2022 WNBA Mock Draft


Contributors: Kayla Dos Santos and Dano Mataya

After a fun NCAA tournament and a shocking trade, we are almost ready for the 2022 WNBA Draft. Returning to an in-person draft for the first time since 2019, it’ll be a night to remember for the draftees. The most important question: with Atlanta acquiring the number one overall pick in a trade with Washington, will the Dream stick with the consensus and draft Rhyne Howard, or will they shoot for a player with a crazy-high ceiling in NaLyssa Smith? Last year, everyone’s mock drafts exploded after the second pick. So here’s to hoping we aren’t all terribly wrong yet again!

#1 Atlanta Dream- Rhyne Howard

Kentucky- Guard- 6’2″

It shocked most WNBA fans when the Atlanta Dream traded up to acquire the number one draft pick. After Mystics head coach, Mike Thibault, said that Washington would hang on to the first pick, fans expected that Rhyne Howard would begin her career in DC. However, we should still expect Howard to be the number one pick. She is the clear consensus at this spot. Howard is a scoring guard with great length who also distributes the ball well. This season, she averaged 20.5 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 3.3 assists per game, according to Her Hoops Stats. As a franchise in the middle of a rebuild, the Dream wants Howard to be a franchise centerpiece for years to come.

#2 Indiana Fever- NaLyssa Smith

Baylor- Forward- 6’4″

NaLyssa Smith seems to be the most logical pick at number two for the Fever’s first of four first-round choices, as she is right up there with Howard as the most WNBA-ready player in the draft. Smith, who averaged a double-double this season at Baylor, should get plenty of experience as a rookie and has an opportunity to come in and help right away. Smith can play inside and outside as she develops her game. Indiana whiffed on their top draft picks the last couple of drafts, but Smith is an obvious choice to turn that trend around.

#3 Washington Mystics- Shakira Austin

Ole Miss- Center- 6’5″

At 6’5″, Shakira Austin has the best combination of size and skill of the remaining potential draftees. Per Her Hoops Stats, she averaged 2.1 blocks per game this season, ranking fourth among those entering the draft. She also scored 15.2 points per game and collected nine rebounds per game. Austin doesn’t space the floor at all, but the Mystics should have enough decent floor spacers that they can make it work. She also operates well as a screener.

#4 Indiana Fever- Kierstan Bell

Florida Gulf Coast- Guard- 6’1″

There may not be a better pure scorer in this year’s draft. Kierstan Bell, the back-to-back Her Hoop Stats Becky Hammon Mid-Major Player of the Year, may be that extra edge of scoring the Indiana Fever seem always to miss late in games. Hopefully, Bell will be able to take the scoring pressure off Kelsey Mitchell and Tiffany Mitchell. She will have to work on some defensive mechanics to keep up with the league’s speed, but offensively, she’s ready. Bell averaged 23.5 points per game this season. If those numbers translate to the WNBA, she could be the steal of the draft at the fourth pick.

#5 New York Liberty- Naz Hillmon

Michigan- Forward- 6’2″

Naz Hillmon seems to be a prospect that no one understands completely. Mock drafts have her all over the place. While her size could be a detriment for someone at her position, at 6′ 2″, she’s still an extremely capable rebounder. Hillmon thrived on the offensive glass at Michigan. Her motor is unmatched, and she would bring a lot of energy off the bench for the Liberty. Hillmon is also a good decision-maker with the ball in her hands. Unfortunately, she hasn’t yet extended her game beyond the three-point line, and even at the mid-range level, she hasn’t found much success. Hillmon relied primarily on scoring inside in college, which will be tougher to do against WNBA competition. But she has a knack for tracking the ball down on the glass, which can be valuable in any system.

#6 Indiana Fever- Emily Engstler

Louisville- Forward- 6’1″

We could see the Indiana Fever taking multiple players in this spot. For us, it came down to Nyara Sabally and Emily Engstler. The hope for the Fever would be that Sabally is still available by the tenth pick, and if not, they would pick another big. Engstler’s stock improved throughout her year at Louisville as she committed to getting her body right. Engstler was a catalyst for the Cardinals’ success. One could recognize that success in her Final Four loss to South Carolina. She was their glue player. While there are some questions about what she can bring to the table offensively, she’s a tenacious rebounder who will bring the grit the Fever need.

