WNBA Mock Draft 2024: Projecting where Caitlin Clark, Paige Bueckers, others will be picked

While the college basketball season is still in its early stages, it’s never too early to place focus ahead to the upcoming draft. And while the 2024 WNBA Draft isn’t until mid-April, December’s WNBA Draft Lottery is the perfect time to check in on the top prospects in women’s college basketball.

Naturally, almost every conversation about the women’s college game revolves around Iowa standout Caitlin Clark, who was the consensus National Player of the Year during her junior season with the Hawkeyes. But in addition to Clark, this year’s draft class features several talents capable of making an immediate impact wherever they land.

As teams look to dethrone back-to-back champion Las Vegas Aces, they’ll look to address major needs through the upcoming draft. The first round of this year’s draft will see 10 teams make 12 selections — the Chicago Sky and Aces moved their picks via trade.

With the draft order taking shape, The Sporting News’ Emily Dozier and Gilbert McGregor put on their GM hats to make first-round selections. Dozier selected first overall and from there, they alternated picks throughout the first round, basing selections on talent and fit with respective teams.

As a reminder, the majority of the players listed have yet to exhaust their college eligibility and this draft order is based on their putting the name in the draft, though the deadline for that decision is not until closer to the draft.

With that in mind, let’s get into the draft order…

MORE: Caitlin Clark’s historic stats only tell part of the story of her greatness

WNBA Mock Draft 2024

Caitlin Clark

(Getty Images)

1. Indiana Fever: Caitlin Clark, Iowa

Age: 21, Senior

Position: Guard

Height: 6-0

If Clark enters the 2024 WNBA Draft, there’s little doubt that she’ll go first overall. She’s arguably the best player in women’s college basketball right now, leading the country in scoring with 29.0 points per game. And yet, she’s still third nationally with 7.9 assists per game. Clark can truly do it all. A young yet talented team like the Fever (who picked WNBA Rookie of the Year Aliyah Boston at No. 1 overall a year ago) will only benefit from the Hawkeyes superstar, who isn’t just simply good, she makes those around her better, too.

— Dozier

2. Los Angeles Sparks: Paige Bueckers, Connecticut

Age: 22, Redshirt Junior

Position: Guard

Height: 6-0

After two seasons marred by injury, Bueckers is officially back. Through UConn’s first eight games this season, she’s averaging 19.0 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game. If she does enter the draft, it’s hard to see Bueckers falling past the second pick in this year’s draft as she checks the boxes of a generational talent. As a freshman, Bueckers swept National Player of the Year honors, a clear reminder that she is a bonafide superstar when healthy.

— McGregor

3. Phoenix Mercury: Cameron Brink, Stanford

Age: 21, Senior

Position: Forward

Height: 6-4

Stanford’s star forward is one of the most versatile players in college basketball. She excels defensively but can score big when she needs to. So far this season, Brink is averaging 18.6 points and 11.4 rebounds, and she’s recorded 30 blocks in just nine games. Brink would bring much needed defense to the Mercury, who finished with a league-low 30.9 rebounds per game last season.

— Dozier

4. Seattle Storm: Aaliyah Edwards, Connecticut

Age: 21, Senior

Position: Forward

Height: 6-3

As Seattle enters Year 2 of a new era of basketball, it’s evident that things revolve around Jewell Loyd. From there, however, this team is still building back toward being a perennial contender. Edwards is the perfect pick to allow them to do so. This season, Edwards is averaging an efficient 15.8 points and 7.3 rebounds and stands to get even better as the Huskies get into the thick of conference play. As the Storm look to leap back into contention, Edwards makes plenty of sense.

— McGregor

Rickea Jackson

(NBAE via Getty Images)

5. Dallas Wings (via Chicago Sky): Rickea Jackson, Tennessee

Age: 22, Fifth Year

Position: Forward

Height: 6-2

Jackson has played only two games this season due to a lower leg injury, which has kept her out of the Tennessee lineup for nearly a month. Still, in two games she’s made her case on why she should be a first-round pick. She’s averaging 22.0 points over two games, including a 31-point 17-rebound performance against Florida State. Jackson finds a way to score, something that the Wings need. Last year, she shot 31.4 percent from the 3-point line, which is something she’ll need to improve on in her fifth year.

