Phoenix Mercury hold pair of late picks in 2022 WNBA Draft

Apr 11, 2022, 10:46 AM
Skylar Diggins-Smith #4 of the Phoenix Mercury drives against Diamond DeShields #1 of the Chicago S...
Skylar Diggins-Smith #4 of the Phoenix Mercury drives against Diamond DeShields #1 of the Chicago Sky during Game Three of the 2021 WNBA Finals at Wintrust Arena on October 15, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois. The Sky defeated the Mercury 86-50. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

The Phoenix Mercury hold two third-round picks, at 26th and 32nd overall, heading into the 2022 WNBA Draft on Monday night.

Last February, Phoenix dealt its first-round pick, which ended up being No. 8 overall, to the Minnesota Lynx in a flurry of trades that landed them guard Kia Nurse. Minnesota moved the pick this past week to the Las Vegas Aces.

The Mercury more recently traded their second-round pick in the three-team deal to acquire Diamond DeShields from the Chicago Sky this offseason. The pick went to the Indiana Fever.

Shaking up the top of the order, the Atlanta Dream traded up two spots to get the No. 1 pick.

The leading candidates to go first overall are Rhyne Howard from Kentucky and NaLyssa Smith of Baylor. And on Monday night, players, families and friends will attend the draft in person for the first time since 2019.

Atlanta finished 8-24 last season and has missed the playoffs four of the past five seasons. The franchise got new ownership last year, brought in a new coach in Tanisha Wright and have a new general manager in Dan Padover.

This is the second year in a row that the No. 1 pick has been traded before the draft.

Last year, New York traded it to the Seattle Storm, who then dealt it to the Dallas Wings. Dallas selected Charli Collier first overall in 2021. With players who could potentially change the course of a franchise looming in upcoming drafts — starting with Aliyah Boston of South Carolina next season and Paige Bueckers and Caitlyn Clark the year after — odds are the top pick won’t change hands next year.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

How to watch the 2022 WNBA Draft

Time: 4 p.m. MST


2022 WNBA Draft order

Round 1

1. Atlanta Dream (from Washington Mystics)

2. Indiana Fever

3. Washington Mystics (from Atlanta)

4. Indiana Fever (from Los Angeles)

5. New York Liberty

6. Indiana Fever (from Dallas)

7. Dallas Wings (from Chicago)

8. Las Vegas Aces (from Phoenix via Minnesota Lynx)

9. Los Angeles Sparks (from Seattle)

10. Indiana Fever (from Minnesota)

11. Las Vegas Aces

12. Connecticut Sun

Round 2

1. Las Vegas Aces (from Indiana via Lynx)

2. Washington Mystics (from Atlanta)

3. Atlanta Dream (from Los Angeles)

4. Los Angeles Sparks (from Washington)

5. Seattle Storm (from New York)

6. Seattle Storm (from Dallas)

7. Los Angeles Sparks (from Chicago)

8. Indiana Fever (from Phoenix)

9. Seattle Storm

10. Minnesota Lynx

11. Las Vegas Aces

12. Connecticut Sun

Round 3

1. Indiana Fever

2. Phoenix Mercury (from Atlanta)

3. Los Angeles Sparks

4. Minnesota Lynx (from Washington)

5. New York Liberty

6. Dallas Wings

7. Dallas Wings (from Chicago)

8. Phoenix Mercury

9. Seattle Storm

10. Indiana Fever (from Minnesota)

11. Las Vegas Aces

12. Connecticut Sun

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Phoenix Mercury hold pair of late picks in 2022 WNBA Draft