#7 Dallas Wings- Destanni Henderson

South Carolina- Guard- 5’7″

Looking at the Wings last season, it doesn’t appear that they are all that committed to Moriah Jefferson or Tyasha Harris at the point guard position. If the Wings desire a potential solution at the point, Destanni Henderson could be their answer. She had a great season shooting from three, at just under 40%, according to Her Hoops Stats. Henderson also averaged 3.9 assists. There were some occasions in college where she didn’t make the best decisions in late-game situations with the ball in her hands, but that was primarily before her extremely encouraging senior season. Henderson matured in that aspect of her game. At 5’7, she’s undersized. But not long ago, the WNBA saw an even smaller rookie, Crystal Dangerfield, step in and make an immediate impact. Henderson could do the same.

#8 Minnesota Lynx- Sika Kone

Mali- Forward/Center- 6’3″

At just 19 years of age, Sika Kone may have the most potential in the draft. Her numbers overseas are more than impressive, and it would be great for her to learn under one of the best centers of all time in Sylvia Fowles. With this being Fowles’s final season, this is an excellent opportunity for the Lynx to start planning for the future. Of course, there will be a learning curve adapting from the level of play overseas to that of the WNBA. But Kone should have all the tools necessary to be a contributor. 

#9 Los Angeles Sparks- Christyn Williams

UConn- Guard- 5’11”

Christyn Williams profiles as a strong wing with a knack for getting to the rim, and she can be a bit of a streaky shooter from long range. However, Williams had a solid year shooting from deep. She shot 33.8%, per Her Hoops Stats from three. When the shot is falling, Williams is a three-level scorer. Looking at a Sparks team that was offensively anemic in 2021, they could use a scorer. Bringing in Liz Cambage and Chennedy Carter will help in that regard. But Williams could be another boost for them. Williams is a solid defender at her position. At UConn, she was usually given the most challenging defensive assignment, so she’s used to being relied on for her defense. Williams is also highly proficient at scoring with either hand, making her a crafty finisher.

#10 Indiana Fever- Nyara Sabally

Oregon- Forward-6’5″

The thought process here is the Fever will take a big to make up for the loss of Tearia McCowan. Nyara Sabally has the size and skills to be a force in the league, but her injury history is a concern. She’s only played two college seasons due to injury. But in those two campaigns, she played effectively. Sabally averaged 15.4 points and 8 rebounds per game this past season per her Hoops Stat and dished out two assists per game. 

#11 Las Vegas Aces- Rae Burrell

Tennessee- Guard- 6’1″

Rae Burrell’s draft stock was probably higher at the end of the 2020-2021 season than it is now. She, unfortunately, battled an injury at the beginning of this past season that set her back. According to Her Hoops stats, she played 22 games this season and averaged 12.3 points on 36.4% shooting. The Aces could use a perimeter player. Consider that their offensive scheming, relative to three-point shooting, will likely be a bit different under new head coach, Becky Hammon. Burrell had an okay shooting year this season, at 32.5%. However, last season when Burrell was healthy and firing on all cylinders, she shot 40.2% from three. If Burrell can return to that form, she can be a solid contributor for a team seeking a new offensive identity.

#12 Connecticut Sun- Veronica Burton

Northwestern- Guard- 5’9″

Veronica Burton is easily the best defensive guard in the draft and maybe even the best pure point guard. Her playstyle and mentality would be a great fit with the identity that head coach, Curt Miller, established for the Sun, especially when one considers that the Sun just lost their best perimeter defender, Briann January, to free agency. One should not overlook the Big Ten Conference’s defensive player of the year’s offensive game either, as Burton averaged nearly 18 points per game this season at Northwestern.

Players Who Just Missed

Nia Clouden- Michigan State

Elissa Cunane- NC State

Evina Westbrook- UConn

Khayla Pointer- LSU

Mya Hollingshed- Colorado

About Kayla Dos Santos

    Recommended for you

    Powered by themekiller.com