— Dozier

6. Washington Mystics: Angel Reese, LSU

Age: 21, Junior

Position: Forward

Height: 6-3

After leading the Lady Tigers to a National Championship in 2023, the road to going back-to-back has been a bit rocky for Reese. Despite the bumps, Reese is averaging 17.4 points and 10.0 rebounds per game. As the Hall of Fame career of Elena Delle Donne winds down, the Mystics could make a play to bring in Reese, which would be something of a homecoming for the Baltimore native who began her college career in the D.C. area at the University of Maryland.

— McGregor

7. Minnesota Lynx: Elizabeth Kitley, Virginia Tech

Age: 22, Graduate

Position: Center

Height: 6-6

Kiltey gets it done on both sides of the ball even at 6-6. The Virginia Tech center is averaging 23.1 points (8th) and 11.4 rebounds (T-11th) through seven games. She needed to step up big in her fifth year, and she’s proved herself thus far. If she can adjust to the pace of the pros, she should become a crucial contributor for the Lynx.

— Dozier

8. Atlanta Dream: Kamilla Cardoso, South Carolina

Age: 22, Senior

Position: Center

Height: 6-7

Cardoso continues the legacy of talented frontcourt players that have grown under the tutelage of Dawn Staley at South Carolina. She falls to eight here but would be a great pickup for a Dream team that heavily relies on Cheyenne Parker in the frontcourt. At  6-7, Cardoso is fluid and uses her height to be one of the best rebounders in the game.

— McGregor

Georgia Amoore

(NBAE via Getty Images)

9. Dallas Wings: Georgia Amoore, Virginia Tech

Age: 22, Senior

Position: Guard

Height: 5-6

Amoore is small but mighty. At 5-6, the Hokie is had the second-most 3-pointers in the NCAA last season with 118. Amoore has had a slower start from the 3-point line but is still averaging 18.1 points per game along with 7.6 assists. She adds a spark that opponents always struggle to slow.

10. Connecticut Sun: Jacy Sheldon, Ohio State

Age: 23, Graduate 

Position: Guard

Height: 5-10

As a junior, Sheldon averaged 19.7 points, 4.2 assists and 3.7 rebounds per game. Last year, her season was largely impacted by a leg injury that limited her to 13 games and slowed her down. In what will be her final year of college ball, Sheldon is rounding back into form, averaging 15.3 points per game while shooting a career-best 39.4 percent from deep. An experienced player of her caliber would be great for a Sun team that will look to contend for a title once again.

— McGregor

11. New York Liberty: Charisma Osborne, UCLA

Age: 22, Graduate

Position: Guard

Height: 5-9

Osborne has had a slow start this year, averaging 14.1 points. She’s still getting back into the hang of things after suffering a shoulder sprain last season. Luckily, she makes it up elsewhere with 6.9 rebounds and 4.7 assists per game. Last year, she led UCLA with 52 steals, and the fifth year already has nine under her belt now. Osborne could help add depth to the Liberty’s backcourt defense, which we saw struggle in the WNBA Finals.

12. Los Angeles Sparks (via Las Vegas Aces): Hailey Van Lith, LSU

Age: 22, Graduate

Position: Guard

Height: 5-7

After standing out during her third season at Louisville, Van Lith’s transition to LSU has come with a dip in scoring production. While she’s averaging the fewest points (12.2) since her freshman year, Van Lith is showing off her playmaking chops with a career-high 5.0 assists per game. As she makes the leap to the next level, Van Lith’s ability to play like a pure point guard will make her an impactful pro. If they go frontcourt with their lottery pick, a guard makes sense here for LA.

— McGregor

Other names to know

Isabel Borlase, Australia: A 5-11 shooting guard who, at 19, is breaking out in the Australian WNBL.

Mackenzie Holmes, Indiana: 6-3 post that’s averaging 19.0 points and 6.7 rebounds in her final season with the Hoosiers.

Leila Lacan, France: 5-11 French guard who is playing professionally at the club level. Can be impactful due to her playmaking ability.

Alissa Pili, Utah: 6-2 senior is the reigning Pac-12 Player of the Year. Averaging 23.2 points and 5.7 rebounds for the Utes this season.

Nyadiew Puoch, Australia: Earned “The Block Doctor” nickname because of her rim protection in the WNBL. A 19-year-old quickly rising in the ranks.

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