2022 WNBA Draft: How the draft works, No. 1 pick predictions, and more

WNBA Draft 2022
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Ahead of tonight’s 2022 WNBA Draft, here are answers to a few frequently asked questions about how the draft works, WNBA eligibility, which players have declared, which WNBA team has first pick, and more.


What time is the WNBA Draft?

The 2022 WNBA Draft will be held tonight, Monday, April 11, 2022 at 7:00 p.m. ET (TV channel: ESPN). For the first time since 2019, the WNBA Draft will be held in-person at Spring Studios in New York.

2022 WNBA DRAFT: Live updates, highlights, round-by-round picks

How does the WNBA Draft work?

The WNBA draft consists of three rounds with 12 picks in each round. A total of 36 athletes will be drafted, though unfortunately, many of them won’t ultimately play in the WNBA.

What are the chances of a draft pick playing in the WNBA?

It hurts to answer this question. The reality is that many WNBA draftees won’t ultimately play in a WNBA game. That’s because there are just 144 roster spots available in the WNBA (12 teams x 12 players per roster), and some of those will go unfilled due to the league’s salary cap.

READ MORE: The odds of WNBA draftees playing in the league

Who is eligible for the WNBA Draft?

In order to be eligible to play in the WNBA, an athlete must:

  • Turn 22 years old in the year of the draft OR
  • Have graduated or be set to graduate from a four-year university within three months of the draft OR
  • Have attended a four-year college and had her original class already graduate or be set to graduate within three months of the draft

International athletes who don’t play college basketball in the U.S. are eligible so long as they turn 20 years old in the year of the draft.

FROM THE ARCHIVES: In college basketball, men can be ‘one-and-done.’ Why not the women?

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the NCAA in 2021 granted all winter athletes an additional year of college eligibility. As a result, college players were required to opt-in if they had additional eligibility remaining and wanted to be considered for the 2022 WNBA Draft.

A full list of the 108 NCAA athletes who have opted in to the 2022 WNBA Draft can be found below.

Who is predicted to be the No. 1 pick in the 2022 WNBA Draft?

Most mock drafts predict that Kentucky’s Rhyne Howard will be the No. 1 pick in the 2022 WNBA Draft. Baylor’s NaLyssa Smith and Ole Miss’ Shakira Austin are also expected to be drafted in the first three.

MORE ON RHYNE HOWARD: ‘Once-in-a-lifetime player’ Rhyne Howard headlines prospects at 2022 WNBA Draft

Which WNBA prospects will attend the 2022 WNBA Draft?

The WNBA on Wednesday announced the list of 12 prospects who will attend the 2022 WNBA Draft:

  • Shakira Austin – Ole Miss
  • Kierstan Bell – Florida Gulf Coast
  • Rae Burrell – Tennessee
  • Veronica Burton – Northwestern
  • Nia Clouden – Michigan State
  • Elissa Cunane – NC State
  • Emily Engstler – Louisville
  • Destanni Henderson – South Carolina
  • Naz Hillmon – Michigan
  • Rhyne Howard – Kentucky
  • Nyara Sabally – Oregon
  • NaLyssa Smith – Baylor

MORE FROM ON HER TURF: ‘Once-in-a-lifetime player’ Rhyne Howard headlines prospects at 2022 WNBA Draft

Which team has the first pick in the 2022 WNBA Draft?

The Washington Mystics won the 2022 WNBA draft lottery, but last Wednesday, it was announced that the Mystics had traded the number one overall draft pick to the Atlanta Dream. In exchange, the Mystics received the No 3. overall pick, No. 14 overall pick, plus rights to swap 2023 draft picks.

On Her Turf

“We are very comfortable with all three players that we have ranked as the possible top three picks in the draft,” Mystics head coach Mike Thibault said. “We didn’t have any other picks in this draft and now we have #14 to try to find another good young player that can be a part of our future.”

Also ahead of Monday’s draft, the Las Vegas Aces and Minnesota Lynx made a trade that gives Las Vegas the eighth and 13th overall picks in this year’s WNBA draft. In exchange, the Lynx will receive 2023 draft picks from the Aces.

Here’s the updated list of first-round picks for the 2022 WNBA Draft:

  1. Atlanta Dream (from Washington Mystics)
  2. Indiana Fever
  3. Washington Mystics (from Atlanta Dream)
  4. Indiana Fever (from Los Angeles via Dallas)
  5. New York Liberty
  6. Indiana Fever (from Dallas)
  7. Dallas Wings (from Chicago via Dallas and Indiana)
  8. Las Vegas Aces (from Minnesota via Phoenix, New York and Seattle)
  9. Los Angeles Sparks (from Seattle)
  10. Indiana Fever (from Minnesota)
  11. Las Vegas Aces
  12. Connecticut Sun

Here is a list of the NCAA athletes who have opted in to the 2022 WNBA Draft (updated on April 6, 2022):

The WNBA on Wednesday announced the full list of 108 NCAA athletes who have opted in for the 2022 WNBA Draft.

There are more than 108 athletes who are eligible for selection in this year’s WNBA draft; the following list just includes NCAA players who have opted-in (including those who needed to renounce any remaining eligibility). Seniors who exhausted all of their NCAA eligibility were not required to declare for the WNBA draft, though some of them did anyway.

This updated list includes athletes who were still competing or had just finished competing in the 2022 NCAA women’s basketball tournament when the WNBA published its initial list last week.

