WNBA Draft Superlatives: Biggest Surprises, Best Dressed and More

The Fever won with more than just Caitlin Clark on Monday night. Plus, the Storm took another UConn guard, who had the best hype women of the night. 
Apr 15, 2024; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Caitlin Clark poses with WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert after
Apr 15, 2024; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Caitlin Clark poses with WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert after / Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
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The 2024 WNBA draft is officially in the rearview mirror, with this year’s event drawing more eyeballs and attention than ever before. With the selections made and the dust settled, it's time to break down an action-packed night of blockbuster picks, steals, surprises and showstopping fashion. 

Without further ado, the 2024 WNBA draft superlatives:

Biggest winner: Indiana Fever

If you draft the cultural juggernaut and basketball superstar that is Caitlin Clark to your team, then you win the night. It may seem like a bit of a layup to name the Fever as the draft’s winner, but Indiana didn’t just phone in its No. 1 selection, general manager Lin Dunn also made the most of her squad’s later picks. The Fever used its 15th pick on Ohio State guard Celeste Taylor, who fits in with Indiana’s defensive ethos and bolsters the team’s backcourt.

Apr 15, 2024; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Cameron Brink reacts after she is selected with the number two
Brink, who was the second pick of the draft, was the country's top shot-blocker at Stanford. / Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Runner-up: Los Angeles Sparks

The Sparks needed to add foundational pieces to their roster and they did just that with their two first-round selections. With its No. 2 pick, Los Angeles brought on Stanford star Cameron Brink, a much-needed post presence for the Sparks after losing Nneka Ogwumike to free agency. Then, just two picks later, Los Angeles scooped up another pro-ready prospect in Tennessee’s Rickea Jackson, who can score from anywhere on the floor.

Biggest surprise: Charisma Osborne  

The UCLA star guard was projected to go late in the first round but instead fell to the third, selected 25th by the Phoenix Mercury. Osborne, who is hailed as a hardworking competitor, took the slip down the board in stride. 

“Yeah, I think going in the third round, that's just a number, and I think I'm just going to go out there and do my best and show what I can. I'm really confident in my skills and my abilities,” said Osborne. “So I think, like I said, that's just a number, and I'll go out there and try my hardest and make the team.”

The silver lining? Phoenix has some space on its roster, making it a strong possibility that we see Osborne in a Mercury jersey come opening day.

Biggest steal: Nika Mühl 

Mühl improved her draft stock immensely with a forceful NCAA tournament showing, shutting down Clark with an impressive defensive stand in the Final Four. The Seattle Storm took note, selecting the UConn guard with their 15th pick. A UConn guard in Seattle? Novel concept. If history is any indication (see: Bird, Sue), this could be a match made in WNBA heaven.

Apr 15, 2024; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Angel Reese before the 2024 WNBA Draft at Brooklyn Academy of
Reese, known as the Bayou Barbie when she transferred to LSU, was taken No. 7 by the Chicago Sky on Monday night. / Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Best dressed: Angel Reese

Fashion stole the show the 2024 WNBA draft, with the draftees sparing no expense. The orange carpet was filled with eye-catching looks—including Clark’s head-to-toe, history-making Prada ensemble—making choosing best dressed a tall task. But if there has to be a winner, it should come as no surprise that the “Bayou Barbie” takes the cake. Reese, who was drafted by the Chicago Sky, sported a bedazzled backless hooded dress from Bronx and Banco, in a dramatic statement that felt true to the LSU star’s flashy style.

Best hype women: Paige Bueckers and Azzi Fudd

Ever the supportive teammates, Bueckers and Fudd made the trip to Brooklyn to support fellow UConn stars Mühl and Aaliyah Edwards at the draft. Before finding their seats in the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Bueckers and Fudd were swarmed by fans, graciously taking selfies for several minutes. Then, sitting in the bowels of the auditorium, Bueckers and Fudd leaped to their feet as Edwards’s name was called, phones in hand to snap the perfect picture while cheering the former Husky on. Good sports all around.

Best viral moment: Kate Martin

Martin wasn’t on stage sitting at a round table with her friends and family at the WNBA draft. Instead, she was seated in the Brooklyn Academy of Music auditorium, supporting her Iowa Hawkeyes teammate, Clark, from the audience. But in a somewhat unexpected turn of events, Martin heard her name called in the second round, something she wasn’t sure of, but hoped would happen. Her walk up to the podium was one of those fun, off-script moments that you tune into the draft for.


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Clare Brennan

CLARE BRENNAN

Clare Brennan is an associate editor for Sports Illustrated focused on women’s sports. Her work includes coverage of the WNBA and women’s soccer; and she previously wrote for Just Women’s Sports.