WNBA coaches, GMs tab A'ja Wilson for top pick in mock draft
By DOUG FEINBERG
NEW YORK (AP) The Associated Press polled a panel of WNBA coaches and general managers for a mock draft of the first two rounds of the league's draft this spring. Panelists were limited to college seniors and eligible foreign players, and they could not offer a pick for their own team.
The AP will periodically update the draft board.
Las Vegas: A'ja Wilson , South Carolina. She is the consensus top pick in the draft, giving the Aces a strong inside presence.
Indiana: Kelsey Mitchell , Ohio State. A dynamic scorer, Mitchell will give the Fever a top offensive threat to build around.
Chicago: Diamond DeShields, Cukurova, Turkey. DeShields played professionally in Turkey this winter after foregoing her last season at Tennessee.
Chicago: Gabby Williams , UConn. The most athletic player in the draft, Williams is a tremendous all-around player.
Seattle: Lexie Brown , Duke. Brown is one of the top point guards in college basketball and will be able to learn the pro game from Sue Bird.
Dallas: Jordin Canada , UCLA. A quick guard who can score and pass the ball, giving the Wings another talented scorer.
Washington: Victoria Vivians , Mississippi State. A talented scorer gives the Mystics another tough offensive threat in the interior.
Phoenix: Maria Vadeeva , Dynamo Kursk, Russia. The young Russian star has been playing professionally on one of the best teams in the country. Mercury coach Sandy Brondello is quite familiar with her having spent years coaching in Russia against Vadeeva in the winter.
Connecticut: Ariel Atkins , Texas. An all-around guard who would give a little more speed to the Sun.
New York: Kia Nurse , UConn. A solid guard would give the Liberty another good defender and smart offensive player who knows how to win.
Los Angeles: Monique Billings , UCLA. A tremendous rebounder, gives the Sparks another young dynamic post player.
Minnesota: Mercedes Russell , Tennessee. Russell is having a breakout year for the Lady Vols and gives the Lynx a young post player to complement Sylvia Fowles and Rebekkah Brunson.
Las Vegas: Shakayla Thomas , Florida State. Thomas bolsters coach Bill Laimbeer's front court.
Indiana: Stephanie Mavunga , Ohio State. Grew up 30 minutes outside of Indianapolis and would give Pokey Chatman a solid young rebounder.
Connecticut: Jaime Nared , Tennessee. Has stepped her game up and could give the Sun more depth at the small forward.
Atlanta: Kaylee Jensen , Oklahoma State. The Dream's first pick of the draft gives new coach Nicki Colleen more depth in the post with the 6-foot-4 center.
Seattle: Myisha Hines-Allen , Louisville. Would give the Storm a solid rebounder; Hines-Allen is only the second Louisville player to grab over 1,000 boards in her career.
Dallas: Teanna Muldrow , West Virginia. A nice passer to go along with scorer and rebounder, the Mountaineers' 6-foot-1 post player would fit in well in Fred Williams' system.
Washington; Brooke McCarty , Texas. Mike Thibault loves players who can shoot the 3 and McCarty can definitely hit from deep.
Phoenix: Imani Wright , Florida State. Another 3-point threat for Brondello to add to the arsenal.
Connecticut: Loryn Goodwin , Oklahoma State. This well-traveled player, who also went to Butler and UTSA, can definitely score the ball.
New York: Katelynn Flaherty , Michigan. The Wolverines' all-time leading scorer regardless of gender could provide another offensive option for Katie Smith. Doesn't hurt that she's also from New Jersey so might bring some fans to wherever the Liberty end up playing.
Los Angeles: Raigyne Louis , LSU. The talented guard is just the fifth LSU player to have 1,000 points, 500 rebounds, 200 steals and 275 assists in a career.
Minnesota: Carlie Wagner , Minnesota. Would be neat to have the local Minnesota kid play on the Lynx.
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Updated February 1, 2018