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2023 WNBA Draft: Who will the Fever take after Aliyah Boston?

The Indiana Fever will likely take the best available player at any position but center with the No. 7 pick. There are plenty of South Carolina Gamecocks who have chemistry with presumed No. 1 pick Aliyah Boston to be considered at No. 7 and No. 13.

NCAA Womens Basketball: Coastal Carolina at South Carolina
Aliyah Boston is a fan favorite.
Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

Here is the pool of players the Indiana Fever will be considering for their 2023 roster:

  • Kelsey Mitchell, starting SG ($206,000)
  • Erica Wheeler, starting PG ($202,154)
  • Victoria Vivians, starting SF ($135,000)
  • Emma Cannon, second PF ($80,000)
  • No. 1 pick (most likely Aliyah Boston), starting C ($74,305)
  • NaLyssa Smith, starting PF ($73,584)
  • Emily Engstler, second SF ($73,584)
  • No. 7 pick ($71,300)
  • Maya Caldwell, second SG ($68,000)
  • Queen Egbo, second C ($67,634)
  • Kristy Wallace, third SG ($64,657)
  • No. 13 pick ($65,290)
  • Destanni Henderson, second PG ($64,657)
  • Lexie Hull, fourth SG ($70,609)
  • No. 17 pick $65,290
  • No. 25 pick $62,285

The Fever should consider taking a point guard at either No. 7 or No. 13 to compete with Destanni Henderson in training camp, unless they believe in Henderson’s high ceiling enough to consider her the backup (or starting) PG of the future. With the pick they don’t use to take a PG, which, as mentioned, could be both, they should take the best player available.

ESPN has the Fever taking shooting guard Brea Beal (South Carolina) at No. 7, Winsidr has them taking small forward Ashley Joens (Iowa State) and Just Women’s Sports has them indeed taking a point guard in Grace Berger (Indiana).

Taking Beal would give them one of the best defenders in the country and a teammate of Aliyah Boston’s. Beal greatly improved her offensive game as a senior, making 38-of-100 threes when her previous high in percentage was 29.6 and previous high in makes was 16. She also upped her career-best assist average from 1.3 to 2.7. Beal has not declared for the draft yet though.

NCAA Womens Basketball: South Carolina at Stanford
Brea Beal defending Stanford’s Haley Jones.
Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Joens scored 3,060 points in her collegiate career (19.4 per game). She can drive, back down, pull up from mid-range and hit from downtown. Her career 3-point percentage at Iowa State was 35.9 on 344 makes. She’s clearly the flashiest player out of her Beal and Berger (with Beal and Berger both being particularly unflashy) and has been considered a top WNBA prospect the longest.

We talked about Berger in our Mystics draft preview. She is, as Indiana teammate Mackenzie Holmes calls her, the mid-range queen, and can also drive, put up floaters and finish at the rim. She is a triple-double threat with career-best averages of 16.2 points, 6.8 rebounds and 5.8 assists. She would of course be a fan favorite in the state of Indiana and Erica Wheeler is already a big fan of hers from the Hoosiers game she attended in February.

Tennessee point guard Jordan Horston is an interesting option who Just Women’s Sports has available at No. 7. Should she fall from the No. 3 spot ESPN has her at, that would tempting for the Fever. Iowa State center Stephanie Soares would also be an interesting option, but it’s doubtful Indiana will take someone who might step on Boston’s toes.

At No. 13, the Fever could look to get Beal if she’s still available (Just Women’s Sports doesn’t have her going in the first round). They could also look to add another teammate of Boston’s in either shooting guard Zia Cooke or power forward Laeticia Amihere. Cooke is the projected No. 12 pick in both the Winsidr mock and the Just Women’s Sports mock and is still available at No. 13 according to ESPN. Cooke was South Carolina’s second-best player after Boston, was the Gamecocks’ best scorer and was previously in consideration to go much higher in the first round. Cooke and Amihere have yet to declare for the draft.

UCLA point guard Charisma Osborne and UConn shooting guard/small forward Lou Lopez Sénéchal may also be available at No. 13. There may not be a more lethal 3-point shooter than Lopez Sénéchal in the draft.

The No. 7 pick should make the roster, while the No. 13 pick will be competing with Henderson and Lexie Hull. I’m assuming the Fever will want to roster offseason acquisitions Maya Caldwell and Kristy Wallace, who were both legitimate contributors at the WNBA level last year. The No. 17 and No. 25 picks will be roster long shots, though the No. 17 pick could outperform the No. 13 pick in training camp.

Everyone is assuming the Fever will take Boston at No. 1. How much better can she make the team?

Her defense will be invaluable, and at 6-foot-5 her offensive game should translate pretty well too. Her 3-point shooting went from 29.2 percent on 14 makes as a junior to 10.5 percent on two makes as a senior, but I’m she’ll be able to get those numbers back up and even better than before. I think she’ll be a star in the WNBA, though I personally don’t see her becoming one of the best players in the game. With that being said, she can definitely make Indiana a playoff team very soon.