WNBA 2019 All-Star Starters Revealed; Delle Donne, A'ja Wilson Named Captains

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJuly 11, 2019

LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 5: Elena Delle Donne #11 of the Washington Mystics plays defense against the Las Vegas Aces on July 5, 2019 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by David Becker/NBAE via Getty Images)
David Becker/Getty Images

The starters for the 2019 WNBA All-Star Game were announced Thursday on ESPN's The Jump.

Washington Mystics forward Elena Delle Donne and Las Vegas Aces forward A'ja Wilson were the top two vote-getters and will captain the respective squads July 27 in Las Vegas.

Here's a look at the selections:

        

2019 WNBA All-Star Starters

Elena Delle Donne (captain), Washington Mystics

A'ja Wilson (captain), Las Vegas Aces

Liz Cambage, Las Vegas Aces

Chelsea Gray, Los Angeles Sparks

Brittney Griner, Phoenix Mercury

Natasha Howard, Seattle Storm

Jonquel Jones, Connecticut Sun

Jewell Loyd, Seattle Storm

Kayla McBride, Las Vegas Aces

Kia Nurse, New York Liberty

        

A number of major stars are injured this season. Breanna Stewart, Sue Bird, Diana Taurasi, Angel McCoughtry and Maya Moore haven't played in the 2019 regular season, which opened up this year's All-Star field.

Natasha Howard and Kia Nurse are both first-time All-Stars.

Nurse is the biggest surprise of the group. The New York Liberty guard has taken a big step forward in her second season, averaging 16.0 points and 2.1 assists per game, but few would list her as one of the 10 best players in the league.

Seattle Storm fans came out to throw their support behind Jewell Loyd in another surprising selection, as she has struggled with Bird and Stewart unavailable. Loyd is averaging 15.8 points per game but shooting a career-low 38.7 percent from the field.

The Storm guard received the most votes among backcourt players and was first in the player vote as well. Nurse was fourth and third, respectively in the two categories.

Sylvia Fowles and DeWanna Bonner headline the most obvious snubs.

With Moore sitting out the year and Lindsay Whalen retired, some wondered if the Minnesota Lynx were facing a rebuilding year. Instead, they have the league's fourth-best record, and Fowles is a big reason for that. The 2017 MVP is averaging 14.3 points, 9.7 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game.

Likewise, Bonner has been a stabilizing force for a Phoenix Mercury squad without Taurasi. She's putting up 18.8 points and a career-high 7.8 rebounds per game. According to WNBA.com, the Mercury are 14.8 points better per 100 possessions with her on the court.

Bonner tied with teammate Brittney Griner in their overall weighted All-Star rankings, and Griner got the edge based on the fan vote. Seventy-nine votes separated the two.

WNBA coaches will select the 12 remaining reserves, which will be announced Monday. Fowles and Bonner are likely to be among that group. Delle Donne and Wilson will draft their respective rosters as a later date.

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