WNBA mock draft 2024: Who comes after No. 1 Caitlin Clark?

Draft Picks and Their Value in the WNBA Finals

Illustration by ESPN

The recent WNBA Finals showcased the significance of No. 1 draft picks. In the showdown between the Las Vegas Aces and the New York Liberty, five first-round projected draft picks took the court, excluding the injured Candace Parker of the Aces.

The Aces made history as the only team to have three consecutive No. 1 picks, and each one has been a remarkable success. Kelsey Plum, selected in 2017, was followed by A’ja Wilson in 2018 and Jackie Young in 2019. While Plum and Young took some time to become All-Stars, Wilson showcased her talent right from the start and was named Finals MVP. All four players are under contract for the next season, along with point guard Chelsea Gray, who overcame college injuries and was picked at No. 11 in 2014.

Although the Liberty’s No. 1 picks, Breanna Stewart in 2016 and Sabrina Ionescu in 2020, didn’t secure the championship, they led the team to victory in the Commissioner’s Cup and their first trip to the Finals since 2002.

2024 WNBA Mock Draft Possibilities

In ESPN’s latest 2024 WNBA mock draft, the order of lottery teams is based on their odds for securing the coveted No. 1 pick. The Indiana Fever, Los Angeles Sparks, Phoenix Mercury, and Seattle Storm have the top four picks. However, drafts can turn out differently than anticipated.

For instance, the 2019 draft had uncertainties surrounding the top pick and the number of long-term WNBA players. But as it turned out, Jackie Young was a perfect fit for the Aces, while Arike Ogunbowale and Napheesa Collier excelled with the Dallas Wings and Minnesota Lynx, respectively. A noteworthy 12 out of the 36 players from the 2019 draft, including five from the second round, have played all five seasons in the WNBA, a testament to the quality of that draft.

In this mock draft, we have included only college players in at least their fourth year, even if they haven’t played all three previous years. However, future mock drafts may feature players from overseas and academic college juniors, depending on their eligibility and declaration intentions.

Top Prospects in the 2024 Draft

One standout player in this year’s draft is Kamilla Cardoso, a 6-foot-7 center from South Carolina. With Aliyah Boston’s departure, Cardoso is expected to play a larger role and has the potential to become a dominating force. Cardoso averaged 9.8 points and 8.5 rebounds last season, and her numbers are projected to improve further. She has risen from No. 7 in the initial mock draft to a lottery pick in Version 2.0.

Caitlin Clark – Iowa | Point Guard | 6-foot-0 | Senior

Caitlin Clark, the national player of the year last season, shoulders even more responsibility this year. She aims to contribute to her team’s improvement after losing two key starters. Clark’s exceptional stats from last season, leading the nation in 3-pointers and assists average and ranking second in scoring average, make her a perfect fit for the WNBA.

Paige Bueckers – UConn | Point Guard | 6-foot-0 | Junior

The Phoenix Mercury, under new coach Nate Tibbetts, are in need of a fresh start after a disappointing season. Paige Bueckers, if she can return to her 2020-21 national player of the year form, has the potential to contribute significantly to the team’s rebuild. Despite missing last season due to injury and playing a limited number of games the previous year, Bueckers’ previous performances make her an attractive choice.

Cameron Brink – Stanford | Power Forward | 6-foot-4 | Senior

The Los Angeles Sparks, who missed the playoffs for three consecutive seasons, aim to establish a new culture and return to contender status. Cameron Brink, with her pro-level offensive and defensive skills, has the potential to follow in the footsteps of former Stanford star Nneka Ogwumike, who was a lottery pick and helped the Sparks become contenders.

Angel Reese – Maryland | Power Forward | 6-foot-3 | Senior

Angel Reese, the leader of LSU’s championship-winning team last season, is eager to showcase the Tigers’ potential for improvement. Despite being ranked lower in the first round due to perceived shooting limitations, Reese’s rebounding and energy make her a valuable prospect.

We’ll have to wait and see how the lottery order unfolds and the final decisions of these talented players before the 2024 WNBA draft takes place.


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