clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

2016 WNBA Draft takeaways: diversity and promise

The 2016 WNBA Draft was more than just the famous trio of Connecticut females going 1-2-3.

Chris Poss - Swish Appeal

Going into the 2016 WNBA Draft, there was one surefire thing that all basketball fans knew.

No matter who got the No. 1 pick, Breanna Stewart from the University of Connecticut would be the choice.

The rest of the draft, however, was where things got interesting. And you needed to look no further than the top 3 choices.

After Stewart went No. 1 to the Seattle Storm (their second consecutive No. 1 pick; last year was Jewell Loyd of Notre Dame), her former teammates Moriah Jefferson and Morgan Tuck went back-to-back (to the San Antonio Stars and Connecticut Sun, respectively), becoming the first-ever trio of college teammates in men's or women's basketball to be chosen with the top three picks of the draft.

Also noticeable in the first round of the draft was that the Connecticut Sun got not only Tuck, but they also got the no. 4 pick (Rachel Banham of Minnesota) and the no. 6 pick from the Los Angeles Sparks (Jonquel Jones of George Washington).

The second round of the draft produced a couple of firsts in WNBA history. With the no. 15 pick, the Los Angeles Sparks drafted guard Whitney Knight of Florida Gulf Coast, the first time a player had been selected from FGCU.  Four picks later, the Washington Mystics took guard Lia Galdeira from Washington State, also a first.

In the third round, the University of Washington was rewarded for their strong showing in this year's NCAA Tournament. With the 29th pick of the draft, the Los Angeles Sparks selected forward Talia Walton, making her the first player to be drafted from Washington since 2001 (Megan Franza - Phoenix Mercury, no. 61).

For the first time since 2011, Notre Dame had no players taken in the Draft -- a very rare occurrence, considering the success of the team on an annual basis.



The Storm were the obvious winners of the draft the minute they were announced as the no. 1 pick on September 24. Not only does Seattle have the only four-time NCAA Tournament MVP in Stewart, but they also have 2015 Rookie of the Year Jewell Loyd and Stewart's former Connecticut teammate Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis. Add veteran leaders Sue Bird and Monica Wright, and you have a recipe for the best team in the Western Conference.


Hoping to rebuild off a 15-19 season in which they barely missed the Eastern Conference playoffs, the Sun added some valuable pieces in Tuck, Banham and Jones in the first round.

Those three, along with 2nd-round pick Jamie Weisner and Aliyyah Handford, will give the Sun plenty of depth to work with in training camp. With 2015 Most Improved Player Kelsey Bone providing leadership along with guard Alex Bentley, the Sun could very well be a team we look at come late September.