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The Indiana Fever dominated the first round with four picks and will be judged on how much they improved in the second round. The players who get a roster spot will have the chance to be change-makers for a franchise that hasn't been in the playoffs since 2016

With so many picks on Monday, it was no surprise that the Fever had the best grades. The Cardinal guard Lexie Hull was taken by Indiana in the first round. Hull has that kind of on-court personality, the kind of player the Fever want to make a difference with.

The Chicago Sky were just a draft observer as they had no picks. Three of the four picks the Minnesota and Phoenix Mercury had in the third round might not make a difference.

The Atlanta Dream and Las Vegas Aces made trades to get certain draft-day targets. Was the Washington Mystics right to trade the No. 1 pick?

Here are our draft grades.


Emily was selected fourth by the Indiana Fever.

Indiana Fever: A

There are 2 picks. NaLyssa Smith is a player for the Bears. Emily Engstler is from Louisville. Lexie Hull is from Stanford. Queen Egbo is from C. Destanni Henderson is from South Carolina. Ameshya Williams-Holliday is from Jackson State. Ali Patberg is from Indiana.

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The general manager said she wanted energetic, young players who could bring defense. The third pick in the first round, Hull, was a surprise, but she believes in her motor. Hull led the team in steals. Smith and Egbo have been teammates for four years. The Engstler is a defensive force and plays like she was made to compete.

Henderson went in the second round after a great Final Four performance. If Henderson can make the roster, she plays the kind of defense the Fever are looking for. Williams-Holliday's selection is a boost to HBCUs everywhere.

Atlanta Dream: A

The picks are 1. Rhyne Howard is from Kentucky. Hillmon is from Michigan.

The Dream knew who they wanted in Howard and were willing to trade up to get her. Howard should be aware of how much the Dream believed in her. Howard has the ability to fill the role of the No. 1 selection. Tanisha Wright was a great leader and a great mentor to Howard.

The selection of Hillmon in the second round confirms that the teams in the WNBA have concerns about her size and shooting range. She is off the charts in terms of her maturity and heart. She should get a roster spot because of those qualities.

Washington Mystics: A

Pick 3. Shakira Austin is from Ole Miss. Christyn Williams is a member of the University of Connecticut.

The trade worked out for the Mystics, who got an elite post player in Austin, for whom the sky is the limit if she progresses as a pro. Washington got an additional pick to select Williams, who has a lot of experience at the University of Connecticut.

Much has been made of the ups and downs of Williams in college, but his track record in the league is beyond impressive. She can thrive on Washington.


The third pick in the draft is used by the Washington Mystics.

Los Angeles Sparks: A-minus

There are 9 picks. Rae Burrell is from Tennessee. Kianna Smith is from Louisville. The person is Olivia Nelson-Ododa of the University of Connecticut. Amy Atwell is in Hawaii.

The disappointment of not making the playoffs last year has made the team stronger. They made some big moves in the off-season, obtaining Liz and Chennedy Carter, and possibly filling some needs with the draft. Smith and Nelson-Ododa both have Final Four experience, and Burrell has good size and skills at the wing.

The Big West Player of the Year is Atwell. They might not all make the roster, but they made the most of their draft spots.

New York Liberty: B-plus

Pick 5. Oregon's Nyara Sabally is from Oregon. Georgia Tech has a person named Lorela Cubaj. There is a person named Sika Kone in the state of Maldive.

The Liberty needed strength and size inside. If she can stay healthy, New York's guards can use her as a target.

Cubaj was the leader of Georgia Tech. Kone is just 19 years old and could be a player for the Liberty in the future.


Rhyne Howard was selected by the Atlanta Dream with the first pick.

Connecticut Sun: B

There are 12 picks. Michigan State has a person named Nia Clouden. Jordan Lewis is a quarterback for the Bears. Smith is from Florida.

Clouden is a good scorer and Lewis is a good distributor. Getting more young depth at guard is a positive for the Sun. Smith suffered a season-ending knee injury in the SEC tournament and is a pick for the future.

Dallas Wings: B

There are 7 picks. Veronica Burton is from Northwestern. The person is Jasmine Dickey, Delaware, SG. Jazz Bond is in North Florida.

The Wings don't have a lot of space on their roster because of all the draft picks. They get a good grade from Burton alone. The Wings need perimeter toughness on that end of the court and the three-time Big Ten defensive player of the year adds that.

The roster numbers crunch makes it hard to catch on to players like Bond and Dickey.

Veronica Burton, the No. 7 overall pick in Monday's WNBA draft, is expected to step in right away as a defensive presence for Dallas. Alex Nahorniak-Svenski/NBAE via Getty Images

Seattle Storm: B-minus

Pick 17 Cunane is from NC State. Evina Westbrook is a member of the University of Connecticut. Jade is from Australia.

Cunane is a good 3-point shooter. If she can make the Storm roster, she has a chance to find her way in the league.

With her size and ability to be a combo guard, some thought she might go a little higher. She plays hard and that could make a difference. It's a good pick for the future.

Las Vegas Aces: C-plus

There are 8 picks. Mya Hollingshed is from Colorado. The Florida Gulf Coast has a person named Kierstan Bell. Pointer is from LSU. Sheppard is from Virginia Tech. Aifuwa is from LSU.

This grade could turn out to be way off, but it comes down to this: Was the deal made with Minnesota to get the Nos. 8 and 13 picks worth it? Yes, if Hollingshed proves to be as good as the Aces think she is. The grade might be accurate if not.

Bell should be a good pickup on the perimeter. Hollingshed, Pointer, Sheppard, and Aifuwa were all fifth-year seniors, so they bring maturity.

Minnesota Lynx: C

There are 22 picks. Jones is from NC State. Hannah Sjerven is from South Dakota.

The Lynx made it clear that this draft wasn't going to be a factor for them by trading the Nos. 8 and 13 picks. Considering their limited cap space, that makes sense. NC State and South Dakota both had great college seasons, with NC State reaching the Elite Eight and South Dakota the Sweet 16. It will be difficult for either of them to make the roster.

Phoenix Mercury: C

There are 26 picks. Maya Dodson is from Notre Dame. Macee Williams is from IUPUI.

The Mercury are not expecting much from the draft. The selections were in the third round. It was assumed that the Mercury would go for bigs with their picks, and both Dodson and Williams had good seasons. roster spots will be at a premium, but both could fit a need.