May 18, 2024 

Locked On Women’s Basketball: Who are the best WNBA players ages 25 and under?

Our second annual mock draft of young WNBA stars

In the latest episode of Locked On Women’s Basketball, Hunter Cruse, Em Adler and Lincoln Shafer conduct a mock draft of WNBA players ages 25 and under. Avid podcast listeners may recall that this is the second annual 25-and-under draft: Adler selected Indiana Fever forward/center Aliyah Boston with the No. 1 overall pick in last year’s edition.

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Cruse got the first pick this year, and he selected Boston’s teammate and the No. 1 overall pick in the 2024 WNBA Draft, guard Caitlin Clark. Clark has brought tremendous buzz with her to the WNBA and is considered a generational talent, but she has also struggled at times in her first two professional games.

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With the second pick, Adler selected Washington Mystics third-year center/forward Shakira Austin. In the Mystics’ season opener on Tuesday, Austin returned from hip surgery to put up 13 points, five rebounds, a career-high five blocks and two assists against the New York Liberty. Here’s Adler’s reasoning:

“If we are ranking everyone on this list by the odds that they win an MVP or go to the Hall of Fame in the future … I’m very bullish on Shakira Austin being No. 2 on that list. She is continuing what she does every May, which is looking like one of the best players on Earth.”

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Listen to the full episode to find out more, including:

  • How far did Boston fall?
  • Where did Los Angeles Sparks rookie forward Cameron Brink and Atlanta Dream third-year guard Rhyne Howard get picked?
  • How many centers/forwards went in the top six?

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Here at The Next, in addition to the 24/7/365 written content our staff provides, we also host the daily Locked On Women’s Basketball podcast. Join us Monday through Saturday each week as we discuss all things WNBA, collegiate basketball, basketball history and much more. Listen wherever you find podcasts or watch on YouTube.

Written by The Next