Here’s a recap of the 2023 WNBA Draft:
1) Aliyah Boston (Indiana Fever)
WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert said the words and then it was official. We all expected Boston to go here. She brings elite defense and inside scoring to Indiana. Will she be among the best of the best No. 1 picks of all-time though?
2) Diamond Miller (Minnesota Lynx)
Minnesota didn’t try to replace legendary center Sylvia Fowles with this pick or go after a point guard. Instead, the Lynx did what was expected and picked the best player available. Miller is a No. 2 pick that a lot of people are excited about.
3) Maddy Siegrist (Dallas Wings)
Siegrist climbed up mock drafts in the weeks leading up to the draft and made it three picks in a row where ESPN’s best player available was taken. So still no surprises. Siegrist was the best scorer at the college level in this year’s draft. We’ll see if she can translate to playing the 3 or 4 in the WNBA at 6-foot-1.
4) Stephanie Soares (Dallas Wings via trade with Washington Mystics)
It was a little odd to see the Mystics appear to step on Shakira Austin’s toes with this pick, but then it was revealed that they traded the pick to Dallas. We’ve seen a small sample size from Soares at the Division I level, but her skillset gives her a high ceiling.
5) Lou Lopez Sénéchal (Dallas Wings)
What if Lopez Sénéchal becomes the best pro scorer from this draft class? It could happen. So not totally surprising that the Wings took her here, three spots ahead of Eric Nemchock’s SB Nation mock draft and six spots ahead of ESPN’s mock draft.
6) Haley Jones (Atlanta Dream)
Jones was for a long time the projected No. 2 pick in the draft. She waited about as long as we expected to hear her name when her actual draft night rolled around. This is a big-name pick for the Dream at No. 6. Jones is a former Final Four Most Outstanding Player.
7) Grace Berger (Indiana Fever)
Indiana went with the in-state pick, taking Berger from Indiana University. Both SB Nation and ESPN had Brea Beal of South Carolina going here. Beal ended up falling all the way to No. 24. Berger isn’t the flashiest player to take here, though she is probably better offensively than Beal, who would have been more of a defensive pick.
8) Laeticia Amihere (Atlanta Dream)
Amihere went exactly where ESPN expected and one spot ahead of Nemchock’s projection. In our Dream preview, we mentioned that the Dream might not take a traditional center at 6 or 8 because Soares might be unavailable, which she ended up being. Instead they could go with someone who has center height but more versatile skills, since the game is moving away from traditional centers anyway. At 6-foot-4, Amihere has the ability to play point guard.
9) Jordan Horston (was ESPN’s 4th-best player available at start) (Seattle Storm)
We saw the three best available players go 1, 2, 3, but had to wait until No. 9 for the fourth-best to go. Seattle must have been happy to see Horston still available because she is a point guard and the Storm are of course trying to replace Sue Bird.
10) Zia Cooke (Los Angeles Sparks)
Cooke was very emotional when she heard her name called at No. 10. Around New Year’s, ESPN asked a bunch of college players to give their resolutions and one of Cooke’s was to go in the Top 4 in the draft. Cooke had since seen her name drop to No. 13 on both the SB Nation and ESPN mock drafts. It seemed like she was relieved to still go in the first round.
11) Abby Meyers (SB Nation-projected No. 20 pick) (Dallas Wings)
Meyers was the first shocking pick of the night, and it must have made Maryland Terrapin and Princeton Tiger fans happy. However, the Wings took three players ahead of her and a more-heralded offensive weapon in Ashley Joens after her. So it might be tough for Meyers to make the roster.
12) Maïa Hirsch (Minnesota Lynx)
The Lynx addressed their center need here. Hirsch is 6-foot-5 and can stretch the floor with her 3-point shot. She was considered one of the best players available in this draft and both Nemchock and ESPN had her going to the Lynx at No. 16.