2020 WNBA Mock Draft
Breaking down the first-round mock draft with five early entries all in the first round.
The WNBA and league commissioner, Cathy Engelbert, announced on Thursday that the 2020 WNBA Draft will go on as planned on April 17 despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The league will hold a virtual draft with Engelbert announcing the picks at location to be later announced.
The draft is set to be televised on ESPN at 7 pm EST.
With the draft set to take place, let the mock draft parties begin.
The hype around the 2020 draft is centered on Oregon’s All-Star Sabrina Ionescu, who is a lock to be the #1 overall pick by the New York Liberty. The fun will really begin with the #2 overall pick and the Dallas Wings. There have been two players who’ve announced they are declaring early for the 2020 draft. League rules state that a player can enter the WNBA early as long as they are turning 22 years old in the current calendar year.
We currently have Oregon’s Satou Sabally & UCONN’s Meghan Walker making formal announcements they will enter the draft. Other players eligible to enter the draft early are Louisville’s Dana Evans, Oregon State’s Destiny Slocum, Rutgers’ Arella Guirantes, Arkansas’ Chelsea Dungee, and Oklahoma State’s Natasha Mack. Arizona’s Aari McDonald is also eligible to enter, but announced on Sunday she’s returning to school for her senior year. Syracuse’s Tiana Mangakahia could have entered the draft as well, despite missing the 2019-2020 season due to cancer treatments. However, she announced back in December she would return to Syracuse on a medical exemption. Any early entries have until April 7 to formally announce their entry and inform the league.
Now onto the mock draft.
#1. New York Liberty – Sabrina Ionescu, 5’10” G, Oregon.
Ever since Sabrina Ionescu announced at the end of the 2018-2019 season that she would return to Oregon for her senior season, she’s been locked into the #1 pick for the 2020 draft. Ionescu is a ball dominate guard capable of scoring from all areas on the court. Her court vision has drawn comparisons to top point guards like Sue Bird, Courtney Vandersloot, and Chelsea Gray. The Liberty has had a hole at point guard for years now. The potential of getting Ionescu as their future franchise player is promising one for the New York Liberty.
#2. Dallas Wings – Satou Sabally, 6’4″ F, Oregon
The Wings go with the best all-around player here with Satou Sabally. Having three other first-round picks will help the fill-out their already crowded roster. There’s the possibility that they go with the more local talent in Baylor’s Lauren Cox to help them inside. However, Sabally may be their best fit and will likely start immediately for the Wings at SF. Adding 6’4″ Sabally will give them a big that can play on the outside and provide the team with rebounding, a category the Wings ranked 10th in last season.
#3. Indiana Fever – Lauren Cox, 6’4″ F, Baylor
The Fever taking Lauren Cox gives them a lockdown inside for the foreseeable future next to Teaira McCowan. Her high IQ, as well as her high passing ability, will be a great asset for the Fever. Cox will likely back-up Candice Dupree for a year but should be a solid rotation player in her rookie year.
#4. Atlanta Dream – Chennedy Carter, 5’7″ G, Texas A&M
Though Chennedy Carter hasn’t officially announced her entry into the draft, she’s the most pro-ready guard to enter early and should easily be a top pick. Atlanta’s current lack of depth at the guard positions locks in Carter here. Whether Carter plays the 1 or the 2 at the next level is to be determined, but her ability to play both puts her ahead of other guards in this draft. Carter gives the Dream some much needed three-point shooting, as well as an off the dribble scorer.
#5. Dallas Wings – Tyasha Harris, 5’10” G, South Carolina
This is when the draft gets really interesting. Dallas having three more picks in just the first-round gives them flexibility in the draft and also the chance to possibly make a trade. With their second pick, I see Dallas going for a back-up back up for Moriah Jefferson. Tyasha Harris is the best available here and gives the Wings a pass-first guard to play around Ogunbowale, Sabally, and Katie Lou Samuelson.
