WNBA Draft 2022 Grades – Indiana Fever, Atlanta Dream, Washington Mystics High Scores

The 2022 WNBA draft, after dominating the first round with four choices, will be highly valued for how much Indiana Fever has improved. There were a total of seven choices in the Fever, and players who make the roster will have the opportunity to become non-franchise replacements in the playoffs from 2016 onwards.

With so many exams on Monday, it should come as no surprise that Fever is leading ESPN’s WNBA draft grades. In the first round Indiana threw a curve to most of the forecasters as Stanford Cardinal guard Lexi Hull took over. But players who come in with Fever Hunger want to make a difference, and Hull has that kind of on-court personality.

Although it was a hectic night for some teams, Chicago Sky was only a draft spectator as there were no selections for the current WNBA champions. There were four choices between the Minnesota Lynx and the Phoenix Mercury, three of which were in the third round, so those choices make no big difference.

Teams like the Atlanta Dream and the Las Vegas Aces traded to get some draft-day goals, were they fair on Monday? Did the Washington Mysteries take the right step in dealing with the No. 1 pick?

Here are our 2022 WNBA Draft Grades, which divide all of these.



Emily Engstler joins Nalisa Smith as she is the fourth overall pick by Indiana Fever.

Choice: 2. Nalisa Smith, Baylor, PF; 4. Emily Engstler, Louisville, PF; 6. Lexi Hull, Stanford, SG; 10. Queen Expo, Baylor, C; 20. Destiny Henderson, South Carolina, Fiji; 25. Amaziah Williams-Holiday, Jackson State, C; 34. Ali Badberg, Indiana, SG

General Manager Lynn Dunn said he wants talented young players who can bring self-defense, and he seems to have got it. Hull was surprisingly third in Fever’s four first-round picks, but Dunn clearly believes in his motor. Hull stole the Cardinals (78) this season. Smith and Ebo have been teammates in Baylor for four seasons, so they bring in chemistry. The ever-moving Engstler is a defensive force and plays as if it were created to compete with Ton.

Even after an excellent final four performances, Henderson advanced to the second round. But if she can make the list, Henderson will also play the kind of defense that the flu seeks. Williams-Holiday will be hard to spot on a roster spot, but his choice inspires HBCUs everywhere.

Choice: 1. Rhine Howard, Kentucky, SG; 15. Nass Hillmon, Michigan, PF

Dream is under a new management and a new training staff, and they knew what they wanted at Howard and were willing to trade to get her. The dream to do so should inspire Howard to realize how much she relied on him. Being the No. 1 choice is a great legacy, and Howard has the ability to fill that role. New Dream coach Tanisha Wright is highly regarded for her leadership and defense as a WNBA player and she should be a great mentor to Howard.

The fact that Hillmon was selected in the second round because he was an amazing player like he was at college confirms that WNBA teams have concerns about his size and shooting range. What they can’t fully measure is her heart and maturity – both are not in the rankings. Those qualities should help her gain a roster spot and prove that she can continue to add to the game.

Choice: 3. Shakira Austin, Ole Miss, C; 14. Christine Williams, Yukon, SG

Business worked for Mystics: Dealing with the No. 1 pix earned them an Elite Postplayer in Austin, and the sky was the limit if he progressed steadily as a pro. Also Washington had the opportunity to pick and choose Williams, who is of Yukon descent.

Williams ‘ups and downs in college have always been high, but the former Huskies’ record in the league is beyond interest. In a team like Washington, you can thrive without too much pressure.



Washington Mystics uses the third choice in the WNBA draft to select Ole Miss Shakira Austin.

Choice: 9. Rae Burrell, Tennessee, SG; 16. Gianna Smith, Louisville, SG; 19. Olivia Nelson-Otoda, Yukon, C; 27. Amy Atwell, Hawaii, SF

Sparks are coming out of the disappointment of not going to last year’s playoffs. But they made big off-season moves with Liz Cambage and Sennedy Carter, and could meet some of the requirements with the draft. Burrell has good size and skills on the wing, and both Smith and Nelson-Otoda have experience in the final four.

Worth giving a look at this year’s Big West Player Atwell camp. Not all of them make the list, but the Sparks used their draft spaces more.

Choice: 5. Nayara Sapally, Oregon, PF; 18. Lorela Cubaz, Georgia Tech, PF; 29. Chica Cone, Mali, c

Liberty needed size and strength inside, and they got it. Sabali, if she can stay healthy, is a versatile addition that the New York Guard could use as another target.

Cuba was the host of Georgia Tech’s defense-first victory. Cohn went later than many expected, but he’s 19 years old and could be a player for Liberty’s future.



Atlanta Dream selected Kentucky’s Rhine Howard with first choice in the 2022 WNBA Draft.

Choice: 12. With Nia Cloud, Michigan State, SG; 24. Jordan Lewis, Baylor, Fiji; 36. Kiara Smith, Florida, SG

Cloud is a strong scorer and Lewis is a good distributor. It is always a numbers game with a list, but getting more young depth in defense is favorable to the sun. Smith is a choice for the future as he suffered a knee injury at the end of the season during the SEC tournament in March.

Choice: 7. Veronica Burton, Northwest, PG; 30. Jasmine Tiki, Delaware, SG 31. Jazz Bond, North Florida, PF

Considering all of Wings’ draft selections over the past two years, they have not made much of a place on the list. But they only get good marks in Burton’s exams. Three times this year the Big Ten defender adds a perimeter of roughness to the end of the court required for the Wings.

Tiki and Bond are the types of players who play.

Choice: 17. Elisa Kunen, NC State, C; 21. Evina Westbrook, UConn, PG; 33. Jade Melbourne, Australia, PG

Kunane could be the best 3-point shooter of the centers in the draft. Even if she falls into the second round, if she manages to make the storm list, she has a lot of chances to find her way in the WNBA.

Some thought Westbrook could go a little too far with his 6-0 size and ability to be a combo guard. She is a player who always plays hard and it makes a difference. Melbourne is 19 years old and a choice for the future.

Choice: 8. Mia Hollingshet, Colorado, PF; 11. Kirsten Bell, Florida Gulf Coast, SG; 13. Kyla Pointer, LSU, PG; 23. Aisha Shepherd, Virginia Tech, SG; 35. Faustine Aifuwa, LSU, C

This grade may change, but it comes down to: Asus made a deal with Minnesota on Sunday, no. To obtain choices 8 and 13; Did they make too much use of those choices? If Hollinsheet Aces proves to be as good as they think, yes. Otherwise, the quality may not be very accurate.

The bell size for the perimeter should be a good pick-up. Hollingshed, Pointer, Sheppard and Aifuwa are all fifth year seniors, so they bring maturity, though not all are likely to stick.

Choice: 22. Kyla Jones, NC State, SF; 28. Hannah Sjervon, South Dakota, c

Number for 2023 exams. By trading Choices 8 and 13 for Aces, Lynx made it clear that this draft would not be a big factor for them. It makes sense considering their limited cap space. Jones and Sjவன்rven are hard workers with excellent college seasons, reaching NC State Elite Eight and South Dakota The Sweet 16. Both are worth seeing in camp, but getting on the list can be difficult for anyone.

Choice: 26. Maya Dodson, Notre Dame, PF; 32. Macy Williams, IUPUI, c

Mercury is in a situation like Lynx, not expecting much from this draft. Both Phoenix selections were in the third round. While Britney Greiner was detained indefinitely in Russia, it found that Mercury would go to the adults with their choices, and both Dodson and Williams had good seasons. Again, roster spots are at a premium, but both fit at least one requirement.

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