It’s a pretty bad year to have the top two picks in the WNBA Draft, much less four of the first 12 available, but the Dallas Wings are faced with that proposition as they’ll kickoff the 2021 event by choosing twice this Thursday at 7:00 p.m. on ESPN.
Here is the 2021 WNBA Draft order as of now. Subject to change via trade of course, and that seems likely to happen with the Wings having one-third of the available choices in the first round.
1. Dallas from New York
5. Dallas from Washington (via New York)
6. New York from Connecticut (via Phoenix)
7. Dallas from Chicago
8. Chicago from Phoenix (via Dallas)
10. Los Angeles
12. Las Vegas
The consensus No. 1 pick appears to be 6’5 Charli Collier of the Texas Longhorns. Her 19.0 points and 11.3 rebounds per game dominated the Big 12, and led her team to the Elite Eight before falling to South Carolina. Her combination of size, touch, and efficiency makes her a pretty obvious choice for the top spot, and the Dallas Wings certainly could use some rim protection.
Collier is a potential All-Star and should be an impact player in the W for quite awhile, but there’s no true superstar in this draft as we saw in 2016 with Breanna Stewart or in 2020 with Sabrina Ionescu. And after her, the decisions for league GM’s get trickier. Especially for Greg Bibb of the Wings.
Aari McDonald’s run to the national championship game for the Arizona Wildcats was the story of the 2021 NCAA Tournament, but can she be a consistent scorer at the pro level? The 5’5 dynamo averaged 20.6 points per game for UofA, but wasn’t exactly a model of efficiency for most of the season.
The intriguing players include 19-year-old Awak Kuier of Finland, who might be a “draft-and-stash” for the Wings that need to find ways around using all their picks as well as staying under the 12-player roster limit. The ceiling on Kuier is almost unlimited, and at 6’5 she’s been able to dunk for years. She currently plays with Ragusa in Italy during the regular season, and once the WNBA campaign begins this will be her first extended time in America.
Rennia Davis should also go early after being a four-year starter at Tennessee. She averaged 17.3 points and 8.8 rebounds per game in her senior year, and at 6’2 she brings athleticism and length to the wing that should translate well.
Also look out for Alabama’s Jasmine Walker, who does two things that translate at all levels of basketball: She’s tall and shoots the three well. A three-year starter for the Tide, she makes 39.8% of her three-pointers and averaged 19.1 points and 9.4 rebounds per game this year. Those are strong numbers during any SEC schedule.