Ben York’s 2011 WNBA Mock Draft

By Ben York / @bjyork

SLAM Online’s Ben York shares his thoughts on how he thinks Monday’s WNBA Draft will shake out.

1. Minnesota Lynx: Maya Moore, SF, Connecticut
Maya Moore is one of the most complete players ever to come out of college. She’ll have an immediate impact and a vital role for the Lynx. Remember what Diana Taurasi did for the Mercury in just a few short years? Angel McCoughtry for the Dream in two years? Moore has both the mindset and drive to do that and more.

2. Tulsa Shock: Elizabeth Cambage, C, Australia
Too much upside and too much talent to pass up. I also think her comments on not wanting to play in Tulsa were a bit overblown. She’d be a great fit in Richardson’s system.

3. Chicago Sky: Amber Harris, F, Xavier
I don’t see the Sky taking a point guard (i.e. Vandersloot) or a center (i.e. Lavender) with this pick. Hence, the best available player at this spot is Amber Harris. No brainer here. Harris would be an instant impact player under new head coach Pokey Chatman. For a player her size, her skill-set is phenomenal.

4. Minnesota Lynx: Jantel Lavender, C, Ohio State
The Lynx were loaded before the draft and having the first and fourth picks obviously enhances their already star-studded roster. However, they are a bit thin at the center position. Adding Lavender would provide immediate insurance and depth in their frontcourt.

5. Los Angeles Sparks: Courtney Vandersloot, PG, Gonzaga
Vandersloot’s stock certainly rose with a sensational NCAA tournament. If the Sky doesn’t take her at no. 3, I see this as an ideal pick for the Sparks. Not only would it give Los Angeles depth at the guard position, it would be a perfect location for Vandersloot to thrive in. She doesn’t have to start at point guard immediately with Ticha Penicheiro at the helm. Thus, she can learn from one of the best guards and leaders to ever play in the WNBA. What better way for a rookie point guard to get introduced to the league?

6. San Antonio Silver Stars: Kayla Pedersen, F, Stanford
Great basketball IQ and versatile enough to play multiple positions effectively. Just an overall solid player whose ability to stretch the floor would fit well on any team. For lack of a better term, Pedersen is a safe pick here.

7. Tulsa Shock: Danielle Robinson, G, Oklahoma
A complete point guard. Robinson has a great mid-range jumper, is a great leader, and has fantastic vision. Most importantly, she’s a hard worker and has a strong will to win – two things that aren’t negotiable on a Nolan Richardson coached team.

8. Atlanta Dream: Jessica Breland, PF, North Carolina
The Dream doesn’t have any glaring needs at any position, but Breland seems to be a player that could easily integrate into the Dream’s system. They’re going to run, no doubt about it, but they need to get defensive stops and rebounds in order to do so. Breland is active on both ends of the floor and that is something head coach Marynell Meadors highly values.

9. Indiana Fever: Danielle Adams, F, Texas A&M
If anyone can get consistency out of Danielle Adams, it’s Lin Dunn. Her defensive prowess and toughness instantly fits with the identity of the Fever. Adams proved she has what it takes to be a dominant (or, at the very least, effective) post player in the national championship game against Notre Dame and has a confidence in her game that will translate well at the professional level. The Fever’s pace of play highly favors Adams.

10. New York Liberty: Ta’Shia Phillips, C, Xavier
After losing Taj McWilliams-Franklin to the Lynx in the off-season, Phillips would be a great fit for a Liberty team in need of size at almost all positions. Phillips grabbed over 1,500 rebounds during her time at Xavier and her focus on the glass could be immensely helpful for the Liberty.

11. Washington Mystics: Jasmine Thomas, PG, Duke
Minutes might be hard to come by but Thomas has all of the skills needed to be a successful point guard in the WNBA. She has great vision, increased range, and can create her own shot while also working hard on the defensive end of the floor. She might not get a ton of playing time backing up Lindsey Harding, but Thomas could bolster the Mystics backcourt and be an immediate insurance policy.

12. Seattle Storm: Victoria Dunlap, F, Kentucky
An all-around, versatile, and athletic player that would fit the Storm’s system perfectly. If she is still available, the Storm will be thrilled. Like Swin Cash, Dunlap has a unique combination of offensive and defensive prowess to her game.
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