The 2022 WNBA draft has concluded in New York. The top 3 picks went as expected with Rhyne Howard being selected No. 1 by the Atlanta Dream, NaLyssa Smith going No. 2 to the Indiana Fever, and Shakira Austin headed to the Washington Mystics after being selected No. 3 overall. Some surprises in the first round include Lexie Hull at No. 6, Mya Hollingstead at No. 8, and Queen Egbo at No. 10. We go over the biggest winners and losers from the 2022 WNBA Draft.
2022 WNBA Draft winners, losers
Atlanta was able to trade up this year to secure No. 1 pick Rhyne Howard, who was arguably the best player in the class. Howard should make an immediate impact on this team as they start to rebuild. The Dream were also able to pick up Naz Hillmon in the second round. The 6’2 forward out of Michigan averaged 21 PPG last season. Hillmon needs to work on her range a bit, but she could be the biggest sleeper from this draft.
Las Vegas Aces
Las Vegas headed into the 2022 draft as contenders and were looking for more offensive power, especially from the three-point line. The Aces were able to add two great three-point shooters in the first round, selecting Colorado G/F Mya Hollingshed at No. 8 and Florida Gulf Coast SG Kierstan Bell at No. 11. Head coach Becky Hammon added two great offensive weapons to her squad. Aces are in a great spot headed into the 2022 season.
The Fever started off the draft great by selecting Baylor PF NaLyssa Smith at No. 2, the rest of the first round was a bit puzzling. Louisville PF Emily Engstler will be a great defensive player in the league, but taking her at No. 4 was a bit of a reach. The Fever then went and selected Stanford SG Lexie Hull at No. 6 and Baylor C Queen Egbo at No. 10, many of whom thought would probably be second- or third-round picks. Although both of these players can make an impact on the team this year, both of them likely would have been available later in the draft.
This is a great pick for the Connecticut Sun, who had the last pick in first round of the draft. The Sun had one of the best rosters in the league heading into this year, but this means limited spots and cap space to spend on rookies. Clouden will have to go all out during training camp to make this squad.