Ranking the WNBA’s top 25 players for 2024: Fever’s Caitlin Clark misses cut,

The 2024 WNBA season is just around the corner and another exciting summer of basketball is in store. A’ja Wilson and the Las Vegas Aces are on a quest to become the second team ever to three-peat, No. 1 overall pick Caitlin Clark leads a game-changing rookie class and the Seattle Storm and Phoenix Mercury shook up the league with their offseason moves. 

Before the action gets underway, it is once again time to rank the top 25 players in the WNBA. This is the fourth consecutive year CBS Sports has undertaken this project, and it has only gotten more difficult as the league’s talent pool has deepened. 

The most notable change this time around is Wilson has taken the top spot from New York Liberty star Breanna Stewart, who had been No. 1 on the list for three years running. While Stewart won MVP last season, Wilson’s dominant playoff run, which culminated in her first Finals MVP honor, was the deciding factor. 

To little surprise, the Aces lead the way with four players, all of whom are in the top 10. The new-look Storm also have four players while the Liberty, Connecticut Sun and Atlanta Dream all have three. Only the Chicago Sky and Los Angeles Sparks did not have anyone make the cut. 

Some notable absentees from last year’s list include Elena Delle Donne, Candace Parker and Tiffany Hayes. Delle Donne decided to step away from the game indefinitely during the offseason while Parker and Hayes retired. 

As usual, the list skews older. No rookies made it, not even Clark. One of the toughest parts of this exercise is balancing the here and now with the future, and while Clark may push her way into the top 25 by the end of the season, those who have proven it already get the benefit of the doubt. In fact, Aliyah Boston is the only second-year player and Rhyne Howard is the only third-year player featured. 

With that, here is CBS Sports’ top 25 WNBA players for 2024:

1. A’ja Wilson — F, Las Vegas Aces

Wilson is coming off another dominant season on both sides of the ball, as she averaged career-highs in scoring (22.3 points per game), rebounds (9.5), blocks (2.2) and field goal percentage (55.7). Though she narrowly missed out on becoming the first player since Cynthia Cooper in 1997-98 to win back-to-back MVP awards, she did win her second consecutive Defensive Player of the Year honor, then led the Aces to a repeat and was named Finals MVP in the process. After her historic playoff run, Wilson has earned the title of “best player in the world” entering this season.

2. Breanna Stewart — F, New York Liberty

After spending the first seven years of her career in Seattle, Stewart made a major change to return home to New York last winter. She had no trouble adjusting and put up a career-high 23 points per game, broke the league record for 40-point games in a season (four) and became the eighth player to win multiple MVP awards. Her versatility on both sides of the ball remains largely unmatched, and though her and the Liberty’s season came to an end in disappointing fashion, there are no questions about her place in the league’s hierarchy.  

3. Alyssa Thomas — F, Connecticut Sun

The Sun officially became Thomas’ team last season, and she delivered one of the most unique and impressive individual campaigns we’ve ever seen. Her 15.5 points, 9.9 rebounds and 7.9 assists were all career-highs, and she became the first player ever to reach all of those marks in the same season. She finished as the runner-up for both MVP and Defensive Player of the Year and set the single-season (seven) and all-time (eight) triple-double records. Thomas is an offense unto herself and an extremely disruptive defensive force who will ensure the Sun remain a playoff team as long as she’s healthy. 

4. Napheesa Collier — F, Minnesota Lynx

Collier missed the majority of the 2022 season while on maternity leave and returned in 2023 with the finest summer of her career. Her 21.5 points per game were a career-high, she finished in the top-10 in scoring, rebounding and steals and made her first All-WNBA First Team appearance. Like so many of the elite players, Collier’s versatility is what makes her special. She had at least 90 possessions in six different offensive categories, per Synergy Sports. It’s the same story on the other side of the ball, where Collier can guard all over the floor. 

5. Jonquel Jones — C, New York Liberty

Jones’ first season with the Liberty was somewhat disjointed and frustrating early on, as she struggled to overcome a foot injury while adjusting to a new team and role. After the All-Star break, and particularly in the playoffs, however, she reminded everyone why she is a former MVP with commanding play in the paint on both ends of the floor. During New York’s run to the Finals, she averaged 17 points, 11.6 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game. The Liberty will need that version of Jones this season as they try again for the first title in franchise history. 

