The 2021 WNBA Draft is nearly here, with all the action set to begin on Thursday night at 7 p.m. ET. Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the draft will be a virtual event for the second straight year. That means top prospects will not be in attendance, but will instead be introduced and interviewed via video conference. That's obviously not anyone's first choice, but it's necessary to keep people safe, and the format worked pretty well last year.
There's no Breanna Stewart, A'ja Wilson or Sabrina Ionescu type of can't-miss star in this year's class, but there are a number of very good players, including Texas center Charli Collier. She looks to have established herself as the likely No. 1 overall pick, but how will the rest of the draft play out?
Here's a look at how things might go with our final mock draft of the year. For a full breakdown of team needs and possible fits, check out our previous work here.
1. Dallas Wings: Charli Collier -- F/C, Texas
Collier has been penciled in as the No. 1 pick ever since she announced last month that she was leaving school early and declaring for the draft. She probably isn't an immediate franchise-changing player in the way some previous top picks have been, but she's a talented and athletic big who can really score, and will fit in nicely alongside the Wings' young core of Arike Ogunbowale and Satou Sabally.
- More: Collier scouting report
2. Dallas Wings: Awak Kuier -- C, Finland
Most American fans are probably not super familiar with Kuier, a 19-year old Finnish center who has been playing professionally in Italy this season. That should change quickly, however, as she arguably has the most potential of anyone in the draft. She needs to get stronger physically, and there are obviously questions about how she'll adapt to the WNBA, but her combination of size, athleticism and perimeter skills is extremely rare.
3. Atlanta Dream: Rennia Davis -- G/F, Tennessee
The Dream taking one of the two best wing options seems like a likely outcome, but whether they want a more offensive or defensive-minded player will be interesting to see. They struggled on both ends of the floor last season, but with a healthy roster and their free agent signings you figure the offense will come around. Davis won't need the ball and would give them an instant upgrade on defense with her athleticism and ability to guard four positions.
- More: Davis scouting report
4. Indiana Fever: Arella Guirantes -- G, Rutgers
The Fever need a lot of help, and Guirantes feels like the safest choice for them here. She's a big guard who can score at all three levels, defends well and has some playmaking skills. While the Rutgers product may not have the highest ceiling of all time, it feels like a pretty safe bet that she'll have a long and productive career, and the Fever can't afford any more mistakes in the draft.
5. Dallas Wings: Aari McDonald -- G, Arizona
This is a tough one. A small guard with a questionable shot doesn't seem like the best fit for the Wings. At the same time, with four first-round picks at their disposal, the Wings have some flexibility to just go with the best player available here. Maybe McDonald's defense and playmaking helps her fit in alongside Arike Ogunbowale, or maybe the Wings take her with a trade in mind. After all, they'll probably be making some moves anyway, and McDonald figures to have a lot of interest around the league.
- More: McDonald scouting report
6. New York Liberty: Jasmine Walker -- F, Alabama
The Liberty completely revamped their roster in the winter, adding a number of big-name players who fit better with head coach Walt Hopkins' pace-and-space style. Perhaps the best fit for that mold in this draft class is Walker. The 6-foot-3 forward out of Alabama can really shoot the ball, and her ability to stretch the floor is exactly what the Liberty need on the offensive end.
7. Los Angeles Sparks: Chelsea Dungee -- G, Arkansas
Everyone figured the Wings would make a trade, and they did it before the draft, sending the No. 7 pick and a 2022 second-round pick to the Sparks in exchange for Los Angeles' 2022 first-round pick. So who did the Sparks covet so much they wanted to move up? Interestingly enough, we're going to stick with Dungee here to the Sparks. GM and head coach Derek Fisher talked about wanting players who can make an instant impact, and Dungee's scoring and shooting will be an immediate boost to a team that only took 18.1 3-pointers per game last season.
8. Chicago Sky: Dana Evans -- G, Louisville
Head coach and GM James Wade all but guaranteed recently that the Sky will be drafting a point guard to address their lack of depth behind Courtney Vandersloot. If Evans is still around it would be an absolute steal for Chicago. Like any small guard, her size is a fair reason for concern, but she proved time and again to be a big-game player in college, and has a reliable 3-point shot.
- More: Evans scouting report
9. Minnesota Lynx: Natasha Mack -- F/C, Oklahoma State
There's no question that Mack is the best defensive big in the draft, and you know exactly what you're going to get from her. She'll protect the rim, rebound and finish efficiently around the basket. All of which means she has a pretty high floor, and would be a perfect understudy for Sylva Fowles. But how will she adapt to WNBA opponents that are able to get her out of her comfort zone?
10. Los Angeles Sparks: Michaela Onyenwere -- F, UCLA
The Sparks now have two picks in the first round, and it wouldn't be a surprise to see them target Onyenwere here. GM and head coach Derek Fisher said the team is looking for "versatility, athleticism, and players who can make plays for others and defend multiple positions." The UCLA product checks a lot of those boxes. She'll be a bit of a tweener at the next level, but she's a strong, athletic wing who plays extremely hard.
11. Seattle Storm: Kiana Williams -- G, Stanford
Sue Bird is coming back this season, but as she closes in on two decades in the league, the Storm need to start looking for another point guard. If Williams, who recently helped Stanford win the national championship, drops all the way to No. 11 that seems like a perfect match. She's a steady point guard who makes good decisions and shoots the ball well from 3-point land. The Storm wouldn't need her to make an impact immediately either, so she'll have time to develop.
12. Las Vegas Aces: Iliana Rupert -- C, France
At just 19 years old, Rupert is one of the youngest players in this class, but she already has multiple years of experience on the professional and international level in France. It's not clear if she'd come over this summer due to commitments with the French national team, but the Aces aren't in a position where they need immediate help from a rookie. And besides, Rupert's potential could make the wait well worth it.