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2009 WNBA Mock Draft as of April 8

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Kevin Pelton, storm.wnba.com | April 8, 2009
With less than 24 hours to go until tomorrow's WNBA Draft, storm.wnba.com's Kevin Pelton takes a last stab at predicting how the first draft will play out. Remember that this mock draft is for recreational use only.

1. ATLANTA DREAM
Angel McCoughtry, Louisville
Rare is the WNBA Draft where the first overall pick is very much in question right up until the draft, but that's what we have this year. Recently, many mock drafts have favored the Dream going for UConn point guard Renee Montgomery instead of McCoughtry or even Marissa Coleman. Atlanta Head Coach and GM Marynell Meadors told reporters her team could use a point guard during the pre-draft conference call, but I still see them opting for talent over need, which would tip the scale toward McCoughtry. Meadors' comments could be a smokescreen.

2. WASHINGTON MYSTICS
Courtney Paris, Oklahoma
I'm waffling more on Washington's pick than any other in the draft, if only because it has important implications for how the rest of the order shakes out. The Mystics have two very different options in Paris and Coleman, either of whom could help solidify a Washington offense that will also benefit from the addition of a legitimate point guard in Lindsey Harding.

3. CHICAGO SKY
Marissa Coleman, Maryland
We can be pretty confident that the Sky will end up with a wing tomorrow. What is uncertain is who that player will be, which depends in large part on why goes with the top two picks. My assumption is Chicago's draft board goes McCoughtry-Coleman-DeWanna Bonner, which would leave them with the Maryland forward in this scenario.

4. MINNESOTA LYNX
Kia Vaughn, Rutgers
If Paris goes second to Washington, expect groans in the Lynx's Draft Room. Paris would be an ideal fit for Minnesota's needs up front, while Vaughn or any of the other top posts would be a bit of a reach with the fourth pick. The Lynx might consider trading down, since few of the teams after them are likely to take post players. So this might be the right player with the right team at the wrong pick.

5. PHOENIX MERCURY
DeWanna Bonner, Auburn
The Mercury is likely to either go after a point guard to join newcomer Temeka Johnson in the backcourt or Bonner. An athletic, versatile wing, Bonner might be able to play some power forward for Phoenix a la Penny Taylor - holding her own on the glass while spreading the floor and beating slower opponents downcourt. Surely Corey Gaines can find some use for that kind of talent.

6. INDIANA FEVER
Renee Montgomery, Connecticut
The strange nature of this year's WNBA Draft is that Montgomery could be the top overall pick, or she might slip all the way to sixth, and neither would really be a surprise. In that scenario, nobody would be more thrilled than the Fever and Lin Dunn, who once upon a time coached another UConn point guard who led the Huskies to an undefeated season and a national championship as a senior. That player turned out alright, don't you think?

7. SACRAMENTO MONARCHS
Kristi Toliver, Maryland
I don't think the Monarchs are necessarily married to drafting a point guard, with GM John Whisenant pointing out during the conference call that Kara Lawson would like to play some point in the WNBA after successfully holding down the backup spot behind Sue Bird in the Olympics. Still, if Toliver is on the board, she's much too talented to pass up as the heir apparent to veteran Ticha Penicheiro.

8. NEW YORK LIBERTY
Shavonte Zellous, Pittsburgh
New York has plenty of talent at shooting guard with Lisa Willis and last year's first-round pick, Rutgers product Essence Carson. Willis is a shooter, Carson a defender, while Zellous would bring a more well-rounded game to the table with the ability to knock down shots, especially from midrange, but also create off the dribble and contribute on the glass.

9. MINNESOTA LYNX
Ashley Walker, California
Look for the Lynx to go to the post again with their second first-round pick, ideally for a player who adds a little versatility to their rotation. Walker is excellent in the post, but has also developed her midrange game and can step away from the basket. She could play alongside either Vaughn or Nicky Anosike.

10. CONNECTICUT SUN
Ashley Paris, Oklahoma
The Sun could go a variety of directions, with only one certainty - the last thing Connecticut needs is another point guard. A post player seems the safest bet, and that would leave them choosing between Paris and Chante Black the way this draft has played out. Black would largely duplicate the skills Sandrine Gruda brings to the table, so Paris appears to be the better fit.

11. DETROIT SHOCK
Lyndra Littles, Virginia
Bill Laimbeer has made it clear he's looking to add depth on the perimeter with this pick. The Shock could especially use some size on the wing, where guards Katie Smith and Alexis Hornbuckle mostly played small forward last year. Littles, a strong athlete at 6-1, fits the Laimbeer mold.

12. SEATTLE STORM
Briann January, Arizona State
Most mock drafts have the Storm looking to add depth in the post. While this is certainly possible depending on the available talent, the Storm already has plenty of options up front. Don't discount Swin Cash's ability to play power forward in smaller, quicker lineups, something she did plenty of in 2008 - even before Lauren Jackson's injury. January, who has dropped in this mock, would represent the best talent available.

13. LOS ANGELES SPARKS
Whitney Boddie, Auburn
I'm not entirely sold the Sparks will look to add in the backcourt after focusing on the post all year long. If they do, I don't see Kansas State's Shalee Lehning as a great fit. Los Angeles generally tends to favor athletes, and Lehning will struggle defensively against WNBA quickness. While it would be a surprise to see Boddie go so early, she's a closer match for L.A.'s profile.