2023 WNBA season: draft, schedule, favorites
2023 WNBA season: draft, schedule, favorites originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
While the women’s Final Four points to the end of an exciting 2023 NCAA Tournament, the action continues well into spring with the WNBA draft and regular season on the horizon.
Many of the biggest names in college will join the professional ranks weeks after wrapping up their season and jump in to provide an immediate impact for their new team.
Here’s a look ahead at the upcoming WNBA season:
When does the 2023 WNBA season begin?
The 2023 WNBA season tips off on Friday, May 19.
When is the 2023 WNBA Draft?
The 2023 WNBA Draft is quickly approaching on Monday, April 10. This comes just over a week after the women’s NCAA Tournament championship.
Who are the top picks in the 2023 WNBA Draft?
The 2023 WNBA Draft has no shortage of talent at the top including South Carolina’s Aliyah Boston, Maryland’s Diamond Miller and Villanova’s Maddy Siegrist.
Boston is the reigning Player of the Year and leading force behind South Carolina’s 42-game win streak. At 6-foot-5 averaging a double-double, Boston is ready to make an immediate impact for the Indiana Fever, who is on the clock first.
Miller bounced back from a junior slump – largely due to a lingering knee injury – with an impressive senior campaign where she’s averaging 19.6 points for the Terps. Siegrist, meanwhile, is pure offense as she leads the NCAA with 29.2 points per game.
Is Caitlin Clark in the 2023 WNBA Draft?
The list of 2023 WNBA draftees is far from confirmed but one name definitely won’t be on it – Iowa’s Caitlin Clark.
It’s already very unusual for women’s basketball players to go professional prior to their senior year – a major difference from the men’s game – but fans of the college game will get to enjoy one more year of the electrifying guard thanks to her birthday falling a mere 22 days after the deadline.
The WNBA requires all draftees to turn 22 within the calendar year. Clark turned 21 on January 22, so she’ll have to wait one more season to make her mark in the WNBA.
Is Brittney Griner playing in the WNBA this season?
Brittney Griner will make her long-awaited debut on May 19 when the Phoenix Mercury host the Los Angeles Sparks.
Griner missed all of last season while detained in Russia on drug smuggling charges. She was released on Dec. 8 and announced her intention to return to Phoenix.
Who are the reigning WNBA champions?
The Las Vegas Aces enter the season as favorites to repeat as WNBA champions.
Becky Hammon’s team added two-time WNBA MVP Candace Parker in the offseason and welcomed Tom Brady as a minority owner.
The Aces offseason moves, however, weren’t all positive. They remain under scrutiny following allegations that they circumvented the league salary cap via “under-the-table” offers and the mistreatment of Dearica Hamby by trading her after learning she was pregnant.