The WNBA playoffs are in full swing. However, for many of the teams not participating, their attention has already turned to the draft. The 2024 WNBA draft has the potential to be one of the strongest in recent memory. However, there is an air of uncertainty to the draft. While stars like Caitlin Clark, Paige Bueckers, and Angel Reese are eligible, many top stars may opt to use their COVID waiver and play a fifth season in college.
"If the depth of the class turns out to be what it's capable of being, having two first-round picks is exciting for what that can do for us," LA Sparks coach Curt Miller said. "But we have to be thorough [with scouting], because this is probably the last class with so many unknowns." Meanwhile, veteran Diana Taurasi, who has announced her intention to play a 20th WNBA season next year, sees the 2024 class as having a massive ceiling. "When you look at this [potential] draft class, what these kids have done the last few years, there's some names that could change your team."
ESPN Includes A Few Surprises In First WNBA Mock Draft
Alongside comments from around the WNBA, ESPN also released their first early mock draft for 2024. The draft considers all players as declaring for the draft and ranks the top-four teams by lottery odds. The number one pick, presumptively held by the Indiana Fever, remains a consensus across most mocks - Caitlin Clark. Clark is the reigning National Player of the Year and one of the most exciting players in college basketball. However, #2 is where the surprises begin. M.A. Voepel slots UConn's Paige Bueckers at the spot despite Bueckers' long injury history. Bueckers has been great when healthy. However, she has less than 50 games in her college career and also has three years of eligibility left.
Furthermore, perhaps one of the biggest surprises is that Voepel has Angel Reese falling to #8. Reese is perhaps the most recognizable player in the college game right now. Furthermore, she helped lead LSU to a national title last season and heads into her senior year with a newly formed superteam around her. Two other surprises are Cameron Brink at #3 and Hailey Van Lith at #5. Both players have exceptional skills - Brink as a defender and Van Lith as a perimeter shooter. However, both players have glaring holes in their game, ironically the other's strengths. As mentioned, all this could change depending on eligibility decisions at the end of the season.