Mock Draft v1.0
Taking a look at each team's needs and the best players available, STORM.WNBA.COM predicts who will end up going where come April 17. This mock draft is for recreational use only, and always keep in mind that everything will change dramatically by tomorrow.
Last Updated: April 6
|PG Diana Taurasi|
"Mercury will not select Taurasi" was too unbelievable even for April Fool's Day. Sure number one pick led UConn to third consecutive NCAA championship game, putting the team on her back during the tournament.
|SG Alana Beard|
ESPN’s Ann Meyers, writing for WNBA.com, suggests that guard-deep Washington could (should?) consider Nicole Powell instead. Doubtful. While Coco Miller is solid at shooting guard, point guard remains a weakness, Stacey Dales-Schuman is plenty capable at small forward, and teams picking this high shouldn’t and usually don’t pick based on need. Beard is the best player available, and a team that goes 9-25 has needs almost everywhere.
|F/G Nicole Powell|
Powell probably did not vault herself into the top two, but she did solidify her position as a top-three pick with a solid tourney run that fell just short in the West regional final against Tennessee. Powell is plenty versatile enough to team with Allison Feaster as the replacement for 36-year-old Andrea Stinson. At the same time, one can’t help but wonder if the Sting won’t at least consider taking Lindsay Whalen as the latest heir apparent to point guard Dawn Staley.
|PG Lindsay Whalen|
Whalen likely had the best tournament of any senior, shaking off the effects of two broken bones in her shooting hand to impress everyone and lead Minnesota to a surprise Final Four appearance. Once considered part of a three-player guard group with Houston’s Chandi Jones and Penn State’s Kelly Mazzante, Whalen has separated herself with her tournament run, and it now seems unlikely she slips past four. That could mean a trip to Connecticut, which could use a point guard after dealing Shannon Johnson, or a trade – this pick definitely appears to be in play.
|C Nicole Ohlde|
After adding Ann Wauters in the Dispersal Draft, the Liberty doesn’t have any glaring weaknesses or an evident opening in the starting lineup, which means this pick is more about fortifying the bench and preparing for the future. Jones would do the former, but the presence of Vicki Johnson means she’d be unlikely to become a starter in the near future. 35-year-old Tari Phillips isn’t getting any younger, which means Ohlde could step in a few years down the road.
|SG Chandi Jones|
No inside info here; Jones is the best player available and also fills a key need for the Storm. They should be excited if she’s still left on the board. Jones wouldn't score 20 points per game with the Storm, playing alongside Sue Bird and Lauren Jackson, but her perimeter shooting ability would help free the All-Star duo. At the other end of the court, Jones is 5-10, making her better equipped to deal with the WNBA's big, physical guards than the Storm's current shooting guards.
|C Vanessa Hayden|
It’s difficult to see the Lynx hanging on to this pick. Are their public ruminations about trading for Whalen just pandering to a Minnesota fanbase that adores Whalen? Unlikely. Whalen is marketing gold, and after Janell Burse’s surprising surge in the second-half of last season, point guard remains the Lynx’s biggest need, with Teresa Edwards approaching 40. Either Sheri Sam or Svetlana Abrosimova could be trade bait. If the Lynx holds on to the pick, there is no point guard worth taking, so here’s a vote that Minnesota goes big.
|SG Kelly Mazzante|
Solid up front and with a fine starting lineup after the selection of Taurasi, the Mercury will likely be looking to upgrade its perimeter reserves. Mazzante is the best player available at this point, though her shoot-first, ask-questions-later style makes her a bit of a risk. Shameka Christon would also make a lot of sense here. Ideally, the Mercury would probably like a backup point guard after trading Tamicha Jackson (to get this pick), but, again, the ones left on the board would be reaches at this point.
|C Christi Thomas|
Under the radar, Thomas has become a top prospect and could even move ahead of Hayden in the post rankings. The Fever has played small, with Natalie Williams in the middle and Tamika Catchings at power forward, and could use a true center both now and in the future. Backup Kelly Schumacher remains what she is, a role player. Thomas could be more.
|SF Shameka Christon|
The Monarchs have an outstanding foundation at the most important positions on the court, with Ticha Penicheiro and Yolanda Griffith starting at the point and in the middle and Kara Lawson and Chantelle Anderson backing them up. That means they could go almost anywhere with this pick (besides those positions). Christon would give them a “true” small forward, as DeMya Walker is a bit of a tweener who can slide to power forward and serve as Tangela Smith’s backup.
|PF Rebekkah Brunson|
As if having the WNBA’s best young starting lineup and being defending champions wasn’t enough, the Shock now has two first-round picks (albeit late ones) to try to add to its bench. With Sheila Lambert and Merlakia Jones in the backcourt, the needs would appear to be up front. Brunson would provide nice insurance in case of an injury to Cheryl Ford.
|F/C Iciss Tillis|
Coming off of a disappointing season, Tillis is known as a bit of an underachiever. That also means she has talent in the first place, and the Sparks might pick her up in an effort to see her finally make good on that promise. Tillis wouldn’t have huge pressure to contribute immediately, and her perimeter style fits well with the Sparks current posts.
|C Lindsay Taylor|
Call it a hunch, but between the outstanding young players and the two picks, it seems like Bill Laimbeer will likely take a project with one of his picks. What better kind of project than for a former center to try to mold 6-8 Taylor into one of the WNBA’s best posts? Taylor has improved her stock of late, and wouldn’t be a reach at the end of the first round.