Historic WNBA Draft Class Alters 2024 and Beyond

On Monday night, the WNBA held its annual draft, and Iowa star Caitlin Clark officially became the new face of the league and the Indiana Fever. Clark getting picked No. 1 overall was the worst-kept secret in all of sports, and she now teams up with last year’s No. 1 overall pick, Aliyah Boston.

Clark brings star-power to the Fever, a scorer who can also create for others, and millions of extra eyes through higher television ratings. After having one nationally televised game last year, this coming season Indiana will play 36.

Clark and Boston, and second-round pick Celeste Taylor, who was the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year for Ohio State, form a great young nucleus for a team that has missed the playoffs in seven straight years.

Oddsmakers see a new Fever in Indiana, one that will make the playoffs – they are paying -230 to end the postseason drought – and their over/under on wins is 21.5. If the over hits (it’s paying -110), it would be the most wins for Indiana since they won 22 games in 2012.

In that 2012 season, the Fever won their one and only championship, and at the moment, the new and improved Fever are paying +2000 to be the 2024 WNBA champions. Those are the fifth-shortest odds in the league.

Clark is also a huge favorite to win WNBA Rookie of the Year, paying -950.

Chicago Sky Goes Big

The Chicago Sky was the WNBA champion in 2021, and they have remained a playoff team since that one and only title. And after Monday night, there is every reason to believe that they will remain a postseason regular.

With the third pick in the draft, they selected 6-foot-7 center Kamilla Cardoso, who just won the national championship with South Carolina. On Sunday, they traded up for the No. 7 overall pick, and then used that pick on LSU star Angel Reese, who was a national champion in 2023.

Upon learning that Reese was going to be joining her as a teammate in Chicago, Cardoso said, “Nobody is going to get any rebounds on us.”

Reese was the SEC Player of the Year, leading the conference with 13 rebounds per game. Cardoso averaged 9.7 rebounds per game, which was sixth in the conference. Cardoso is +2200 to win Rookie of the Year. Reese is +3200.

Los Angeles Sparks One-Night Rebuild

The Los Angeles Sparks are an OG WNBA franchise, playing in the league’s first game in 1997. They have three championships in their history, but have fallen on tough times in recent years, missing the playoffs in each of the last three seasons. That’s a lot, considering they’ve only missed the playoffs seven times total in their history.

However, Monday night was a very good night for the Sparks. With the second overall pick, they selected Cameron Brink, a national champion with Stanford in 2021, and the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year this past season. She also won the Lisa Leslie Award, given annually to the best center in women’s NCAA Division I basketball.

Brink is going to be a cornerstone in L.A. for years to come, as will Rickea Jackson, who was selected with the fourth overall pick, acquired from the Seattle Storm in January. At Tennessee, Jackson was a two-time first team All-American, and she can score from anywhere on the court and defends at an elite level.

Brink is the second-betting favorite to win Rookie of the Year, paying +1900. And the Sparks, at +8500 to win the 2024 championship a week ago, are now playing +4000. L.A. isn’t quite ready to compete with the elite teams in Las Vegas and New York, but the future is bright.

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