Winners և losers in the 2022 WNBA Draft

Winners and losers of the 2022 WNBA Draft first appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

The 2022 WNBA Draft is in the book.

Three rounds և 36 selections WNBA teams have added new faces to their roster as the new season approaches on May 6.

Kentucky guard Ryan Howard left Number 1 general Atlanta Dream to get started, while Florida guard Kiara Smith completed the project, becoming the 36th Connecticut Sun.

So which team wins և which could have been better? Let’s arrange them.

Winners: Shakira Austin, Christine Williams – Washington Mystics

After completing the 2021 campaign with a record of 12-20, Mystics calculated the choice of two projects. Washington changed the No. 1 general election to Atlanta to reach the 3rd և 14th team this year, as well as the exchange for the 2023 first round election, so far so good.

In No. 3, Washington chose Shakira Austin, the center of Ole Miss. When Howard և NaLissa Smithner was off the board, Austin was the best choice available և he had to get along well with Elizabeth Williams on the field just outside the box. 6 feet 5 center will make it harder for opponents to lose low points.

Then, at No. 14, Mystics landed UConn guard Christine Williams. This is a great value for someone who was widely regarded as a potential first-round pick. There is hope that his shooting percentage will increase, but it is a good bet to make in the second round.

Losers: Lexi Hull, Queen Egbo – Indiana Fever

Indiana had seven general elections in the 2022 draft, which is the most. We will talk about their victory later, but let’s start with some questions. The Fever had four selections in the top 10 only. In No. 2, Smith was the big fish, while Emily Engstler was in 4th place, as she could have been available in No. 6, but ultimately not a harmful choice.

Stanford product Lexie Hull ranked No. 6 overall, which was a bit surprising considering it could end up being available. She was considered the second rounder, so coming out of the top five was shocking. Hull is a powerful long-range shooter (39.3% of 4.3 attempts as a senior), but they will need his transfers to develop internal scores to justify his departure so quickly.

Baylor’s central queen Egbo (No. 10 overall) was not the best board, depending on who you ask. Elisa Cunningham and Olivia Nelson-Ododa were other possible options, but Indiana’s clear line of thinking was to match college teammates Egbo և Smith. Time will tell how these two teams will turn out.

Winners: Elisa Kunan, Evina Westbrook – Seattle Storm

Seattle came out of the draft with three options, two in the second and one in the third. It probably struck a chord with everyone, but most notably the NC state’s Elisa Cunen և and UConn’s keeper Evina Westbrook.

Kunane was undoubtedly in the top 10, but reached the second round. The storm hit No. 17, increasing the much-needed height of Kunan by 6 feet 5 inches. His 41.9% video from 3 points և 83.5% video from the charity show that he can become a strong multi-level striker in the 5th position, which will be a phenomenal value.

Westbrook could have been selected earlier in the second round, but overall ranked 21st. He continues the trend of the former Huskies heading for the Pacific Northwest, where he can immediately help defend himself on the wing. If a 3-point shot can increase his percentage until the second season (38.0% for 3.2 attempts), it will certainly exacerbate Seattle’s offense.

Australian Jade Melbourne (No. 33 overall, potential second rounder) was the other conscript. At the age of 19, he is not yet proven, but he can become a strong guard for the Storm.

Losers. Mia Hollingshed, Khaila Pointer – Las Vegas Ace

Las Vegas now has five new players as first-year head coach Becky Hammon takes over as head coach of the WNBA. Two of those selected were late in the first round, two in the second and one in the third. Mya Hollingshed’s No. 8 overall selection և Khayla Pointer’s No. 13 overall selection are early achievements.

Hollingshead, 6 feet 3 strikers, can turn off the lights by 39.6% in 4.3 attempts. However, Acer could have captured him in number 11 or even number 13. Pointer, a 5-foot-7 guard, became a strong player doing everything in his fifth season at LSU. However, he could also be available at a later stage. In Las Vegas, Pointer must reduce its turnover (4.2 assists to 2.9 in college) to succeed.

Kierstan Bell was a great choice at No. 11, but the jury did not know how Hollingshead և Pointer measured the value of their project. The other two Vegas runners-up were Aisha Shepard (No. 23 overall) and Faustin Ayfuwa (No. 35 overall).

Winner: Destani Henderson, Indiana Fair

Indiana has developed a pattern that stands out from the 2022 NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament, making Destani Henderson a great choice for No. 20 overall. The 5-foot 7-footer shook the road to winning the championship with South Carolina last season, where he lost his career-high 26 points in a 45-50-83 shooting split. Now, by joining forces with Kelsey Mitchell, opponents can go down in fever trying to catch up with the two.

And a big shout out to Ameshya Williams-Holiday, who became the first HBCU player to be drafted into the WNBA in 20 years. His shares were selected after the third round or not, but Indiana chose him for the 25th overall. During his three years in Jackson, he averaged double doubles.

Winner: Sika Kone, New York Liberty

The theme of the New York project was to improve its size. Nyara Sabali in the 5th issue և Lorella Cuba emphasized it in the 18th issue, but the underestimated step may be Sika Kone from Mali in the 29th issue.

19-year-old Cone is on the boards of several projects in the potential top-10 selection, but he falls to the third round. Cone played abroad without college basketball experience, which hurt his team. However, the 6-foot-tall striker has great gaming experience. At the 2021 FIBA ​​Women’s World Cup in 2021, she averaged 19.7 points և 14.8 rebounds in 55.1% shooting when Mali reached the semi-finals. This is a low-risk, high-reward move for New York, and another team may regret not doing so.

Honorary winner mentions

Naz Hillmon, PF – No. 15 Common, Atlanta Dream

Olivia Nelson-Ododa, PF – Total 19, Los Angeles Sparks

Hannah Sjerven, PF – No. 28 General, Minnesota Lynx

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