Keep That Same Energy: Five Thoughts Heading into 2024 WNBA Draft

If you were one of the tens of millions that tuned into the national championship game between South Carolina and Iowa, we only have four words to say. 

Keep that same energy. 

Just because women’s basketball at the collegiate ranks has come to a close, that does not mean the women’s basketball calendar takes a backseat until next October and November. 

In fact – there is this thing called the WNBA whose calendar really revs up over the spring and summer and one of the big events of that calendar is the draft which occurs next week. 

We all know who will be chosen No. 1 – but beyond the Indiana Fever adding Caitlin Clark into its mix, here are five observations as this year’s draft looms. 

Losing Nneka Ogwumike to the Seattle Storm made it official that the Los Angeles Sparks are in full rebuild mode. 

A couple of key building blocks in said rebuild will be unveiled on Monday when the Sparks have two of the four lottery picks in this year’s draft. 

Many a mock has the Sparks going with a pair of bigs to fill the void left by Ogwumike. One of those is Cameron Brink out of Stanford and the other is Kamilla Cardoso out of South Carolina. 

Brink was a national champion with the Cardinal three seasons ago. Cardoso is coming off her second national championship – and a 2024 NCAA Final Four where she took home Most Oustanding Player honors. Also – Cardoso would be re-united with another Gamecock in Zia Cooke.

The trade of Kahleah Copper to the Phoenix Mercury made it clear that the Chicago Sky are another team in rebuild mode. 

The Sky now have Teresa Weatherspoon as its coach and Jeff Pagliocca as its general manager. In addition to the third overall selection, Chicago will also pick eighth. That is two picks in the first round. 

If one were to look at mocks, a good bit of them have Tennessee’s Rickea Jackson trading in her Summitt blue for Sky blue. There is even at least one that says Chicago may go with Cardoso instead of Jackson. A popular pick appears to be Nyadiew Puoch out of Australia or possibly Alissa Pili from Utah.

The only other pick the Sky will have is the 13th overall selection – the first of the second round which was also acquired from the Mercury in the Copper deal. 

The ongoing saga that is Angel Reese’s draft stock has been one of the more fascinating stories to follow in the women’s basketball realm. 

Following LSU winning last season’s national championship, one may have been a bit more bullish regarding her draft stock. Said stock has been all over the place ever since. 

Around this same time last year, Reese was seen as a potential lottery pick. Since then, there have been mocks that have seen Reese projected as a sixth overall pick (Washington Mystics) as well as an eighth overall selection (Atlanta Dream). 

With no Elena Delle Donne for Washington this season, the Mystics appear to be the third of our teams that have rebuild written all of them. 

In fact, Washington only has three selections overall for this entire draft – and only one in the first round which is the aforementioned sixth overall. 

Reese has been mentioned as a possibility as has UConn’s Aaliyah Edwards. Washington can draft anyone, but the main question with the Stics is if the team can steer clear of the injury bug. 

Lib Loyals

This is the first draft in many years where fans will be in attendance.

One can only assume a sizable portion of those fans will indeed be New York Liberty fans. 

The Brooklyn Academy of Music – where this year’s festivities are taking place – is only a hop, skip and jump from Barclays Center. One can only assume the atmosphere created by Lib Loyals will be very similar to that of New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets fans with the NBA’s version. 

As for the Liberty’s picks, the seafoam, black and copper have the second-to-last selections in all three rounds. New York also has the fifth overall selection in the second round via a trade with the Sky.