WNBA mock draft 2023: Picks and player projections

ByM.A. Voepel ESPN logo
Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Free agency moves, trades and big stretch-run performances from college players all continue to impact ESPN's 2023 WNBA mock draft. And thanks in part to recent trades involving draft picks, our fourth update comes just a week after our previous projection.

We still don't know how many four-year seniors might take the option of coming back for a fifth season because of the pandemic-affected 2020-21 academic year, so there is no guarantee all of the players in this mock draft will make themselves eligible for the draft.

Most players have said publicly that they will make that decision after their college seasons end, in which case we considered then for inclusion. Senior post player Mackenzie Holmes of the No. 2 Indiana Hoosiers has not declared for certain she will return to college, but told ESPN she is very strongly leaning that direction. For now, we didn't include her for draft consideration. Also, at this point, no draft-eligible juniors have publicly said they will declare, so they weren't included, either.

Top selection Aliyah Boston was the only first-round pick from the No. 1 South Carolina Gamecocks in our first three mock drafts. But Gamecocks defensive specialist Brea Beal joins Boston in the first round this time, while another South Carolina guard, Zia Cooke, also received consideration.

The three-round draft is scheduled to be held April 10.

First round

1. Indiana Fever: Aliyah Boston

South Carolina Gamecocks | forward | 6-foot-5 | senior

Boston is not just pro-ready from a playing perspective, but also in her leadership. And she won't shy from having a lot put on her shoulders by the Fever, who hope to finally get back to the franchise they used to be. Boston's stats (13.4 PPG, 9.9 RPG) have dropped from last season because of the Gamecocks' depth, but she's an even better overall player who has studied the WNBA and knows what she need to add and improve on at the next level.

2. Minnesota Lynx: Diamond Miller

Maryland Terps | guard | 6-foot-3 | senior

Miller's size, quickness and ability to run the floor could be big assets for a Lynx team remaking itself after Sylvia Fowles' retirement. Minnesota might debate between Miller and Haley Jones at this pick. If the Lynx opt for Miller, who is averaging 19.8 points and 6.6 rebounds, she will give them an explosive transition player who is hard to guard and appears to have a high ceiling.

3. Dallas Wings: Haley Jones

Stanford Cardinal | guard | 6-foot-1 | senior

The Wings might see Jones as having elite playmaker potential without necessarily needing to score a lot to have a big impact on the game. She is averaging 13.3 points, 9.0 rebounds and 3.9 assists for Stanford, which needs her to do a lot of everything. Jones' lack of 3-point shooting -- 3 of 29 this season and 23 of 102 in her Stanford career -- might not be a big concern for Dallas.

4. Washington Mystics: Maddy Siegrist

Villanova Wildcats | forward | 6-foot-2 | senior

Siegrist moves up the draft board in part because her numbers keep getting bigger: She leads Division I basketball in scoring (29.4 PPG) while shooting 53.8% from the field and averages 9.3 rebounds. The Mystics are a strong defensive team that could get an offensive boost from Siegrist, who had a 50-point game on 20-of-26 shooting on Feb. 11. Washington might see some of Elena Delle Donne in Siegrist, even if she's not as tall.

5. Dallas Wings: Rickea Jackson

Tennessee Lady Vols | forward | 6-foot-2 | senior

Jackson, who is averaging 18.2 PPG, has always been a reliable scorer who is good at getting to the rim. She is averaging 5.9 RPG and has tantalizing room for growth on the defensive end, something new Wings coach Latricia Trammell specializes in and teaches well.

6. Atlanta Dream: Jordan Horston

Tennessee Lady Vols | guard | 6-foot-2 | senior

Horston is averaging 15.5 points, 6.6 rebounds and 3.3 assists, and might be a "best player available" pick for the Dream at this point in the draft. Her size, length and hustle also should fit into the style Atlanta coach Tanisha Wright hopes to play.

7. Indiana Fever: Brea Beal

South Carolina Gamecocks | guard | 6-foot-1 | senior

General manager Lin Dunn's preference for great defensive players might mesh with Beal's reputation as one of the most elite defenders in college. Beal averages just 5.6 PPG -- along with 4.0 rebounds and 2.3 assists -- but the Gamecocks don't need her to score. Indiana might keep Beal and South Carolina teammate Boston together in the WNBA.

8. Atlanta Dream: Elizabeth Kitley

Virginia Tech Hokies | center | 6-foot-6 | senior

Kitley has been like clockwork with her production: 18.0 PPG, 10.8 RPG and 2.1 BPG this season, much like her previous two years. She would give the Dream a legit big player inside who has shown she can run the floor, which she will need to do well to make the transition to the WNBA.

9. Seattle Storm: Charisma Osborne

UCLA Bruins | guard | 5-foot-9 | senior

Osborne is a tireless defender who also averages 15.5 PPG, 5.6 RPG and 2.8 APG. She could help a Storm squad moving on after legendary point guard Sue Bird's retirement. Osborne has made 212 3-pointers in her Bruins career and has filled a leadership role for UCLA.

10. Los Angeles Sparks: Ashley Joens

Iowa State Cyclones | forward/guard | 6-foot-1 | senior

Joens, one of the greatest scorers in Big 12 history, is 167 points shy of 3,000 for her career. She has made 317 3-pointers at Iowa State while shooting almost 36% from behind the arc, but also never shies from battling inside. At 20.2 PPG and 9.1 RPG, Joens has a high motor and never stops moving -- the type of player new Sparks coach Curt Miller can appreciate.

11. Dallas Wings: Madi Williams

Oklahoma Sooners | forward | 6-foot-0 | senior

Williams is the leading scorer (16.0 PPG) and second-leading rebounder (6.2 RPG) on an Oklahoma squad vying for the Big 12 title. She is shooting 53.0% from the field and could get the chance to play for the WNBA team in her native Texas. Forwards who are Williams' size need heart, hustle and nose-for-the-ball instincts, traits she possesses.

12. Minnesota Lynx: Dorka Juhász

UConn Huskies| forward | 6-foot-5 | senior

Juhász has played well for the depth-challenged Huskies after an early-season thumb injury: She is averaging a double-double -- 14.4 PPG, 10.3 RPG -- plus 3.4 assists. Her size, production and UConn pedigree could make her a possible fit for the Lynx, who are building around former Huskies star Napheesa Collier.