Dallas gets most first round picks in WNBA draft

Anna Winslow, Staff writer

The Dallas Wings cleaned up this year at the Women’s National Basketball Association draft,  the second all-virtual draft ever (after the NFL draft)

The Dallas Wings owned the first two picks, choosing 6’5 Texas center Charli Collier and 6’5 Finnish big Awak Kuier. Dallas also got the Number 5 spot and selected Chelsea Dungee. The team also was set to pick the Number 7 spot but traded the pick earlier last week to the Los Angeles Sparks for a 2022 first-round pick, according to SBNation.com. 

Rounding out the top ten selections were Arizona guard Aari McDonald, selected by Atlanta Dream;  Kysre Gondrezick, selected by Indiana Fever; Michaela Onyenwere, selected by New York Liberty; Jasmine Walker, selected by Los Angeles Sparks; Shyla Heal, selected by Chicago Sky; Rennia Davis, selected by Minnesota Lynx; and Stephanie Watts selected by Los Angeles Sparks. 

First round picks Collier, Kuier, and McDonald were among those considered top prospects. Rutgers guard Arella Guirantes, also considered a top prospect, was chosen by the Los Angeles Sparks in the second round.

A total of 36 players were drafted in three rounds by the Atlanta Dream, Dallas Wings, Los Angeles Sparks, Phoenix Mercy, Chicago Sky, Indiana Fever, Minnesota Lynx, Seattle Storm, Connecticut Sun, Las Vegas Aces, New York Liberty, and Washington Mystics, according to WNBA.com. 

To be selected, American college players must be at least 22 years old, finished their college eligibility, graduated from a four-year college, or be four years removed from high school to enter the draft, according to SBNation.com. 

Training camp begins on April 25 and pre-season games will happen on May 1. The regular season will begin on May 14 after the teams conclude the final roster cut-downs. 

The draft’s viewership averaged about 331,000 viewers on ESPN, down 12 percent from last year, but still ended up being the second-largest audience for the event since 2004, according to sportsmediawatch.com.