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Already the WNBA's all-time leading scorer, Diana Taurasi made history on Thursday against the Atlanta Dream when she became the first player to reach 10,000 career points. She did so in style with a brilliant 42-point performance for the Phoenix Mercury that was yet another reminder of why she's the most unstoppable scorer the league has ever seen. 

If anyone ever joins Taurasi in the new club she's created, it won't happen for a long time. Any such player would need a combination of elite scoring skills, a constant green light and extreme longevity. This is Taurasi's 20th year in the league, and she's played the majority of 17 seasons. 

It is worth noting that current players have some advantages that Taurasi did not. For one, scoring is way up. When Taurasi entered the WNBA in 2004, the Los Angeles Sparks' 73.4 points per game led the league; that mark would rank last this season, and is 20 points fewer than the Las Vegas Aces' 94.4 points per game. Furthermore, the league expanded the schedule to 40 games this season, and it's possible that number rises in years to come. Even if it doesn't, that is six more games per season than Taurasi played for the majority of her career. 

Still, it will take someone special to expand the 10,000 points club. Here's a look at some players who might have a chance:

DeWanna Bonner -- Phoenix Mercury

  • Career points: 6,680
  • Career scoring average: 14.9
  • 2023 scoring average: 19.1

Bonner is the second-leading active scorer behind Taurasi, so we have to at least take a look at her case. She's having one of the best scoring seasons of her career this summer at 19.1 points per game, and has been a driving force behind the Connecticut Sun's success. If she continues at this pace for the remainder of the season, she'll finish 2023 at about 6,950 points. 

The problem is she's about to turn 36 years old later this month and still needs over 3,000 points. Even if you gave her 600 points a season -- something she's only done once in her career and only two players in league history have done after the age of 35 -- she wouldn't get there until her early 40s. That would require a historic level of production and durability that seems unlikely. 

If Bonner doesn't get there, we're likely looking at close to a decade before anyone else has a chance. Here's a quick rundown of the other veterans at the top of the active scoring list: Candace Parker has already contemplated retirement and won't play long enough; Nneka Ogwumike is hitting her mid-30s and will likely run out of time; Brittney Griner has dealt with too much off the court; Elena Delle Donne is too injury prone; Kristi Toliver has no chance; Skylar Diggins-Smith is about to miss her second full season and has never been quite a big enough scorer. 

At that point, you start getting to some younger players who could be in the conversation down the line. 

Jewell Loyd -- Seattle Storm

  • Career points: 4,458
  • Career scoring average: 16.2
  • 2023 scoring average: 24.6

Loyd is No. 8 on the active scoring list and one of two players under 30 in the top 10. At various points of the season, she was on pace to surpass Taurasi for the highest single-season scoring average in league history. She has cooled off since the All-Star break, however, and is down to 24.6 points per game, which would be second only to Taurasi's 25.3 points in 2006. But because of the extra games this season, she could have the first 900-point season in WNBA history. 

Heading into this summer, you wouldn't have thought that Loyd had a chance, but a historic campaign puts her in the mix. If she keeps scoring at this level, she'll be right around 4,800 points at the end of the season, a little more than 700 points behind Taurasi's pace through nine seasons. That leaves plenty of work to do, but Loyd is currently in a Seattle situation where she takes nearly 20 shots per game. If she stays there while they continue their rebuild, she could put up some huge numbers and climb the charts in a hurry. 

Breanna Stewart -- New York Liberty

  • Career points: 4,318
  • Career scoring average: 20.7
  • 2023 scoring average: 22.9

At 28 years old, Stewart is already a certified future Hall of Famer and one of the best players ever. But can she get to 10,000 points? Her 22.9 points per game this season would be a new career-high and the 10th-best scoring season ever, while her career average of 20.7 points per game is second only to Cynthia Cooper for the highest in WNBA history. 

The main concern with Stewart would be health. She's had surgery on both Achilles tendons and missed all of 2019 after rupturing her right one. As a result, at the end of 2023, she'll have about 4,600 points, which would put her more than 800 behind Taurasi (5,423) through eight seasons. Stewart certainly has the scoring talent to get there, but even in a best-case scenario, it would take her until her late 30s to get there. Will her legs hold up? 

A'ja Wilson -- Las Vegas Aces

  • Career points: 3,387
  • Career scoring average: 19.4
  • 2023 scoring average: 20.7

Few players have done as much early in their career as Wilson, who already has two MVPs, a Defensive Player of the Year award and a title in her first five seasons. She's gotten to this level in large part because she's one of the most reliable scorers in the league, boasting a career average of 19.4 points per contest, and extremely durable, having played in 175 of a possible 184 games. 

Those key factors make her another candidate to consider for the 10,000-point club. At her current average of 20.7 points per game, she'll finish the season at about 3,600 points; Taurasi had 4,029 points through her first six seasons. When you consider Wilson's offensive talent, including her ability to get to the free throw line at a high frequency for free points, and factor in the extra games that she will get to play every season, she has to be in consideration. 

Arike Ogunbowale -- Dallas Wings

  • Career points: 2,886
  • Career scoring average: 20.2
  • 2023 scoring average: 21.8

Ogunbowale is one of the first names that comes to mind of young players who might reach 10,000 points one day. The No. 5 overall pick in the 2019 draft has averaged at least 18.7 points per game in every season of her career and has already won a scoring title. She's also a lead guard with the freedom to take as many shots as she wants and has missed just seven games so far due to injury. 

Assuming she maintains her current pace this summer and doesn't miss any significant time, she'll be somewhere around 3,100-3,200 points at the end of the season. For comparison, Taurasi scored 3,398 points in her first five seasons in the league. There's still a long way for her to go, of course, but that certainly puts Ogunbowale at the forefront of the conversation, especially with longer seasons. 

Honorable mentions

Looking further down the line there are some very young players that deserve mentioning because of their scoring ability, but who are too young to truly consider yet:

  • Aliyah Boston -- Indiana Fever
  • Rhyne Howard -- Atlanta Dream 
  • Sabrina Ionescu -- New York Liberty