Free agency has come and gone, and so has the NCAA Tournament, which means the 2021 WNBA Draft is right around the corner. In fact, we're now just one week away from the big night, which is set for April 15.
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 first 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 overall 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: Aari McDonald -- G, Arizona
McDonald was the star of the NCAA Tournament, and probably played herself into the top five of this draft by leading Arizona to within a possession of its first national championship. She's only 5-foot-6, and there are concerns about her outside shooting, but she's a leader, a good playmaker and an elite perimeter defender. The Fever have a number of guards on their roster, but they aren't in a position to pass up a player as talented as McDonald.
5. Dallas Wings: Arella Guirantes -- G, Rutgers
If Guirantes is still on the board when the Wings come up again, that would be a no-brainer for them. They need some more reliable offensive options around Arike Ogunbowale, and Guirantes is one of the best scorers in this class. She can get it done at all three levels, has good size on the perimeter and would be able to play both on and off the ball.
6. New York Liberty: Jasmine Walker -- F, Alabama
The Liberty completely revamped their roster in the winter, adding a number of players who fit better with head coach Walt Hopkins' pace-and-space style. Another player who fits that mold 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. Dallas Wings: Chelsea Dungee -- G, Arkansas
Dallas doesn't have enough roster spots to roll into training camp with four first-round picks, so it will be interesting to see what it does on draft night. A trade here, or even at No. 5, wouldn't be surprising, but for now we'll move ahead assuming they're making this pick. Dungee is a really dynamite scorer, and her ability to shoot the ball would help space the floor for Dallas' young stars.
8. Chicago Sky: Dana Evans -- G, Louisville
Evans dropping all the way to No. 8 would be an absolute steal for the Sky, who need to address their point guard depth behind Courtney Vandersloot. 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. Plus, the Sky already have a deep roster and wouldn't need Evans to come in and do too much right away.
- More: Evans scouting report
9. Minnesota Lynx: Natasha Mack -- F, 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: Kiana Williams -- G, Stanford
Williams struggled in the last few games of Stanford's title run in the tournament earlier this month, but that shouldn't hurt her draft stock too much. She's a steady point guard who makes good decisions and shoots the ball well from 3-point land. The Sparks do have a number of guards on the roster, but certainly no one who's locked in as the long-term point guard of the future. Perhaps Williams can claim that role.
11. Seattle Storm: Shyla Heal -- G, Australia
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. Heal, the Australian who made her professional debut in 2015 at just 14 years old, would be an interesting option. She has loads of potential, and the Storm have a track record of selecting players who aren't a guarantee to come over to the WNBA right away.
12. Las Vegas Aces: Michaela Onyenwere -- F, UCLA
The Aces' biggest needs coming into the draft are shooting and frontcourt depth, and Onyenwere addresses neither of them -- though she could perhaps play the four in small-ball lineups. There will be stretch bigs available later in the draft, however, and Onyenwere is too good to pass up at this point. Plus, a strong, athletic wing who works extremely hard seems like just the player Bill Laimbeer would want to coach.
When the 2021 WNBA season tips off, catch the games on CBS Sports Network.