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WNBA Draft: Dallas spreads their wings

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NEW YORK – With the first, second and fifth picks, there was no way that the Dallas Wings were going to leave the 2021 WNBA Draft empty-handed.

The Wings definitely made a statement, drafting homegrown product Charli Collier and Finland’s Awak Kuier with the first two picks in the draft – the first time that a team has drafted 1 and 2 in league history. With the fifth pick, Dallas chose Chelsea Dungee from Arkansas.

WNBA draft
Awak Kuier dribbles for Finland. Getty

Collier, a 6’5″ phenom from Houston who played at the University of Texas, averaged 19 points and 11.3 rebounds while shooting 51.1% from the field for the Longhorns as a junior; she also became the third true junior to be drafted no. 1 (she was draft-eligible because she turns 22 this calendar year) and the first Longhorn to be drafted as the top pick. Kuier, also 6’5″, plays professionally for Ragusa in Italy, where she has averaged 8.9 points and 6.8 rebounds this season. At 19, she is the first Finnish player to be drafted in WNBA history.

With Collier and Kuier, the Wings get a sorely needed wing presence that was missing last season as they finished ninth place in the bubble (8-14). Dungee (22.3 PPG as a redshirt senior) gives Arike Ogunbowale another offensive-minded guard to work alongside.

WNBA draft
Kysre Gondrezick looks to attack for West Virginia. Getty

The Atlanta Dream, with the third pick, chose Arizona Wildcat guard Aari McDonald, making her the first Wildcat to be chosen in the first round. McDonald, who led the Wildcats to their first-ever NCAA Championship game, comes to Atlanta with high praise as she leaves the Wildcats as the single-season points leader. The Indiana Fever took West Virginia guard Kysre Gondrezick at the no. 4 pick, which was baffling considering Louisville’s Dana Evans (who ended up going in the second round to Dallas) was right there for the taking. Gondrezick, who averaged 19.5 points last season for the Mountaineers, was projected to be a second to third-round pick.

The New York Liberty took UCLA’s Michaela Onyenwere with the sixth pick while the Los Angeles Sparks took Alabama’s Jasmine Walker and North Carolina’s Stephanie Watts with the 7th and 10th picks, respectively. With the eighth pick, the Chicago Sky took Shyla Heal from Australia and the Minnesota Lynx drafted Tennessee’s Rennia Davis. The Seattle Storm made the first draft-night trade, taking Aaliyah Wilson from Texas A&M with the 11th pick before trading her to Indiana for Kennedy Burke. The last pick of the first round went to the Las Vegas Aces, who took Iliana Rupert from France.

The second and third-round picks are listed below:

SECOND ROUND

13) Dallas – Dana Evans, Louisville

14) Las Vegas – Destiny Slocum, Arkansas

15) Atlanta – Raquel Carrera, Spain

16) Chicago – Natasha Mack, Oklahoma State

17) New York – DiDi Richards, Baylor

18) Seattle – Kiana Williams, Stanford

19) Indiana – Unique Thompson, Auburn

20) Chicago – DiJonai Carrington, Baylor

21) Chicago – Micaela Kelly, Central Michigan

22) Los Angeles – Arella Guirantes, Rutgers

23) Seattle – N’Dea Jones, Texas A&M

24) Indiana – Trinity Baptiste, Arizona

THIRD ROUND

25) New York – Valerie Higgins, Pacific

26) Indiana – Chelsea Perry, UT Martin

27) Atlanta – Lindsey Pulliam, Northwestern

28) Los Angeles – Ivana Raca, Wake Forest

29) New York – Marine Fauthoux, France

30) Connecticut – Aleah Goodman, Oregon State

31) Indiana – Florencia Chagas, Argentina

32) Phoenix – Ciera Johnson, Texas A&M

33) Indiana – Maya Caldwell, Georgia

34) Los Angeles – Aina Ayuso, Spain

35) Seattle – Natalie Kucowski – Lafayette

36) Las Vegas – Kionna Jeter, Towson

The Washington Mystics were the first team n WNBA history to have zero draft picks, as they traded all three last summer to acquire Tina Charles from the Liberty.

Chris Bullock
Chris Bullock
Before joining The Ball Out, Chris Bullock was part of SB Nation's Swish Appeal for nearly three years, covering everything women's basketball. Chris has had the honor of doing live coverage of the WNBA Finals, the NCAA Tournament, and also was given his own column, "The Triple Double". A self-described "foodaholic", Chris lives in the San Diego area with his wife and two daughters, and also hosts his own podcast, "Conscious Cravings", where he speaks about his experience as a mental health advocate.

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