Women's National Basketball Association
Caitlin Clark, Angel Reese headline one of the most anticipated WNBA drafts
Women's National Basketball Association

Caitlin Clark, Angel Reese headline one of the most anticipated WNBA drafts

Updated Apr. 12, 2024 4:02 p.m. ET

Caitlin Clark, Angel Reese, Cameron Brink and others make this one of the most anticipated WNBA drafts in recent years. There are several impact players up for grabs, but their talent is nearly eclipsed by their popularity among basketball fans.

Clark has helped bring millions of new fans to the game with her signature logo shots and dazzling passing ability. The Iowa star was a big reason why a record 18.9 million viewers tuned in to the NCAA championship game where South Carolina beat Iowa.

The career leading scorer in Division I men's and women's basketball, is expected to go first to the Indiana Fever. It's the second consecutive year that the Fever have the top pick.

"There’s a tremendous amount of excitement now with having back-to-back picks," Indiana general manager Lin Dunn said. "I think you’ve seen a great deal of interest in ticket sales around this pick, and I think we’re all excited about adding another top pick to this young team. 


"So is there a lot going on? Is there a lot of noise? Is there a lot of excitement? Absolutely."

How Caitlin Clark has changed college basketball and is ‘not done’

Reese helped LSU win the NCAA championship in 2023 and is expected to go somewhere in the first round.

Other players invited to attend Monday's draft at the Brooklyn Academy of Music include Stanford star Brink and South Carolina's Kamilla Cardoso. The 6-foot-7 center helped the Gamecocks complete the 10th undefeated season in NCAA Division I history. She earned Most Outstanding Player honors in the Final Four.

While Clark is a lock to go first, Brink, Cardoso, and Tennessee's Rickea Jackson have all been in the discussion to be taken at No. 2 by Los Angeles. The Sparks also own the No. 4 pick, with Chicago choosing third. Here are the favorites for picks two through seven, according to FanDuel Sportsbook:

No. 2: Cameron Brink (-9000)
No. 3: Rickea Jackson (-165)
No. 4: Kamilla Cardoso (-195)
No. 5: Aaliyah Edwards (-140)
No. 6: Jacy Sheldon (+260)
No. 7: Angel Reese (+125)

[Read more: From Clark to Bueckers to Reese: How one recruiting class transformed women's basketball]

"They are foundational. They’re an incredible opportunity for our organization," Sparks GM Raegan Pebley said. "We definitely want to see two players that not only have the skill set to make an impact early, but also a long runway ahead of them, opportunities to develop, opportunities to, not only be excellent in what they do, but how they impact the other pieces around them as we continue to build this team."

Dallas is fifth and Washington sixth. Minnesota, Chicago, Dallas, Connecticut, New York and Atlanta close out the first round.

In all, there are three rounds and 36 picks in total.

"You know, the hardest part of this conversation every year is the reality that second and third-round picks have a really hard time making WNBA rosters," ESPN analyst Rebecca Lobo said. "First-round picks that go late have a hard time making WNBA rosters. We talk about a league of 144. It’s not a league of 144. Many of these teams only carry 11 players and maybe by the end of the season they can carry a 12th."

Here are a few other tidbits for the draft:


All-Americans Mackenzie Holmes of Indiana and Elizabeth Kitley of Virginia Tech won't be able to play in the WNBA this season because of knee injuries. Holmes said on social media that she is having surgery next month.

"At this time, to ensure my body is healthy and my playing career is as long and successful as possible, I have decided to get the necessary surgery in May to prevent further issues and alleviate the pain it has caused," she said. "I have declared for the 2024 WNBA draft and pray that a team honors me with a selection knowing I will be ready for the start of 2025 training camp."

Kitley tore the ACL in her left knee in Virginia Tech's final regular season game and missed the entire postseason.

"Whenever you see any player go through an injury at any point in their career, but especially at that point, this special season that Virginia Tech was having. But I think she’s a player that has, I’ll use this word ‘track’ again," Pebley said. "Just a lot of runway ahead of her. She’s going to, I think, have a great career with her versatility, her footwork abilities. And I think her impact around the rim."


The WNBA invited 15 players to the draft Monday, including Clark, Reese, Brink, Jackson, Cardoso and Kitley. The others are Aliyah Edwards and Nika Muhl of UConn; Charisma Osborne of UCLA; Celeste Taylor and Jacy Sheldon of Ohio State; Alissa Pili of Utah; Marquesha Davis of Mississippi; Dyaisha Fair of Syracuse; and Nyadiew Puoch of Australia.

Reporting by The Associated Press.

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