2024 WNBA mock draft: Caitlin Clark goes No. 1, Angel Reese falls

Caitlin Clark, the transcendent Iowa superstar who set college scoring records by the threeful and in recent weeks made women’s basketball one of America’s most-watched television shows, will join the Indiana Fever as the No. 1 pick in the WNBA draft on Monday night (7:30 p.m., ESPN).

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“I want to personally thank Caitlin Clark for lifting up our sport,” South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley said after her team defeated Clark and Iowa for the national championship last Sunday.

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“She carried a heavy load for our sport. And it’s just not going to stop here on the collegiate tour. But when she’s the No. 1 pick in the WNBA draft, she’s going to lift that league up as well.”

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How will the rest of a draft night with historic levels of anticipation — college stars such as LSU’s Angel Reese, South Carolina’s Kamilla Cardoso and Stanford’s Cameron Brink will join Clark at the festivities in Brooklyn — shake out?

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(Quick reminder: Would-be lottery pick Paige Bueckers has said she will return to UConn, and underclassmen such as USC star JuJu Watkins are ineligible for the WNBA draft.)

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No. 1 Indiana Fever: Caitlin Clark, Iowa, PG The questions around the all-time NCAA leading scorer already have moved past whether Clark will land in Indiana — imagine if the Fever trade the pick after all this, though, what a hoot that would be! — to whether she’ll be a top-10 player or merely an All-Star as a rookie.

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In Brink, you’re getting the best defender in college basketball (3.7 blocks, 11.9 rebounds per game as a senior). That’s the worst case. At best, you’re getting an inside-out, rim-protecting, capable-shooting unicorn. If it doesn’t work out, the starting-over Sparks can try to flip Steph Curry’s parents’ goddaughter to the expansion Bay Area team in 2025.

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No. 3 Chicago Sky: Rickea Jackson, Tennessee, SF The rebuilding Sky need scoring, and Jackson (20.2 points per game) is a pro-ready bucket. She more than held her own against WNBA competition when Tennessee played Team USA in an exhibition in the fall.

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Some of the same chatter about Jackson’s inconsistent motor followed 2022 No. 1 overall pick Rhyne Howard, and she leveled up once she reached the league.

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