The 2015 WNBA draft class doesn't appear to be stocked with top-flight talent at first glance, but with so much depth from top to bottom, every team will have an opportunity to get better.
This draft will be especially important for the organizations selecting early in the first round since the gap between the league's worst teams and elite teams is quite wide currently.
They won't be able to fully close the gap through this draft alone, but one great pick can certainly send the cellar-dwellers in the right direction.
The top players in women's college basketball still have plenty of time to separate themselves prior to April, however, so here is a full, first-round WNBA mock draft based on the current landscape of the draft class.
*Draft order courtesy of WNBA.com.
1. Seattle Storm (12-22): Elizabeth Williams, PF, Duke
The once-proud Seattle Storm suddenly find themselves on hard times, but that can turn around quickly if they hit a home run with the No. 1 overall draft pick. There is no clear-cut option that stands out above the rest this season, but Duke power forward Elizabeth Williams may be the surest thing in the draft.
Consistency is the name of the game when it comes to the 6'3" Blue Devils star. Over the course of her three full seasons at Duke, she has averaged at least 13.8 points and 7.3 rebounds per game each year in addition to racking up over 100 blocks in every campaign as well.
As seen in this graphic courtesy of The Chronicle, Williams already entered her senior season as one of the most accomplished players in the history of Duke women's basketball:
Williams' offensive game is still developing, but she is already prepared to be a force at the defensive end in the WNBA. That is particularly important for the Storm since the status of three-time WNBA MVP Lauren Jackson is uncertain after she underwent hip surgery.
Although Williams won't be able to replace everything Jackson brings to the table, she will fortify Seattle's paint presence until a decision is made regarding Jackson's future.
2. Tulsa Shock (12-22): Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, SF, Connecticut
Perhaps no player in the 2015 draft class has more offensive ability than UConn small forward Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis. The 5'11" star has been a huge part of the Huskies' success over the past few seasons, and she has put herself in position to potentially be the top pick.
If the Storm decide to pass on her, though, it is difficult to imagine the Tulsa Shock doing the same. Tulsa has some nice pieces like Skylar Diggins, Odyssey Sims, Glory Johnson and Courtney Paris, but it needs a player who can make the opposition pay by hitting open shots.
Mosqueda-Lewis fits that profile perfectly, as evidenced by the fact that she entered the 2014-15 collegiate season with a career three-point percentage of 43.1 percent.
That type of floor-spreading ability draws defensive attention and makes everyone around her better. With that said, Mosqueda-Lewis isn't without her deficiencies. She isn't great at getting to the rim, which means she can be a streaky player at times, as evidenced by this tweet courtesy of The Hartford Courant's John Altavilla:
When Mosqueda-Lewis is on her game, though, she can almost win singlehandedly. With that in mind, the Shock can't afford to let her slip past No. 2.
3. Connecticut Sun (13-21): Amber Orrange, PG, Stanford
The clutch factor is something that can't be measured tangibly, but there is no question that Stanford point guard Amber Orrange has it. The diminutive senior hit a game-tying three with 1.4 seconds remaining and the go-ahead shot in overtime to end UConn's 47-game winning streak on Nov. 17. With that performance, her draft stock shot through the roof.
According to The Associated Press (h/t ESPN.com), Orrange didn't feel the pressure despite being trusted with the ball in her hands in such a crucial moment.
"I was surprisingly calm when I took the shot," Orrange said. "I really loved how resilient our team was at the beginning of the game."
That is precisely the mentality that the struggling Connecticut Sun would love to have. They are certainly lacking when it comes to great point guard play, and there is no question that they would benefit from a take-charge leader like Orrange as well.
Orrange also isn't afraid to be aggressive and make plays on her own, which is something former Wake Forest star and current college basketball analyst LaChina Robinson admires:
While Orrange is far from guaranteed to be a star at the next level, she is undoubtedly worth gambling on due to her mentality and penchant for coming up big in important moments.
4. Connecticut Sun (from New York, 15-19): Reshanda Gray, PF, California
The Sun need help throughout their lineup, which is why hitting on their two high picks is paramount. After addressing a need in the backcourt, Connecticut should turn its attention to the frontcourt by taking Gray, who could develop into the draft class' best player.
5. Chicago Sky (15-19): Aleighsha Welch, SF, South Carolina
Chicago is a work in progress, but it already has a dominant front line featuring Elena Delle Donne and Sylvia Fowles. The Sky have a fairly productive guard combination as well, which is why a do-everything small forward like Welch could be a great fit.
6. Indiana Fever (16-18): Isabelle Harrison, C, Tennessee
One of the biggest things the Fever are missing is a dominant presence in the paint. Harrison is one of the biggest and most physical players in this draft class, and there is no way Indiana can afford to let her slip by if she is still on the board.
7. Los Angeles Sparks (16-18): Brittany Boyd, PG, California
The Sparks may not be far away from championship contention thanks to the superstar duo of Candace Parker and Nneka Ogwumike. Los Angeles needs a point guard to run the show, though, which is why Boyd feels like the perfect fit at No. 7.
8. Washington Mystics (16-18): Rachel Banham, PG, Minnesota
What the Mystics lack in game-changing players, they make up for with depth and excellent team play. Washington isn't going to find a dominant contributor at No. 8, but Banham is the type of player who should be perfect for the team concept.
9. San Antonio Stars (16-18): Elem Ibiam, C, South Carolina
Although the Stars no longer have WNBA legend Becky Hammon in the fold, they are already equipped to replace her production in the backcourt. They certainly have a deficiency in the middle, though, which is why the towering Ibiam makes all the sense in the world at No. 9.
10. Atlanta Dream (19-15): Samantha Logic, PG, Iowa
The Dream had four players average 12 or more points per game last season, and they may very well have the most balanced offense in the WNBA. They don't have a truly dynamic point guard, however, and Logic could fill that role over time.
11. Minnesota Lynx (25-9): Dearica Hamby, PF, Wake Forest
Minnesota's triumvirate of Maya Moore, Seimone Augustus and Lindsay Whalen is as good as any in the league. The Lynx need to build up their supporting cast in order to get over the championship hump, though, and Hamby has starting potential at power forward.
12. Phoenix Mercury (29-5): Brittany Hrynko, PG, DePaul
The Mercury are the WNBA's preeminent team, and there isn't much that they need. One thing they don't have is a true point guard since Diana Taurasi and Penny Taylor handle most of the passing and ball-handling, so Hrynko could be worth a gamble at this juncture.
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