WNBA mock draft 2020: Projected picks for entire first round
No. 1, New York Liberty: Sabrina Ionescu, G, Oregon
Logan: Ionescu is the 2020 draft's defining prospect. She finished her senior season last month as one of the most decorated college athletes of all time. The two-time Wooden Award Winner will boost the suddenly rebuilding Liberty.
New York traded franchise cornerstone Tina Charles to the Washington Mystics in a three-team deal for a bevy of draft picks, Friday's Nos. 9 and 15 picks. The Liberty will look much different than the squad Ionescu expected. Nonetheless, guard Layshia Clarendon will provide veteran leadership.
Kerith: I saw some people wonder if the Liberty would do something outrageous like trade the pick to get a massive collection of talent, but Sabrina is that massive talent. She's a generational talent. You DO NOT miss an opportunity to have a star like this, someone poised to become one of the most recognizable faces in the WNBA and women’s sports at large.
New York City loves a star, and four years in Eugene, Ore. mean Sabrina brings skill, maturity, showmanship and fire to the Big Apple. Hot damn!
Image courtesy AP Photo/John Locher
No. 2, Dallas Wings: Satou Sabally, F, Oregon
Kerith: I feel pretty good saying Oregon Ducks will go 1-2 in the draft. Dallas is rebuilding after saying goodbye to Skyler Diggins-Smith and Liz Cambage in the last year. They have a collection picks, even after they gave up Nos. 9 and 15 in the Charles trade in exchange for Washington’s first-round pick in 2021 and NY’s second-round pick in 2021.
Sabally leaves Oregon as a junior and the school’s seventh-leading scorer of all time. She’s an athletic, double-double go-getter. When you have a chance to get the nation’s best small forward, do it.
I’m tempted to say Dallas picks the home state girl, Baylor’s Lauren Cox. It would be a good story for the All-American, but I won’t get cute.
Logan: Sabally will be an elite scorer for the Wings, capable of scoring in bunches.
She averaged 16.2 points, 6.9 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game last season. Sabally scored 25 points against Team USA and helped Oregon upset a team filled with Olympians like Diana Taurasi, Sue Bird and Sylvia Fowles. As she showed in Eugene, she can be the perfect second piece for a contender for years to come.
Image courtesy AP Photo/John Locher
No. 3, Indiana Fever: Lauren Cox, F, Baylor
Logan: She’ll do wonders for the Fever alongside Tearia McCowan as a double-double scoring threat. Cox averaged 12.5 points and 8.4 rebounds per game last season, earning Big 12 Player of the Year honors for the second straight time.
The 21-year-old can bang inside and is an elite interior defender, earning the Big 12’s Defensive Player of the Year honors in both 2018 and 2019. If she can stay healthy, she can be a contributor for years to come.
Kerith: What a beastly frontcourt with Cox and McCowan! I’m not sure what the three-point shooting will look like, but I like it when big women are the cornerstones of teams.
Image courtesy AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall
No. 4, Atlanta Dream: Chennedy Carter, G, Texas A&M
Kerith: Lose a guard, pick a guard? With Angel McCoughtry going to the Las Vegas Aces during free agency, the Dream will salivate at the idea of landing Texas A&M’s Chennedy Carter.
Considered the best scoring guard in this class, she is comfortable with ball in her hands, leading the Aggies with a 37.2 percent usage on her way to being the sixth-highest scorer in the women’s game this season. It’s not just the scoring, but how she does it, right Logan?
Logan: Perhaps the swaggiest player in her class, Carter can score at will. She scored 46 points in a win over USC as a freshman, averaged 21.3 points per game (on 45 percent shooting) this season. Carter erupted for 37 points against Tennesse on Feb. 16, helping the Aggies hold off the No. 25-ranked Lady Volunteers on the road.
She scores in bunches, letting you know about it along the way. A long 3-pointer is usually followed by a shimmy, and Carter's not afraid to shoot over two or three defenders at a time.
Full disclosure: Chennedy is my favorite player in the draft.
Image courtesy USA Today Sports/James Snook
No. 5, Dallas Wings: Tyasha Harris, G, South Carolina
Logan: The Wings need a backcourt threat after Diggins-Smith's departure, and Tyasha Harris provides that.
Harris blossomed into one of the best point guards in the country under Dawn Staley's tutelage. She scored 19 points and dished 11 assists against UConn on Feb. 10 as the Gamecocks routed the Huskies. The Wings need a bonafide point guard to begin this new era, and Harris is just that.
Kerith: I think one of the UConn stars might go here, either Crystal Dangerfield or Megan Walker. But if the Wings go with Harris, Minnesota Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve will have no problem taking another Husky after seeing what 2019 Rookie of the Year Napheesa Collier could do right away as a pro coming out of Geno Auriemma’s program.
Image courtesy USA Today Sports/Jeremy Brevard
No. 6, Minnesota Lynx: Crystal Dangerfield, G, UConn
Kerith: I had a hard time making this pick, and it’s Crysyal Dangerfield from UConn because the Lynx need a point guard. This spot fees a little high for Dangerfield, but Logan took Harris off the board.