6. Chelsea Gray — G, Las Vegas Aces

Gray continues to get better and better, establishing herself as the league’s top point guard. Last season she recorded career-highs across the board with 15.3 points, four rebounds and 7.3 assists per game, became one of two players ever to average at least 15 points and seven assists in the same season, made her fifth All-Star Game and second All-WNBA appearance. She went down with a foot injury in the Finals and was not on the floor when the Aces clinched the title, but she is fully healthy now and ready to lead the Aces on their three-peat quest. 

7. Jackie Young — G, Las Vegas Aces

Young’s continual improvement as a scorer, and particularly as a 3-point shooter, is simply remarkable. She has increased her scoring average in every season of her career, and her 17.6 points per game last summer were good for 11th in the league. She also finished second in the league in 3-point shooting at 44.9% and became the fifth player ever to shoot 44% or better on at least five 3-point attempts per game. Her size and physicality on the wing is a matchup nightmare for opponents, who have few options now that she’s an elite shooter. 

8. Jewell Loyd — G, Seattle Storm

Loyd is coming off a historic season in which she won the scoring title with 24.7 points per game and joined Diana Taurasi as the only players to average at least 24 points per game in a season. The good news for her and the Storm is she won’t have to carry that big of a burden this summer with Skylar Diggins-Smith and Nneka Ogwumike in town. Their arrivals will allow Loyd to pick her spots, and, at times, attack weaker defenders. Few players in the league are better equipped to do that than Loyd, who can create her own shot whenever she wants. 

9. Kelsey Plum — G, Las Vegas Aces

Even though Plum’s performance was up-and-down at times last season, she still finished tied for seventh in the league in scoring at 18.7 points per game and 10th in assists at 4.5. The only other player who finished in the top 10 in both categories was Arike Ogunbowale. While Plum can be streaky at times, her ability to shoot from behind the arc — either off the dribble or the catch — and put the ball on the deck to get to the rim makes her a formidable offensive force. The Aces had a 117.4 offensive rating with her on the floor last season — the highest mark of any player on the team. 

10. Nneka Ogwumike — F, Seattle Storm

Last season was the best Ogwumike has looked since her MVP campaign in 2016, which is why, even as she approaches her 13th season, she was one of the most sought after free agents on the market in the winter. She wound up staying on the West Coast and will team up with Loyd and Diggins-Smith on the Storm, who hope to join the Aces and Liberty in the superteam tier. If Seattle ends up contending this season, Ogwumike will be a major reason why. She is an extremely efficient scorer, active defender and terrific teammate. 

11. Sabrina Ionescu — G, New York Liberty

Ionescu made history in 2023 with the greatest 3-point shooting the league has seen. Her 128 made 3s set a new single-season record, and her 44.8% mark from behind the arc was the highest ever for a player who knocked down at least 100 3s. She also finished seventh in the league in assists and recorded her second season with at least 15 points, five rebounds and five assists per game. Every other player in WNBA history combined has two such seasons. Ionescu is not a good defender, but her offensive production is prolific. 

12. Skylar Diggins-Smith — G, Seattle Storm

After a tumultuous four years in Phoenix, Diggins-Smith departed in free agency this winter and signed with Seattle to team up with Loyd and Ogwumike. At her best, she is one of the most dynamic guards in the league, capable of scoring herself or setting up her teammates. This spot may end up being too low, but she will soon turn 34 and missed all of last season on maternity leave, so there are some questions about how she’ll fare in her return. If she can get back to a First Team All-WNBA level, the Storm will be a real threat to crash the title contenders party. 

13. Kahleah Copper — G/F, Phoenix Mercury

Copper showed last season that she can be a No. 1 option as she put up a career-high 18.7 points and shot a career-best 40.7% from 3-point land to drag the Sky to the playoffs. She won’t have as much responsibility this season after a blockbuster trade to the Mercury, but that’s a positive for both parties. With a better roster around her, Copper’s slashing game will be even more effective, even if the final numbers end up a bit lower. Plus, she’ll have more energy for the defensive end, where she can be disruptive with her size and athleticism on the wing. 

14. Aliyah Boston — C, Indiana Fever

The No. 1 overall pick in 2023, Boston made a smooth transition to the professional level and was named the unanimous Rookie of the Year following a historic debut season. She averaged 14.5 points, 8.4 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game, and shot 57.8% from the field to become the first rookie ever to lead the league in field goal percentage. Along the way she was voted an All-Star starter and helped the Fever win more games in 2023 (13) than they did in 2021 and 2022 combined. She should be even better this season now that she gets to team up with Caitlin Clark. 

