2021 WNBA Mock Draft: Analyzing Elite Prospects and Hidden Gems

Theo SalaunCorrespondent IApril 12, 2021

2021 WNBA Mock Draft: Analyzing Elite Prospects and Hidden Gems

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    Ron Jenkins/Associated Press

    No, UConn phenom Paige Bueckers is not eligible for the WNBA's 2021 draft. Yes, there is still a ton of talent ready to start hooping with the professionals. In anticipation of draft night, on April 15, here's a breakdown of the draft's first round and some analysis of the top players.

    With the 2020-21 women's college basketball season wrapped up, all eyes turn toward the draft. Following a first-round mock draft, we'll dive into two of the draft's highly touted elite prospects (Charli Collier and Awak Kuier) and two hidden gems who fans may be sleeping on (Natasha Mack and DiJonai Carrington).

    Of course, trades are still a serious possibility, especially for the Dallas Wings, who own four picks in the first round—including No. 1 overall. Still, this mock is for the draft order as it stands and won't be predicting any reshuffling.

2021 WNBA Mock Draft

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    Chuck Burton/Associated Press

    1. Dallas Wings: Charli Collier, C, Texas

    2. Dallas Wings: Awak Kuier, PF, Finland

    3. Atlanta Dream: Arella Guirantes, SG, Rutgers

    4. Indiana Fever: Rennia Davis, SF, Tennessee

    5. Dallas Wings: Aari McDonald, PG, Arizona

    6. New York Liberty: Michaela Onyenwere, SF, UCLA

    7. Dallas Wings: Jasmine Walker, PF, Alabama

    8. Chicago Sky: Dana Evans, PG, Louisville

    9. Minnesota Lynx: Kiana Williams, PG, Stanford

    10. Los Angeles Sparks: Natasha Mack, PF, Oklahoma State

    11. Seattle Storm: Chelsea Dungee, SG, Arkansas

    12. Las Vegas Aces: DiJonai Carrington, SG, Baylor

Top Prospects

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    Ron Jenkins/Associated Press

    Charli Collier, C, Texas

    Collier may have struggled toward the end of her college career, with an unideal performance in the Elite Eight. But great players have bad games sometimes, and the 6'5" center's positives far outweigh the negatives.

    A rim protector, rebounder and low-post performer, Collier has developed a reputation for her work ethic and drive. It's not ideal to notch just four points (on 2-of-10 from the field) and four boards in your final collegiate contest, but she still deserves to be the consensus No. 1 pick. A comfortable top option, choosing Collier allows Dallas to experiment with their next selections.

           

    Awak Kuier, PF, Finland

    Many may not have seen Kuier play, as she competes overseas in Italy, but, if you have, you know precisely why she is the No. 2 pick. At 6'5" and 19 years old, Kuier has shown flashes of everything on offense: pull-up threes, contested post fadeaways, strong drives to the rim.

    Rounding out her offensive ceiling, Kuier averaged 6.8 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game while competing against professionals for Virtus Eirene Raguse in Italy. If the Wings start their draft with a strong interior presence in Collier and a wild-card ceiling prospect in Kuier, they're off to the races.

Hidden Gems

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    Eric Gay/Associated Press

    Natasha Mack, PF, Oklahoma State

    Mack's position in mock drafts varies greatly and, honestly, she may even be too low here. Boasting a 6'11" wingspan, the 23-year-old big transferred to Oklahoma State out of JuCo and proceeded to lead Division I in blocked shots this past season.

    There's not much nuance to Mack's game, but she's 6'4" and protects the paint like a proud carpenter wanting it to dry in peace. Averaging four blocks per game is no small feat, and Mack could end up being a nuisance in the WNBA.

            

    DiJonai Carrington, SG, Baylor

    An undeniable presence on the court, Carrington might be best known for a controversial no-call on her potential game-winner against UConn in the Elite Eight. But fans who watched more than that highlight know she brings a lot more to the table, and does so with force.

    At a strong 5'11", Carrington plays bully ball with opposing guards. Whether it's attacking the basket or punishing a lazy layup, the guard brings impact to the hardwood. While her three-point shooting may raise some question marks, Carrington has shown the potential to be a threat from deep as well—including a 4-of-7 three-point rate against Kansas in March.

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