November 27, 2022 

Locked on Women’s Basketball: 2023 WNBA mock draft, post-Thanksgiving edition

A surprise move in the lottery

The latest episode of Locked on Women’s Basketball is a special one, as co-hosts Hunter Cruse, Em Adler and Joshua Welch are doing their first mock draft for 2023!

The hosts split up the teams as follows:

  • Hunter: Chicago Sky, Dallas Wings, Indiana Fever
  • Em: Minnesota Lynx, New York Liberty, Seattle Storm
  • Joshua: Atlanta Dream, Connecticut Sun, Los Angeles Sparks, Washington Mystics

(The Las Vegas Aces and Phoenix Mercury have no picks until the third round, and this mock draft is for the first two rounds only.)

After Hunter drafts South Carolina center Aliyah Boston No. 1 overall for Indiana, the draft takes an unexpected turn at No. 2, with Em passing on sending Stanford wing Haley Jones to Minnesota. Speaking as the Lynx front office, Em explains:

“Given our needs, we feel like Napheesa Collier and Jessica Shepard fill out our frontcourt enough that it’s a better idea to not look for frontcourt defenders so much. So we’re gonna go away from our pure board, and we’re actually going to draft Diamond Miller [from Maryland].”

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Joshua takes over with Atlanta’s pick at No. 3:

“The number one thing that we need as far as in the draft and to have that caliber of being drafted as a lottery pick, it’s support for [star guard] Rhyne Howard and getting that additional scorer to give her consistent support. I am going to go Charisma Osborne [from UCLA] … Averaged 20.1 points. What really impressed me is her 2-point shooting. It moved up from 38.6% last season and now she’s shooting 56.7%. Just contributes in so many ways. Love her energy on the glass and on defense. This is someone else that I really think is going to find chemistry with Rhyne and who I have Atlanta selecting number three.”

How far does Jones fall in this mock draft? You’ll have to watch the video or listen to the episode to find out!

To learn even more about the 2023 WNBA Draft, the NCAA season and so much else in the world of women’s basketball, don’t forget to subscribe to the Locked on Women’s Basketball podcast!

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  1. Tim Daniels on December 1, 2022 at 12:25 pm

    You talked about Tamari Key, whom one of the analysts said was his third best center, as well as Maia Hirsch. I’m curious what you think of Stephanie Soares, whom Rebecca Lobo recently spoke of as a first round draft WNBA prospect. Do you disagree with Lobo, and why wasn’t Soares included in your discussion of the top WNBA prospects at center? Thanks.

  2. Brian Alan Hines on December 4, 2022 at 3:12 am

    Soares to me is a first round draft choice and Seattle or Minnesota(their 2nd 1st rd pick) should draft her.

  3. Tim Daniels on December 6, 2022 at 4:08 pm

    About two days after my first post, Hunter, Josh, and Em talked about Soares on their podcast from December 3rd. (The comments start at about the 30 minute mark of the podcast.) Anyway, while all of three confessed that they hadn’t heard about Soares and didn’t study any film on her going into this season, Josh was impressed with how she performed in the Iowa State/North Carolina game, especially in the first half. Josh wasn’t sure about how much time she had to distinguish herself from the other post prospects prior to the draft, but he said that he absolutely thought someone would draft her (he didn’t say when) based on her production so far. Em said that Soares was a very intriguing prospect, as a 6’6″” post with a three-point shot who was also good at the rim, and who didn’t appear to be just a foul machine on defense. His biggest criticism was that she supposedly has a low release point on her shot. If she could correct this and get her release up where it was more difficult to block, then Em said he would be much more bullish on her, but none of three was specific on where they saw her getting drafted. I guess I’ll wait for their next mock draft.

  4. Daniel Craig on December 22, 2022 at 5:11 pm

    Rumor has it that Haley Jones wants to play in Atlanta. That is a shame for the Lynx. However, Minnesota could look to swing a trade another team for the right to select Jones. Perhaps, Minnesota could net veteran Center or Guard from another team, in addition to a pick(s).

  5. Tim Daniels on December 23, 2022 at 10:18 pm

    I’m not sure why Jones, a native Californian, would want to play for the Dream, but even if that is the case, I don’t think that her preferences should dictate how the Lynx proceed. Personally, I wouldn’t trade the pick absent an offer I couldn’t refuse. I would simply use the selection to take the best player available, whether that’s Jones or Diamond Miller.

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