Headlining the new additions are four athletes who competed in the 2022 NCAA women’s basketball championship last week: South Carolina’s Destanni Henderson and UConn’s Olivia Nelson-Ododa, Evina Westbrook, and Christyn Williams.

New additions are identified in bold.

  • Faustine Aifuwa – C – LSU
  • Joanne Allen-Taylor – G – Texas
  • Amy Atwell – G – Hawaii
  • Shakira Austin – C – Ole Miss
  • Ty Battle – F – Delaware
  • Kierstan Bell – G – Florida Gulf Coast
  • Arbrie Benson – G – Ball State
  • Katie Benzan – G – Maryland
  • Michelle Berry – G-F – TCU
  • Chloe Bibby – F – Maryland
  • Jazzmaine “Jazz” Bond – F – North Florida
  • Araion Bradshaw – G – Dayton
  • Osh Brown – F – Rutgers
  • Rae Burrell – G-F – Tennessee
  • Veronica Burton – G – Northwestern
  • Brice Calip – G – Missouri State
  • Nicole Cardaño-Hillary – G – Indiana
  • Jailin Cherry – G – LSU
  • Natalie Chou – G – UCLA
  • Deja Church – G – DePaul
  • Nia Clouden – G – Michigan State
  • Jennifer Coleman – G – Navy
  • Lorela Cubaj – F – Georgia Tech (Italy)
  • Elissa Cunane – C – NC State
  • Alana Davis – F – Memphis
  • Mia Davis – F – Temple
  • Jordyn Dawson – F – Akron
  • Jasmine Dickey – G – Delaware
  • Renetha “Shug” Dickson – G – Rutgers
  • Maya Dodson – F – Notre Dame
  • Alexus Dye – F – Tennessee
  • Queen Egbo – C – Baylor
  • Jayden Eggleston – F-G – CSU Bakersfield
  • Emily Engstler – F – Louisville
  • Amaya Finklea – C – Duke
  • N’Dea Flye – G – Rocky Mountain
  • Krystal Freeman – F – Tulane
  • Jenna Giacone – G – Dayton
  • Miela Goodchild – G – Duke
  • Alexis “Lexi” Gordon – G-F – Duke
  • Vivian Gray – G – Texas Tech
  • Aleksa Gulbe – F – Indiana
  • Chelsie Hall – G – Louisville
  • Sara Hamson – C – BYU
  • Paisley Harding – G – BYU
  • Lauren Heard – G – TCU
  • Lexi Held – G – DePaul
  • Destanni Henderson – G – South Carolina
  • Naz Hillmon – F – Michigan
  • Mya Hollingshed – F – Colorado
  • CeCe Hooks – G – Ohio
  • Qadashah Hoppie – G – Texas A&M
  • Chantel Horvat – G – UCLA
  • Rhyne Howard – G – Kentucky
  • Gadiva Hubbard – G – Minnesota
  • Lexie Hull – G – Stanford
  • Aahliyah Jackson – G – TCU
  • Erica “Rosy” Johnson – G – Ohio
  • Kayla Jones – F – NC State
  • Masseny Kaba – F – UCF
  • Lotta-Maj Lahtinen – G – Georgia Tech (Finland)
  • Chloe Lamb – G – South Dakota
  • Jordan Lewis – G – Baylor
  • Kiara Lewis – G – Clemson
  • Kelsey Marshall – G – Miami
  • LaShonda Monk – G – Ole Miss
  • Christina Morra – F – Wake Forest
  • Que Morrison – G – Georgia
  • Nancy Mulkey – C – Washington
  • Bethy Mununga – F – South Florida
  • Olivia Nelson-Ododa – F – Connecticut
  • Ali Patberg – G – Indiana
  • Jaelynn Penn – G – UCLA
  • Raina Perez – G – NC State
  • Destiny Pitts – G-F – Texas A&M
  • Khayla Pointer – G – LSU
  • Amber Ramirez – G – Arkansas
  • Taya Robinson – G – VCU
  • Dor Saar – G – Middle Tennessee
  • Nyara Sabally – C – Oregon
  • Courtajia “Tay” Sanders – G – UCF
  • Chanin Scott – G-F – North Carolina A&T
  • Aisha Sheppard – G – Virginia Tech
  • Hannah Sjerven – C – South Dakota
  • Akila Smith – F – Longwood
  • Alisia Smith – F – Michigan State
  • Kianna Smith – G – Louisville
  • NaLyssa Smith – F – Baylor
  • Tra’Dayja Smith – G – Longwood
  • Jenna Staiti – C – Georgia
  • Iimar’i Thomas – F – UCLA
  • Sam Thomas – G – Arizona
  • Taylah Thomas – F – Texas Tech
  • Lianna Tillman – G – Sacramento State
  • Amandine Toi – G – Virginia
  • Moon Ursin – G – Tulane
  • Lauren Van Kleunen – F` – Marquette
  • Cierra Walker – G – Gonzaga
  • Kayla Wells – G – Texas A&M
  • Evina Westbrook – G – Connecticut
  • Erin Whalen – G-F – Dayton
  • Sydne Wiggins – G – SMU
  • Christyn Williams – G – Connecticut
  • Jade Williams – F – Duke
  • Macee Williams – F – IUPUI
  • Ameshya Williams-Holiday – F – Jackson State
  • Anna Wilson – G – Stanford
  • Deja Winters – G – Minnesota

Since the WNBA published its initial 88-athlete list, two athletes also removed their names from consideration (Anastasia Hayes of Mississippi State and Brie Perpignan of Elon).

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