The 2021 WNBA Draft is less than two months away, and it is time for our first write-up of how the picks might play out. The Dallas Wings own the first-round pick (for now) following a trade with the New York Liberty and Seattle Storm. The Wings officially own four of the first twelve selections at this time.
The 2021 draft is wide-open and is exciting as ever in terms of speculation and discussion of who could end up where. This mock draft will include early entries into the draft. Keep in mind plenty will change between now and April 16. Let's have a look at the BetMGM first-round mock draft 1.0.
1. Dallas Wings: Charli Collier* - 6-foot-5 - Center - Texas
The draft-eligible junior could possibly decide to leave Texas and enter the draft after the season. At 6-foot-5, the Longhorn center is averaging a double-double at 22.2 points and 12.5 rebounds per game. Collier's size, combined with the ability to face up and stretch the floor, makes her extremely intriguing for the next level. It is hard to imagine the Dallas Wings allowing this in-state star to be selected by any other team.
2. Dallas Wings: Awak Kuier - 6-foot-4 - Forward - Finland
The Finnish forward has been on the international scene for years and has quickly jumped up draft boards in the last year due to her potential. Kuier has imposing length, athleticism, and versatility, making her one of the top prospects in this draft. At 19-years-old she has only begun to scratch the surface of what she can do offensively and defensively as a stretch-forward or center. Offensively has shown the ability to drive it, shoot the three, and play with her back to the basket. Kuier is a hard one to pass up with the No. 2 pick to build upon down the road.
3. Atlanta Dream: Arella Guirantes - 5-foot-11 - Guard - Rutgers
After opting out of declaring early for the WNBA last year, Guirantes is arguably one of the most complete and experienced players in the draft. Now that Maite Cazorla is not expected to play this season, there is an opportunity here for Guirantes to add depth at the guard position for Atlanta. Guirantes is a pure scorer and is one of the nation’s top scorers at 22.2 points per game. Her overall skill and ability to shoot the three make her a nice compliment to the young Dream guard play.
4. Indiana Fever: Dana Evans - 5-foot-6 - Point Guard - Louisville
I’m an advocate to never shy away from the smaller size at the point guard position. Evans is an experienced and clutch playmaker who knows how to put up points averaging 20.8 per game and shooting it 38 percent from three-point land. Indiana appears to have a need at the point guard spot, and Evans adds depth and the potential to build around in the future. Let’s not forget that Evans is a product of Indiana, which is just too intriguing to pass up on the Fever selecting her.
5. Dallas Wings: Natasha Mack - 6-foot-4 - Center - Oklahoma State
Mack has imposing size and length as a true rim protector and leads the country in blocked shots at 4.1 per game. Her ability to spread out, take up space, and alter shots makes her unique to this draft class. Offensively, Mack is averaging a double-double at 20 points and 12.1 rebounds per game for Oklahoma State. Dallas desperately needs a presence inside as Mack would be a smart pick at No. 5.
6. New York Liberty: Rennia Davis - 6-foot-2 - Wing - Tennessee
Rennia Davis is one of the most intriguing options in this draft behind her length and versatility. She can score it at all three levels and has come on late with her play at Tennessee, averaging 16 points and 8.7 rebounds per game. Davis has one of the highest ceilings for continued growth and development. She is an attractive player due to her ability to play and defend multiple positions.
7. Dallas Wings: Chelsea Dungee - 5-foot-11 - Wing- Arkansas
Dungee is a pure scorer who has consistently shown her ability to put up big numbers and do so in high-pressure situations. She can shoot the three, attack the basket, get herself to the free-throw line, and is a major competitor. One of the things I love the most about Dungee is her mentality. She has that edge to her which will translate well to the next level. Dallas could use her as a spark off the bench at the wing.
8. Chicago Sky: Aari McDonald - 5-foot-6 - Point Guard - Arizona
The Sky are thin at the point guard position and would be lucky if McDonald were still available this late. McDonald decided to return to Arizona for her senior season, forgoing the chance to declare for the draft, which has more than refined her decision-making and offensive skill set. She is one of the top defenders in the Pac-12 and is averaging 18.8 points and 4.6 assists per game for one of the nation’s top teams. I love the idea of McDonald learning under Courtney Vandersloot for the coming years.
9. Minnesota Lynx: Jasmine Walker - 6-foot-3 - Forward - Alabama
Jasmine Walker is arguably the best pick-and-pop player in the draft and option at the stretch-four who has elite skill and potential for the future. Her stock has risen this season as she is averaging a double-double at 21 points and 10.1 rebounds per game for Alabama. At 6-foot-3, she can shoot the ball with the best of them at an impressive 41.7 percent from the field. With the limited stretch-four options in this draft, Walker is no doubt a first-round option.
10. Los Angeles Sparks: Michaela Onyenwere - 6 feet - Wing - UCLA
We are keeping it in Los Angeles with this one. Onyenwere would bring a great deal of athleticism and potential to the Spark’s already thin wing position. At 17.5 points and 8.1 rebounds per game with UCLA, Onyenwere is aggressive off the dribble and gets herself to the free-throw line often. With a more youthful roster, you could see a scenario where the Sparks continue that trend for the future.
11. Seattle Storm: Kiana Williams - 5-foot-8 - Point Guard - Stanford
In my opinion, Williams has not been talked about enough this season. If she were to fall this late, you could see a scenario where Seattle couldn’t pass up the opportunity to add depth at the point guard spot and eventually back up Jordin Canada. Williams’ ability to play in the pick-and-roll, defend the ball, and create for herself and for her teammates makes her a reasonable option for this pick.
12. Las Vegas Aces: Iliana Rupert- 6-foot-4 - Forward/Center - France
This seemingly loaded Aces roster has the opportunity to take a bit of a gamble with some international play at this pick. If Las Vegas felt the need to add a guard, they could still do so with their No. 14 pick. Rupert is just too hard to pass up if you’re thinking long-term. This pick adds some depth and offensive power in the paint for years to come.
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Rachel Galligan is a basketball analyst at BetMGM, HERO Sports, and Winsidr, focusing on college hoops and the WNBA. She’s a former D1 standout at Eastern Illinois University, a three-time Hall of Famer, professional basketball player, and collegiate coach. Rachel also has served as a color analyst for ESPN, OVC Sports Network, and Mountain West Network.