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  • Writer's pictureSadahri Lindsey

Surprises of the WNBA Draft

The 2023 WNBA Draft has concluded, and in some ways, it went just like many people predicted. Aliyah Boston was drafted by the Fever with the first pick and Maddy Siegrist was drafted by Dallas with the third pick.

But, there were some shockers in the draft as well, such as a team getting one-third of the first-round picks, and some projected first-round picks that did not get picked until the very late second round. Let's take a look at a few...

Draft Night Trade

With the fourth pick in the draft, the Washington Mystics selected Stephanie Soares out of Iowa State. This pick was still surprising to many people; many mock drafts had Soares in the late first round.

It was business as usual at the draft until the WNBA Commissioner, Cathy Englebert, walked up to the podium and announced that there had been a trade. The Mystics traded the draft rights of Soares to the Dallas Wings for a 2024 second-rounder and a 2025 first-rounder. The Wings were kept busy in the first round of the draft with the third, fifth, and 11th picks. With the addition of the fourth pick, the Wings selected four out of 12 players in the first round alone.

Haley Jones Gets Drafted at Number Six

When Diamond Miller's name was called for the second pick by the Minnesota Lynx, fans were shocked. Many people assumed that Stanford's Round of 32 exit in the March Madness tournament was the cause of Jones' draft stock falling. Fortunately, her stock did not fall too far, as she was picked up by the Atlanta Dream with the sixth pick.

Dorka Juhasz Falls to the Second Round

There was one big name missing from the first round of the WNBA draft: Dorka Juhasz. Many mock drafts predicted Juhasz getting drafted in the late first round. Instead, she didn't get selected until the early second round by the Minnesota Lynx, being the fourth pick and 16th overall. The Lynx were busy in this draft as well, selecting five players throughout the entire draft.

Brea Beal Falls to the Late Second Round

Many people who were watching the draft were waiting for another big name to be called: Brea Beal. Beal who was expected to go much earlier in the draft wasn't selected until the late second round. Fans were shocked to see Beal fall lower than expected. Finally, her name was called by the Minnesota Lynx, being selected second to last in the second round. Beal will now be headed to the Lynx as the 24th overall pick.

Monika Czinano Gets Drafted in the Third Round

As Caitlin Clark's "partner in crime" at Iowa, Czinano dropping all the way down to the third round was a bit shocking. Many mock drafts had her in the second round, but to see her not get selected until the third round left a good number of fans confused. Czinano was eventually selected 26th overall by the LA Sparks in the third round. Averaging 15 points a game for Iowa in her last season, she definitely could be a sleeper.

Looking Forward

With all of these surprises in the draft, the actual season will be filled with just as many. A stacked rookie class, veteran players who are still dominating the court, and up-and-coming players are leading a case to grow the WNBA. This upcoming season is going to be one for the record books!

The WNBA season begins Friday, May 19, 2023, with a four-game schedule to kick off the season. The opening night schedule is below:


Teams: Connecticut Sun vs. Indiana Fever

Where: Indianapolis, IN

Time: 7:00 PM ET

Watch: WNBA League Pass

Teams: New York Liberty vs. Washington Mystics

Where: Washington, DC

Time: 7:00 PM ET

Watch: WNBA League Pass

Teams: Chicago Sky vs. Minnesota Lynx

Where: Minneapolis, MN

Time: 8:00 PM ET

Watch: WNBA League Pass

Teams: Phoenix Mercury vs. Los Angeles Sparks

Where: Los Angeles, CA

Time: 11:00 PM ET



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