2013 WNBA Draft: Breaking Down the Top Players Available

Rob GoldbergFeatured ColumnistApril 11, 2013

Mar 11, 2013; Dallas, TX, USA; Baylor Bears center Brittney Griner (42) reacts during the Big 12 Championship game against Iowa State Cyclones at American Airlines Center. Baylor won 75-47. Mandatory Credit: Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports
Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports

Now that the college basketball season is over, the attention must now turn to the April 15 WNBA draft.

The Indiana Fever are coming off their impressive run to the title and are looking to repeat in 2013. However, the teams at the beginning of the draft will have a chance to turn things around in a hurry with one of the top classes in the sport's history.

Throughout the three rounds, there will be talented players ready to contribute at the next level. Still, these stars will be the focus of the draft and should be selected very early in the process.


Brittney Griner, Baylor

The Phoenix Mercury are the first team on the clock, and it would be a huge surprise if they do not take Brittney Griner with the first overall pick.

Griner was arguably the most dominant female player in college basketball history. While her career ended with a disappointing loss in the Sweet 16, she still averaged 22.1 points per game in four years at Baylor.

At 6'8", she is a force down low and can almost score at will against anyone who attempts to defend her. Amazingly, she is even stronger on the defensive end, where she totaled 736 blocks in her career.

Unless she somehow makes it to the NBA instead, she will immediately be one of the top players in the WNBA and remain at that level for years.


Skylar Diggins, Notre Dame

While Skylar Diggins is not as physically imposing as Griner, she is much more versatile. The 5'9" guard consistently did everything possible to help Notre Dame win games throughout her career.

In her senior season, she finished third in the Big East with an average of 17.3 points per game. She was able to shoot from behind the arc just as well as drive to the lane and finish up close.

However, Diggins was more than just scoring. She also averaged 6.1 assists, 3.5 rebounds and 3.1 steals to help her be named Big East Player of the Year.

Although she is not the biggest or fastest player in the draft, her pure skill and intangibles will keep her in the professional ranks for a long time.


Elena Delle Donne, Delaware

It has been a long, strange trip for Elena Delle Donne, who at one point quit basketball to play volleyball at Delaware (via Jere Longman of the New York Times). Still, there is no denying that she is ready for the next level.

The 6'6" senior missed some time this year, but she was quite impressive when she was in the game. She was second in the nation with an average of 26 points per game, and was an excellent shooter from everywhere on the floor.

With her size, it is almost impossible to stop her shot from the outside, which she hit at a 45.2 percent rate. This will continue in the WNBA, even with more athletic competitors playing against her. 

While Delle Donne has not had as much team success as Diggins, it would not be surprising if she is selected before the Notre Dame star with the second overall pick.