The teams for the 2019 WNBA All-Star Game are set. Named as captains for the game after receiving the most fan votes, Washington Mystics forward Elena Delle Donne and Las Vegas Aces forward A'ja Wilson completed the All-Star Draft on Tuesday night, marking the first time that the draft was held live on TV.
Wilson, unfortunately, will not be able to play in the game due to an ankle injury, and was replaced in the player pool by Minnesota Lynx rookie Napheesa Collier, the league announced on Monday. Wilson's replacement in the starting lineup will be a coach's decision.
As a result of getting the most fan votes, Delle Donne was awarded the first pick in the first round for the starters, while Wilson had the first pick in the second round for the reserves. Wilson made things a bit awkward in the opening round by opting not to select either of her Aces teammates with her first pick, choosing Los Angeles Sparks point guard Chelsea Gray instead. It all worked out in the end, however, as she ended up with both Kayla McBride and Liz Cambage.
In an understandable move, the two captains agreed to swap coaches following the draft. Las Vegas Aces head coach Bill Laimbeer was set to coach Team Delle Donne, while Washington Mystics head coach Mike Thibault was set to coach Team Wilson, so that move just made sense to reunite the coaches with their All-Star captains.
They also agreed to another draft-night trade that saw Team Delle Donne send Collier to Team Wilson in exchange for Tina Charles.
Here's a look at the full draft results:
Team Delle Donne
- Elena Delle Donne, Washington Mystics
- Brittney Griner, Phoenix Mercury
- Jewell Loyd, Seattle Storm
- Jonquel Jones, Connecticut Sun
- Kia Nurse, New York Liberty
- Kristi Toliver, Washington Mystics
- DeWanna Bonner, Phoenix Mercury
- Nneka Ogwumike, Los Angeles Sparks
- Courtney Vandersloot, Chicago Sky
- Tina Charles, New York Liberty (Acquired via trade)
- Alyssa Thomas, Connecticut Sun
- A'ja Wilson, Las Vegas Aces (Injured; will be replaced in starting lineup via coach's decision)
- Chelsea Gray, Los Angeles Sparks
- Kayla McBride, Las Vegas Aces
- Liz Cambage, Las Vegas Aces
- Natasha Howard, Seattle Storm
- Sylvia Fowles, Minnesota Lynx
- Diamond DeShields, Chicago Sky
- Allie Quigley, Chicago Sky
- Napheesa Collier, Minnesota Lynx (Injury replacement) (Acquired via trade)
- Erica Wheeler, Indiana Fever
- Candice Dupree, Indiana Fever
- Odyssey Sims, Minnesota Lynx
The 16th edition of the WNBA All-Star Game is set for July 27 in Las Vegas. This is the first time the game will be played there after the Aces moved to Sin City in 2018.
In addition to Saturday afternoon's game, the WNBA will also be re-instituting All-Star Friday Night for the first time since 2006, with players competing in the Three-Point Contest and Skills Challenge. Chicago Sky sharpshooter Allie Quigley will be looking for her third straight Three-Point Contest title, while other All-Stars such as Courtney Vandersloot and Jonquel Jones highlight the Skills Challenge.
Three-Point Contest participants
Los Angeles Sparks
Las Vegas Aces
New York Liberty
Skills Challenge Participants