She Plays’ 2023 WNBA Mock Draft
With players opting to take extra years, the draft board has changed significantly since March.
By Laura Fay
The 2023 NCAA season ended with a bang last weekend, with LSU taking down Iowa 102–85 to claim their first ever title. But despite the championship parades still rocking down in the Bayou, the women’s basketball world now turns its attention to the WNBA draft.
The top pick is all but certain to be South Carolina’s Aliyah Boston, last year’s Naismith Player of the Year and 3x first team All-American, who looks set to revitalize a floundering Indiana Fever side. From there however, things become much less certain. That’s partly because of players choosing to stay in college for a fifth year. Elizabeth Kitley (Virginia Tech), Rickea Jackson (Tennessee), and Jacy Sheldon (Ohio State) were all projected first-round picks who will now not be eligible until next year.
With the projected draft boards changing with each new player’s declaration, let’s see how things are likely to go this Monday night.
1: Indiana Fever: Aliyah Boston — C, South Carolina
With the rest of the draft up in the air, we feel pretty confident penciling this one in. The Fever, mired in the middle of an arduous rebuild, finally saw the draft luck turn in their favor this year. With their No. 1 pick they’ll be able to select Boston, one of the most exciting prospects of the last few years, and finally start building a contender. With Boston’s elite ability in the post and on defense (she’s won back-to-back Defensive Player of the Year awards), she could become the anchor of this Fever side for the foreseeable future.
2: Minnesota Lynx: Diamond Miller — G, Maryland
Miller rebounded from last year’s health challenges in triumphant fashion, leading her Terps to the Elite Eight where they lost to defending champions South Carolina. Her skillset is wide and versatile: at 6-foot-3, she has the body and athleticism of a forward with the decision making and movement of a guard. While her range from deep needs polishing, Miller’s upside is tremendous and will be a nice complement to the Lynx.
3: Atlanta Dream: Jordan Horston — G, Tennessee
Horston is a difficult prospect to put down. She’s a proven and efficient scorer, shooting 43.8% from the field her senior year. She also has the size and athleticism to translate her game to the next level. She won’t be a perfect slot in; her inconsistent 3-point shot and sometimes questionable shot selection will need to be tightened up. But her defensive skill set should endear her to the Dream.
4: Washington Mystics: Haley Jones — G/F, Stanford
At her best, Haley Jones has an infinitely high ceiling. She’s incredibly versatile, having acted both as the primary ball handler and 2 guard in college, and can serve both as playmaker and gamechanger. Unfortunately, Jones’ stock has taken a hit this season. Her points per game have stayed stagnant since her championship-winning sophomore year, and her three-point percentage has plummeted to just 9% in her senior season. Still, Jones’ talent is such that it would be surprising to see her fall out of lottery contention. An already established side like the Mystics could take her on potential alone.
5: Dallas Wings: Maddy Siegrist — F, Villanova
Maddy Siegrist would be a great fit for the Wings. She’s a proven elite-level scorer, leading all DI players this season, and has been similarly dominant off the glass. Her range and three-point ability could also revitalize a Wings side who are in the market for another sharpshooter. Letting Siegrist fall to No. 5 is somewhat of a gamble for Dallas. With picks 3 and 5 in the draft, it wouldn’t be completely unexpected for Dallas to take her with their third selection, especially with the questions surrounding Haley Jones. While the Wings’ defensive focus will likely see them pick Horston at No. 3, Siegrist is a no-brainer if she’s still available at the 5th pick.
6: Atlanta Dream: Stephanie Soares — C, Iowa State
Soares is another tricky prospect to predict. The two-time NAIA player of the year was having a great season at Iowa State, but suffered a season-ending ACL injury in January and was denied another year of eligibility. While her versatility and consistent three-point shot stand out among centers, Soares is still relatively untested at the highest level and will miss the 2023 WNBA season rehabbing her ACL. While she certainly has risk attached, the Dream, who hold another top-10 pick, could take a gamble on her upside.
7: Indiana Fever: Brea Beal — G, South Carolina
Another member of the Gamecocks’ star-studded class, Beal could develop into a solid WNBA player under the Fever. She’s a star on the defensive end, and relishes the challenge of guarding her opponents best players. With Fever GM Lin Dunn repeatedly emphasizing her team’s defensive identity, Beal could fit the bill perfectly for Indiana. It looks like a reunion with Aliyah Boston and 2022 South Carolina grad Destanni Henderson is likely.
8: Atlanta Dream: Laeticia Amihere — F, South Carolina
Amihere is a player made for the pro game. At 6’-4”, she can maneuver both in and outside the paint, and is a great perimeter defender. She was a spark off the bench for the Gamecocks, filling any defensive shortcomings and adding a bit of offense as well. Though her offensive skill set will need some shaping at the pro level, she would be a solid addition to any team’s rotation.
9: Seattle Storm: Grace Berger — G, Indiana
Seattle is a team in flux, having lost much of its identity with the retirement of Sue Bird and the departure of Breanna Stewart this past offseason. While it would be unfair to put Seattle’s rebuild on Berger’s shoulders, she is a reliable and athletic point guard prospect who could get solid minutes on a team without a finalized rotation. Berger was the heart of Indiana’s team in her five years there, and that kind of leadership and playmaking would be a great addition to this new-look Storm.
10: Los Angeles Sparks: Ashley Joens — F, Iowa State
There have been some questions about how Joens’ game will translate to the pro-level, but the reigning Big 12 player of the year is too talented for the Sparks to pass up. An efficient scorer with reliable range from deep, Joens will provide wing depth and shooting off the bench. With LA’s offseason acquisition Stephanie Talbot sidelined for the season with an ACL tear, there is room for someone like Joens to step in.
11: Dallas Wings: Lou Lopez Sénéchal — F, UConn
A grad transfer from Fairfield, Lopez Sénéchal wasn’t expected to make waves in her one season at UConn. But with the Huskies ravaged with injuries, she stepped up and made herself an invaluable part of UConn’s march to the Big East crown. An efficient scorer (47.6% from the floor and 44% from deep), Lopez Sénéchal could bring valuable contributions to a Wings side that lost their two best three-point shooters this offseason.
12: Minnesota Lynx: Dorka Juhász — C, UConn
The Lynx are ever hard to predict, but Juhász’s reliability and UConn’s pedigree as a program could make her the last first-round selection of the draft. Like Lopez Sénéchal, Juhász assumed a larger role for the Huskies this season, starting all 29 games as the team dealt with injuries. She’s an efficient scorer and a strong body in the post, and adding a center can’t hurt for a Minnesota program who just lost the legendary Sylvia Fowles.
The WNBA draft will be broadcast this Monday, April 10th, at 7 p.m. EST on ESPN.