assists. (Washington Mystics)

Briann January needs 91 assists to reach 1000 assists. (Phoenix Mercury)

Danielle Robinson needs 121 assists to reach 1000 assists. (Minnesota Lynx)

Leilani Mitchell needs 197 assists to reach 1000 assists. (Phoenix Mercury)