Sky Draft Central: Mock Draft by HOOPSWORLD’s Stephen Litel
It’s almost that time, WNBA fans. The NCAA crowned their champion—congrats to Texas A&M, by the way—and the WNBA draft is only days away. I’m very excited for what will by my seventh season covering the WNBA and I look forward to meeting more of you this summer. Give me a follow on Twitter @stephenlitel because, although I cover the Minnesota Lynx locally, I also cover each team as they come through town for SLAM Online. On nights when I’m not attending a game, you can find me there, tweeting away while watching a game on Live Access. I’m always up for a chat on anything WNBA with the best fans in the world. Now, let’s get to it…
1. Minnesota Lynx - Maya Moore / F / Connecticut Isn’t this one obvious? Moore is, obviously, one of the all-time greatest women’s college basketball players and the Lynx rolled the dice by trading last year’s number one pick to the Connecticut Sun in an effort to get more opportunities to get Moore this season. Coincidentally, the lottery ball numbers which officially gave the Lynx the pick were their own, not from the Connecticut trade. Either way, this is a lock. It’s been a lock for a long time, no matter which team held the selection.
2. Tulsa Shock - Elizabeth Cambage / C / Australi. Without question, outside of Moore, Cambage is the most talented player in this draft. Tulsa needs more of an inside presence, Cambage will be a great inside player (with the ability to step outside as well) and will be a great addition to the Shock.
3. Chicago Sky - Amber Harris / F / Xavier Outside of Moore, Harris is one of my personal favorites to watch play. Her versatility makes her incredibly valuable to her team and I expect the same when she becomes a member of the Sky. She gets after it on the defensive end, can hit the three and has a fine inside game, so putting her alongside Fowles will be a nice combo in the post.
4. Minnesota Lynx - Jantel Lavender / C / Ohio State Like most, I would not be surprised to see the Lynx trade this pick for future considerations. However, if they do keep it, Lavender would be a wonderful selection here. Ohio State’s all-time leading scorer and the Big Ten’s all-time leading rebounder is confident and smart enough to carve out a niche for herself on a team with scorers like Seimone Augustus, Candice Wiggins, Monica Wright and Maya Moore on the perimeter.
5. Los Angeles Sparks Ta’Shia Phillips / C / Xavier The Sparks need more size to compliment Candace Parker in the post and with Lavender off the board, they should select Phillips. She is a rebounding machine and, of course, can score the ball due to her size and hustle. As someone with a bit of an old-school attitude, Phillips will quickly gain the respect of the Sparks veteran-laden roster.
6. San Antonio Silver Stars - Courtney Vandersloot / G / Gonzaga At the sixth pick, the Stars are able to pick up a player who became the first player—male or female—to acquire 2,000+ points and 1,000+ assists? Are you kidding me? Vandersloot is a player and will have the opportunity to transition to the professional ranks while learning from Becky Hammon.
7. Tulsa Shock - Danielle Robinson / G / Oklahoma Robinson is already a great player, but her always looking for ways to improve and learning from criticism make her a great fit in Tulsa. Coach Richardson demands a lot of his players and Robinson’s all-around hustle should make her a valuable contributor in 40 Minutes of Hell.
8. Atlanta Dream - Kayla Pedersen / C / Stanford After an amazing season, the Dream will have the opportunity to add another winner. Pedersen is a heady player, who knows how to play well in big moments, big games. I’d expect Pedersen to be the first post off the bench behind de Souza and Lyttle.
9. Indiana Fever - Victoria Dunlap / F / Kentucky A team that emphasizes defense and playing the right way and there is the 2010-11 SEC Defensive Player of the Year still on the board? This is a great match and Fever fans will love her hustle and willingness to learn. Like the Vandersloot/Hammon potential relationship in San Antonio, Dunlap has an amazing opportunity to learn from Tamika Catchings.
10. New York Liberty - Jessica Breland / F / North Carolina Breland rebounds the ball well and that’s one of the biggest areas the Liberty need to address. If she remains on the board—pun intended—at number ten, she will wear a New York jersey this summer. After overcoming a lot of adversity in her life, Breland is a great success story and is a winner.
11. Washington Mystics - Danielle Adams / F / Texas A&M Riding the high of winning the national championship, Adams will bring that winning, team-first attitude to the Mystics. With Alana Beard returning to the court, Adams’ presence down low will give the Mystics a chance to return to the playoffs.
12. Seattle Storm Jeanette Pohlen / G / Stanford I was tempted to take Sydney Colson from Texas A&M here due to her play during their championship run, but don’t believe Brian Agler will select her. Because of that, Jeanette Pohlen comes from a winning atmosphere and will go to another one in Seattle. More importantly, she will understand and is a team player enough to know there won’t be many minutes for her as rookie on a team looking to repeat as champions. However, you can bet she will be ready to play when she does see court time for the Storm this summer.