Dangerfield is undersized at 5-foot-5, but she’s quick and tough. The four-year player can take care of the ball and shoot threes.
Logan: I like Dangerfield in Minnesota, in part because I’d like to see how she fits in the pick and roll with Sylvia Fowles. The senior can also score. Remember that game against South Carolina? Well, she dropped 28.
I’ll be curious to see the backcourt when (or if?) Odyssey Sims returns. It could go well, or someone could get shipped out of town. The drama!
Image courtesy USA Today Sports/David Butler II
No. 7, Dallas Wings: Beatrice Mompremier, F, Miami
Logan: I like Monpremier here. Some have described her as a ‘unicorn’ for her height (6-foot-4) and athleticism. She still averaged 16.8 points and 9.8 points per game despite a foot injury.
Kerith: I read Monpremier got the majority of her points in post-up situations. If she can finish around the rim and keep up those rebounds, she’ll be a nice asset. I’m not sure who on the Wings will take Monpremier under her wing (sorry) when it’s a young and developing team, especially after the foot injury limited her to 17 games this season.
I wish she could play alongside a center like Liz Cambage or Brittney Griner. The Wings have a logjam at forward, with six players at that spot. But I bet the Wings’ situation changes, considering the picks they have. Moves coming?
Image courtesy AP Photo/Doug Murray
No. 8, Chicago Sky: Megan Walker, G/F, UConn
Kerith: The Sky already have two extremely talented guards in Allie Quigley and Courtney Vandersloot, but it’s never a bad time to get younger. Playing alongside these All-Stars will be great for Walker, who declared for the draft early.
Logan: Walker's a great fit in Chicago. She’s a two-way player who led UConn in scoring, pouring in 19.7 points per game and shooting 45.1 percent from 3-point range. I’d love to see her alongside Diamond DeShields.
Image courtesy USA Today Sports/David Butler II
No. 9, New York Liberty: Ruthy Hebard, F, Oregon
Logan: Talk about a good story. Hebard would reunite with Ionescu, and the two could build another program from the ground up.
The Liberty are just 17-51 over their last two seasons and pretty thin in the frontcourt after trading Charles. Hey Liberty, make this happen.
Kerith: Here come the Liberty saying quack, quack, quack. Why not reunite Ionescu and Hebard? Their pick and roll is cemented, and Hebard led NCAA women’s hoops with a 68.5 field-goal percentage.
Hebard is a good inside scorer. It’ll be fun to see if she can stretch her range alongside a friend.
Image courtesy AP Photo/Jessica Hill
No. 10, Phoenix Mercury: Bella Alarie, F, Princeton
Kerith: This feels like a “best available” pick because Alerie is indeed a talent, and Phoenix just saw DeWanna Bonner leave for the Connecticut Sun. Alarie helped the Tigers go 26-1 this season.
The Ivy League schools get dissed for hoops, but she got some love from Dawn Staley recently. Staley said Alarie's story as the three-time Ivy League Player of the Year should have generated more buzz. Alarie grew up playing guard until a growth spurt, but she kept that handle as a forward.
Logan: The streets are saying Bella Alaire is the second coming of Elena Delle Donne (her school, Delaware, also dissed!). Alarie's 6-foot-4 with a diverse offensive skill set, so it’s easy to see why.
The Tigers looked like a potential top-five seed in the tournament before the world went on lockdown due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Alarie also finished as the school’s all-time leader in blocks. If the comparison to EDD proves true, it’ll be an easy transition joining Mercury legend Dianna Taurasi.
Image courtesy AP Photo/Chris Szagola
No. 11, Seattle Storm
Logan's pick: Kiah Gillespie, F, Florida State
Gillespie is an intriguing option at the wing. She averaged 15.6 points and 8.7 rebounds per game as a senior, but she struggled from beyond the arc (30.34 3-point percentage). Seattle’s stacked so Gillespie probably will come off the bench, which would be a hell of an asset for the Storm.
Kerith's pick: Mikiah Herbert Harrigan, F, South Carolina
The Storm have the best forward in the league, Breanna Stewart, coming back from an Achilles tear. How awesome would it be to have Herbert Harrigan learn from the best?
The woman nicknamed “Mad Kiki” gives her all on both ends of the floor, notching 1,000-plus points and throwing block parties throughout her career. She leaves South Carolina as fifth all-time on the blocked shots list. Herbert’s nickname comes from channeling her anger as a competitive, never-back-down player.
I also considered Baylor’s Te’a Cooper here, but I don’t think it’s urgent to add a guard when the Storm have Sue Bird, Jordan Canada and Jewel Lloyd.
Image courtesy AP Photo/Gerry Broome and USA Today Sports/Jeremy Brevard
No. 12, New York Liberty
Kerith's pick: Trade for a veteran
The oldest player on the Liberty’s roster is seven-year pro Clarendon now that Tayler Hill was traded along with Charles. Find another voice with playoff experience to join Clarendon because the Liberty expect to soar.
Logan's pick: Joyner Holmes, F, Texas
Holmes is the best player available at this point and fits a need for the Liberty as a forward. She averaged 13.1 points and 8.7 rebounds as a senior, leading the Longhorns in scoring.
AP Photo/Stephen Spillman