#6. Minnesota Lynx – Meghan Walker, 6’1″ F, UCONN
The Lynx have some holes to fill on their bench and I see them taking the best available player here. Meghan Walker would be joining her former Huskies’ teammate, Napheesa Collier, in Minnesota to provide some needed scoring off the bench. Lynx could also look at a point guard here, such as UCONN’s Crystal Dangerfield. However, I see them waiting until the second-round(#16 pick) for a point guard. Walker will get the chance to develop under Reeve and assistant Katie Smith, possibly culminating in her being as a future starter next to Collier.
#7. Dallas Wings – Ruthy Hebard, 6’4″ F/C, Oregon
With their third pick, the Wings would be looking to add depth inside and Ruthy Hebard is the best available post at this pick. Dallas would also get to pair up Hebard with her Oregon teammate, Satou Sabally, and further assist the Wings in rebounding. Pairing Hebard with a high-scoring backcourt, matched with her ability to crash the boards, will be a big asset for Dallas.
#8. Chicago Sky – Dana Evans, 5’6″ G, Louisville
The Sky are a solid ten deep team already, the majority of their 2019 roster returning. The Sky adding a key piece to the bench can go either way with a guard or a post. Dana Evans entering early can give the Sky a solid back-up for Vandersloot for the long-term. Evans is a high scoring, high-efficiency point guard being added to a team that can develop her for the future.
#9. Dallas Wings – Te’a Cooper, 5’8″ G, Baylor
I see this pick as trade bait. According to this mock draft, the Wings have already added Sabally, Harris, and Hebard to an already loaded roster. Therefore, I see them taking the best available player here in Te’a Cooper. Cooper’s high scoring ability, as well as her solid ball-handling skills, can be an asset for another team.
#10. Phoenix Mercury – Bella Alarie, 6’4″ F, Princeton
Phoenix’s biggest hole after free agency is at the small forward position. Bella Alarie could go earlier to Dallas if Dana Evans and/or Chennedy Carter doesn’t enter. However, getting Alarie at #10 fills the void with DeWanna Bonner now in Connecticut. The cancellation of the NCAA tournament, plus the early entries, will likely cause Alarie to drop this far. This would be a major bonus for Phoenix, and gives them similar skills that Bonner holds in being a flex 3/4.
#11. Seattle Storm – Crystal Dangerfield, 5’5″ G, UCONN
The Storm are in a situation to already be 10 deep, so their pick here is likely someone to develop for the future. Sue Bird will be 39 entering the 2020 season and, even with Jordin Canada as her back-up, Bird missing the 2019 season gives them a need at point guard. Dangerfield is the best remaining point guard and can be developed under Bird. Dangerfield’s height can’t be ignored, but she has abilities similar to former Storm player, Temeka Johnson. Chennedy Carter and/or Dana Evans not entering could make Dangerfield a higher pick.
#12. Washington Mystics – Arella Guirantes, 5’11” G/F, Rutgers
Another potential early entry, Guirantes would a solid be role player off the bench for the 2019 champions. A high scoring guard, Guirantes would add to the Mystics’ three-point threats. Guirantes ability to play the 1, 2 or 3 would also be a major addition to their bench. The Mystics are another team that, like Chicago, will return with most of their 2019 roster. Mystics could go with a post player, but I think that they will take the best available option here.
Notable second-round picks: Kiah Gillespie, F, Florida State; Beatrice Mompremier, F/C, Miami; Mikayla Pivec, G, Oregon State; Joyner Holmes, F, Texas.
To view the remainder of my 2020 WNBA Mock Draft, head to Draftsite.com. Todd Roman is the mock draft contributor for Draftsite and the full, three-round mock can be seen at https://www.draftsite.com/wnba/mock-draft/2020/ Draftsite also gives fans the ability to create their own mocks. Once all the early entries are now, check both doublegsports.com & draftsite.com for any news and an updated mock before the draft on April 17.