WNBA Draft 2024 recap: Clark No. 1 to Fever; Sparks add Brink, Jackson; Sky select Cardoso, Reese

Photo Credit: Lamar Carter

Whether it was the fact that the 2024 WNBA Draft was the first to be held in front of fans since 2016 or the fact that it was one of the more star-studded drafts in history, it all made for a Monday night in mid-April where the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) was the place to be. 

To the surprise of absolutely no one, when the Indiana Fever made its selection, it was indeed ensuring that Caitlin Clark would remain in the Midwest – simply moving over from Iowa to Indiana. 

One can tell that in the Hoosier State – one that is extremely passionate about basketball that this was a huge deal. So much to the point that the Fever staged a draft party at Gainbridge Fieldhouse that drew over 17,000 fans. In addition, Fever No. 22 jerseys on Fanatics sold out in no time.

With the Clark selection official, the real intrigue of the draft then commenced. The Los Angeles Sparks with a pair of lottery picks gave us a glimpse into what its future would resemble. In what were the first picks of Raegan Pebley’s tenure as general manager, the Sparks ensured that Stanford’s Cameron Brink would remain on the west coast and landed Tennessee’s Rickea Jackson with the fourth overall selection.


Another team that plenty of onlookers had their eyes on was the Chicago Sky as they had the third and seventh overall selections. Once Clark and Brink were off the board, it was a fair question as to what coach Teresa Weatherspoon and general manager Jeff Pagliocca would do with its picks.

The Sky would bring plenty of high-profile championship pedigree to the Windy City. With the third pick, they chose South Carolina’s Kamilla Cardoso who was fresh off her second national championship (and Most Outstanding Player honors for this year’s tournament) with the Gamecocks. Also – with that seventh pick, they ensured Angel Reese would be taking her talents to the City of Broad Shoulders. 

In recent years, the draft has been able to ensure the Dallas Wings’ place in the WNBA as worthy contenders. Dallas had two first round selections in this draft and those picks became Ohio State’s Jacy Sheldon and France’s Carla Leite. 

For all of the talk that basketball has become a guard-oriented sport, many of the early selections of this draft were frontcourt players. This included who the Washington Mystics chose with the sixth overall pick. A team that looks to be in a rebuild with no Elena Delle Donne and looking to work through its injury woes in recent years, the Mystics chose Aaliyah Edwards out of UConn. 

Another frontcourt force was chosen by the Minnesota Lynx with the eighth overall pick. That was Utah’s Alissa Pili. 

Two of the final three selections of the third round were international selections – Leila Lacan to the Connecticut Sun and Nyadiew Puoch to the Atlanta Dream.

The exception was when the New York Liberty were on the clock at 11. Barclays Center is only a hop, skip and jump from the Brooklyn Academy of Music and Ole Miss’ Marquesha Davis would be one of the latest additions to the seafoam, black and copper. 

The second round appeared to be more indicative of the guard-heavy landscape basketball has become in recent years. The first four picks (Gonzaga’s Brynna Maxwell to Chicago Sky, UConn’s Nika Mühl to Seattle Storm, Ohio State’s Celeste Taylor to Indiana Fever and Syracuse’s Dyaisha Fair to Las Vegas Aces) were all guards before the Liberty selection of Esmery Martinez of Arizona. 

For a team that is a two-time defending champion, the Aces had themselves a productive draft. That continued with the selection of Clark’s Iowa teammate in Kate Martin to bolster the Las Vegas bench. 

Taiyanna Jackson was the seventh selection of the second round to the Connecticut Sun followed by another Australian in Isobel Borlase from the Adelaide Lightning. Following the selections of Kaylynne Truong (Gonzaga) to the Mystics, Helena Pueyo (Arizona) to the Sun and Jessika Carter (Mississippi State) to the Liberty, Liz Kitley (Virginia Tech) to the Aces was the final selection of the second round. 

The third round was another indication of how deep this draft was. Charisma Osborne (UCLA) was the first pick of the third round to the Phoenix Mercury followed by Mackenzie Holmes (Indiana) to the Storm. Both would have likely been first or early second round picks in weaker drafts. 

After the selection of Leilani Correa to the Fever, the Sparks ensured (USC) McKenzie Forbes would remain in Southern California. The Mercury then chose Jaz Shelley and the Mystics went with Nastja Claessens. Kiki Jefferson – a guard from Louisville was chosen seventh followed by Matilde Villa (Italy) to the Dream. Ashley Owusu of Penn State then went to Dallas followed by Abbey Hsu Hsu (Columbia) right up the road to the Sun. 

The final two picks? Kaitlyn Davis (USC) to the Liberty and Angel Jackson (Jackson State) to the Aces. New York also made a surprise selection by signing Jaylyn Sherrod out of Colorado. 

(all photos credit to Lamar Carter)