2024 WNBA mock draft: Caitlin Clark, Cameron Brink at top of draft boards

Editors' Note: USA TODAY has full coverage of Monday night's WNBA draft. Follow along with our live blog here for the latest updates, news and highlights.

Monday's WNBA draft is arguably the most anticipated since the 2013 draft when Brittney Griner went No. 1 overall to the Phoenix Mercury, Elena Delle Donne was selected second by the Chicago Sky, and the Tulsa Shock (now Dallas Wings) used the third pick to take Skylar Diggins.

Iowa guard Caitlin Clark, who led her team to a second consecutive national championship game appearance, leaves school as the NCAA's all-time leading scorer and a two-time national player of the year.

Her mere presence in the WNBA is expected to bring new excitement to a league that has had trouble getting eyeballs for the majority of its 28-season existence. But for most of these draft picks cracking a roster, even as a first-round selection, can be a tough task as there are only 144 roster spots available over the 12-team league.

Iowa guard Caitlin Clark (22) reacts after making a 3-pointer against South Carolina in the championship of the women's 2024 NCAA Tournament at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.
Iowa guard Caitlin Clark (22) reacts after making a 3-pointer against South Carolina in the championship of the women's 2024 NCAA Tournament at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.

First Round

1) Indiana Fever - Caitlin Clark

Guard, Iowa, 6-0 (31.6 points per game, 8.9 assists per game, 7.4 rebounds per game)

Clark's selection as the overall No. 1 pick is one of the biggest no-brainers in draft history, and Indiana is getting an instant bucket and a playmaker who can make her teammates better as the focal point of the offense switches from 2023 Rookie of the Year Aliyah Boston to Clark. The Fever have missed the postseason in each of the past seven seasons, and that streak should end this season.

2) Los Angeles Sparks - Cameron Brink

Forward, Stanford, 6-4 (17.4 ppg, 11.9 rpg)

Nneka Ogwumike took her 19.1 points and 8.8 rebounds per game to Seattle via free agency, and the Sparks could look to replace that production with a skilled scorer. Instead, they will look to improve their defense, where they were dead last in the WNBA in opponents' field-goal percentage and next to last in rebounds. Brink gives them an eraser on the defensive end, plus a still raw offensive talent who will need to bulk up to handle the league's physicality.

3)  Chicago Sky (from Phoenix) - Rickea Jackson

Forward, Tennessee, 6-2 (20.2 ppg, 8.2 rpg, 2.3 apg)

Jackson can flat-out score, and the Sky need as much production on the offensive end as they can get. Just three seasons removed from a WNBA championship, new coach Teresa Weatherspoon will have her hands full with a young roster after trading leading scorer Kahleah Copper to Phoenix for this draft selection and future draft picks. Jackson will help on the defensive end and take some of the scoring load off of Marina Mabrey.

South Carolina center Kamilla Cardoso (10) cuts down the net to celebrate the victory after the Gamecocks reached the Final Four.
South Carolina center Kamilla Cardoso (10) cuts down the net to celebrate the victory after the Gamecocks reached the Final Four.

4) Los Angeles Sparks (from Seattle) - Kamilla Cardoso

Center, South Carolina, 6-7 (14.4 ppg, 9.7 rpg, 2.5 blocks per game)

There is nothing wrong with having twin towers playing in the post at the same time, and if the Sparks are going that route, especially if they take Brink with the No. 2 pick, they can't go wrong with Cardoso, who upped her value in South Carolina's championship run being named the Final Four's Most Outstanding Player. She is an excellent offensive rebounder, and if she establishes position down low early in a possession, it is almost an automatic score or a trip to the free-throw line.

5) Dallas Wings (from Chicago) - Jacy Sheldon

Guard, Ohio State, 5-10 (17.8 ppg, 3.8 apg, 3.2 rpg)

Dallas could use another guard who is a scoring threat outside of Arike Ogunbowale and first-team All-WNBA selection Satou Sabally. Sheldon more than fills that role because of her efficiency from inside and outside of the arc. She will go all out on defense, and it remains to be seen how she will hold up against taller guards who are skilled at creating their own shot.

6) Washington Mystics - Aaliyah Edwards

Forward, UConn, 6-3 (17.6 ppg, 9.2 rpg)

Edwards has been WNBA-ready for a while, especially the way she maneuvers in the post, either setting herself up for scores or passing to teammates. With Elena Delle Donne electing not to play this season, the scoring has to be made up somewhere, and the Mystics would be wise to select Edwards. They can plug and play her, and she will contribute immediately.

7) Chicago Sky (from Minnesota) - Angel Reese

Forward, LSU, 6-3 (18.6 ppg, 13.4 rpg)

Reese is the most hyped prospect to come into the league this year outside of Clark and with good reason. She is down this low on draft boards simply because of other team's needs.  She is a guaranteed double-double, has the ability to score from mid-range, and is an immediate upgrade for an average rebounding team. Chicago needs help at every position, especially anyone who can help with defense, as the Sky allowed opponents to shoot 45 percent from the field last season.

8) Minnesota Lynx - Nyadiew Puoch

Forward, Australia, 6-3 (6.2 ppg, 3.6 rpg in WNBL)

Puoch plays for the Southside Flyers in the Australian WNBL and has a unique skillset, including the ability to create her own shot, though most of her attempts will come from inside the 3-point line. She is an athletic post who runs the floor and is an absolute terror on defense. The Lynx desperately need three-point shooting and would hope that Sheldon would be available at this spot, but if not, Puoch is a high-value pick.

9. Dallas Wings - Alissa Pili

Forward, Utah, 6-2 (21.4 ppg, 6.6 rpg)

Pili’s presence will just add another scoring threat to a Wings team that is loaded and can score with the best of them. While Pili, although undersized for her position, bullied her way to prolific scoring at Utah. That approach might not work at this level, even though she did score 37 points against South Carolina in December. If she can use her strength to create opportunities for herself and force the double-team to kick out to open teammates, the Wings could be unstoppable.

10. Connecticut Sun - Dyaisha Fair

Guard, Syracuse, 5-5 (22.3 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 3.6 apg)

Fair left college third on the all-time women’s NCAA Division I scoring list, so it goes without saying she has no problem finding the bucket. She is a score-first point guard, and playing time will come quickly if she can show the ability to distribute the ball more frequently than she did in college. The Sun were the best defensive team in the league, and Fair (2.2 steals per game) will also help them in that area.

11) New York Liberty - Charisma Osborne

Guard, UCLA, 5-9 (13.9 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 4.0 apg)

It wouldn’t be a shock to see New York trade out of this slot for more draft picks, as the WNBA Finals runners-up are loaded at the guard position. Osborne can score, although she is not a prolific three-point shooter. She will help on the defensive end and use her strong frame to create mismatches. The truth is the Liberty don’t need much help, and any addition that can contribute might land them right back in the Finals.

12) Atlanta Dream (from Las Vegas via Los Angeles) - Nika Mühl

Guard, UConn, 5-11 (6.9 ppg, 6.5 apg, 4.0 rpg)

Mühl is a pure point guard and increased her shooting percentages in her final season to make her a viable WNBA prospect. Her defense on Clark in the NCAA tournament is noteworthy, but she remains an enigma because she doesn’t look for her shot often. She could thrive in the right system where she has four capable scorers on the floor with her. Atlanta could be that team, although the Dream were last in the league in assists per game.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: 2024 WNBA mock draft: Caitlin Clark, Angel Reese are among top picks