With the addition of these women to the National Basketball Association, America has been taken by storm with talk of a “female revolution.” The new wave is coming off like one big media circus. Sports world seems to be on board as well, projecting that this will soon become an NBA trend and not just in basketball but across all sports.
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12 April 2022
ESPN’s Eric Moody
The WNBA drafted 36 players to 12 clubs in the 2022 draft on Monday night, ushering in a new era of potential.
With the new season ready to begin on May 6, their entrance might impact the course of numerous clubs, and eight players from the new class of rookies have a high potential to contribute immediately in fantasy women’s basketball this season.
Atlanta Dream’s Rhyne Howard
With nine unrestricted free agents available starting in 2021, the Dream are in the midst of their worst postseason drought in team history and are in dire need of playmakers. Courtney Williams, who led the club in PPG, APG, and RPG last season, is one of them. Atlanta will only return 35% of its scoring, 31% of its assists, and 34% of its rebounds from last season, so Howard will have to step up to the plate. Howard was a standout finisher and shooter for Kentucky during her senior season, leading the Wildcats in points, rebounds, 3-pointers, steals, and blocks. She finished her career with a lifetime scoring average of 19.9 points per game, third in 3-pointers made (214), third in 3-point field goal percentage (38.1%), and seventh in steals per game (2.3). Howard should have little trouble adjusting to the professional game.
Today is the last day to join your free Fantasy Women’s Basketball league! Get ready with WNBA player predictions and fantasy outlooks.
Indiana Fever’s NaLyssa Smith
Smith will join a squad that has won just 12 games in the last two seasons and has a total record of 40-116 in the last five. Indiana’s defense has been a huge issue. The Fever were worst in the league in defensive rating past season, with a net rating of minus-12.5 (offensive rating minus defensive rating). Smith’s statistical body of work and skill set at Baylor make him a good fit for the WNBA. She averaged 22.1 points per game and 11.5 rebounds per game in one of the most celebrated seasons in Baylor women’s basketball history. Smith placed in the top 25 in double-doubles (13), field goals made (217), field goal percentage (56%), free throw attempts (154), free throws made (122), and total points scored (122) during her senior season (559). Smith has a good post game, but she has to work on her outside shooting. With a significant position on the Fever, she should have a good shot to thrive.
New York Liberty’s Nyara Sabally
The Liberty were bottom in the league in offensive RPG (6.2), which contributed to their 8.1 second-chance points per game. Last season, New York had the worst defense of any club, allowing the most points in the paint of any team. Sabally has the ability to make an instant difference in these areas. Last season, she was sixth in the Pac-12 in scoring (15.4 PPG) and third in rebounding (7.8 RPG), as well as sixth in blocks (1.4 BPG) and fifth in field goal percentage (52.7 percent ).
Los Angeles Sparks’ Rae Burrell
Despite the Sparks’ excellent offseason, the addition of Burrell further strengthens their ability to score from the outside. Burrell is a dynamic guard who can play on both sides of the court. During her time at Tennessee, she scored 1,131 points and collected 458 rebounds while shooting 40.2 percent from the field. Burrell was out for most of last season due to a knee injury, but she returned for the SEC and NCAA playoffs, averaging 16.6 points per game, 5.6 rebounds per game, and 3.2 assists per game in her last five games.
Indiana Fever, Queen Egbo
As I previously said, the Fever had a slew of obvious needs going into this draft. Egbo is a good runner who would be a good match for a club looking to play more up-tempo this season. During her final year at Baylor, Egbo averaged 11 points per game, 8.4 rebounds per game, and 1.8 blocks per game. Her connection with Smith throughout her four years at Baylor should carry over to Indiana.
Connecticut’s Nia Clouden Sun
Clouden, who concluded her four-year career at Michigan State as the No. 2 all-time leader in career points (1,882) and led her team in scoring each of the last three years, was the Sun’s replacement for Briann January. During her senior season, she averaged 20.0 points per game, 4.2 rebounds per game, 4.2 assists per game, and 1.2 steals per game, while shooting a career-high 39.6% from beyond the arc. The coaching team at Connecticut will assist her in fast acclimating to the professional game.
Indiana Fever’s Lexie Hull
Hull meets the Fever’s criteria for enthusiastic, youthful players who can also play defense. She was the third of Indiana’s four first-round picks in Monday night’s draft, but the Fever trust in what she brings to the court. Hull, a terrific guard who can compliment Kelsey Mitchell, Victoria Vivians, and Bria Hartley, averaged 12.5 points per game, 5.1 rebounds per game, 2.0 assists per game, and 2.2 steals per game in her senior season at Stanford.
Seattle Storm’s Elissa Cunane
Cunane’s elimination from the first round was unexpected. Over four seasons at NC State, she started 101 of 125 games and averaged 15 points and 8.0 rebounds per game. Cunane holds the school record for most free throws made (513), rebounds (987), career points (1,855), and double-doubles (7). (34). She has a first-round pedigree, but she’s on a team that finished second in scoring last season (85 points per game). Cunane, who is 6-foot-5, has the ability to create a name for herself in the league if she is able to join the squad.
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