15. Arike Ogunbowale — G, Dallas Wings

Ogunbowale has been one of the best scorers in the league ever since she was drafted in 2019, and she was once again near the top of the charts last season with 21.2 points per game. Her improved playmaking and effort on defense under new head coach Latricia Trammell, however, were the most encouraging aspects of her play in 2023. With Satou Sabally sidelined until after the Olympic break, the Wings are going to need Ogunbowale contributing as more than just a scorer if they want to build upon their success from last season. 

16. Brittney Griner — C, Phoenix Mercury

Griner made an emotional return to the court last season after missing the entire 2022 campaign while wrongfully detained in Russia on drug charges. Despite the mental and physical toll that experience took on her, Griner was largely her old self, averaging 17.5 points, 6.3 rebounds and 1.6 blocks en route to a starting nod in the All-Star Game. With a normal and healthy offseason under her belt and a much more talented supporting cast alongside her after a big winter for the Mercury, Griner should be even better this season. 

17. DeWanna Bonner — F, Connecticut Sun

Bonner just refuses to slow down. At 35 years old, she played in all 47 games for the Sun last summer between the regular season and playoffs, averaged over 30 minutes per night and led the team in scoring at 17.4 points. Her durability is simply remarkable, but the fact that she can still perform at an All-Star level — she was the oldest player in the showcase last season — is even more impressive. The latter is a primary reason why the Sun have been able to sustain their success despite a continual talent drain in recent years.

18. Allisha Gray — G, Atlanta Dream

In her first season in Atlanta, Gray put up a career-high 17.1 points, 4.9 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game and made her first All-Star appearance. Her arrival helped the Dream reach the playoffs for the first time since 2018. Gray is a big guard who uses her physicality well on both sides of the ball. She excels at getting downhill, where she finishes efficiently at the rim and draws fouls at will; her 5.4 free throw attempts per game were tied for fourth in the league. Defensively, she can guard multiple positions and plays a leading role in the Dream’s effort on that end. 

19. Ezi Magbegor — F/C, Seattle Storm

It’s hard to believe Magbegor wasn’t even in the mix for Most Improved Player last season. She took a big leap for the Storm, averaging career-highs across the board with 13.8 points, 8.1 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.9 blocks per game. Voters did reward her with her first All-Star appearance and a spot on the All-Defensive Second Team for the second year in a row. Possessing a rare combination of size and athleticism, Magbegor is one of the most exciting young bigs in the league. She may not get as many headlines as her superstar teammates, but she’s an important part of the Storm’s plans this season. 

20. Rhyne Howard — G, Atlanta Dream

The No. 1 overall pick in 2022, Howard improved upon her Rookie of the Year campaign with a strong sophomore season. She raised her averages in scoring (17.5 points), rebounding (4.5) and assists (3.5), made her second All-Star Game and helped the Dream end their playoff drought. Though the Dream were ultimately swept by the Wings in the first round, her 36-point effort in her first ever postseason game was a prime example of why she has one of the brightest futures in the league. 

21. Kelsey Mitchell — G, Indiana Fever

Mitchell has been one of the more underrated players in the league for a few years, but that’s starting to change now that the Fever are getting some attention. The Ohio State product was at 18.2 points and 3.1 assists per game last season, and she was rewarded with her first All-Star selection. Though her percentages may not jump off the page, in part because she’s often had to create tough looks for herself, Mitchell is an elite shooter and should be one of the biggest beneficiaries of Clark’s arrival. It was unfortunate she missed the preseason with an ankle injury and we haven’t gotten to see that duo on the court together yet. 

22. Satou Sabally — F, Dallas Wings

Sabally enjoyed a breakout season in 2023, as she set new career-highs across the board with 18.6 points, 8.1 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game, won Most Improved Player, made her first All-WNBA team and finished fifth in MVP voting. If she was healthy, she would be much higher on this list, but offseason shoulder surgery will keep her out until after the Olympic break. There are no doubts about Sabally’s talent, but she has to stay on the court. This will be the fourth time in five seasons that she’s failed to reach 20 appearances since entering the league. 

23. Brittney Sykes — G, Washington Mystics

Sykes was forced into a bigger role with the Mystics last season and responded by averaging career-highs of 15.9 points, five rebounds, 3.8 assists and 2.1 steals per game on 35% 3-point shooting. This season, she’ll have to do even more after the offseason departures of Elena Delle Donne and Natasha Cloud. Perhaps the biggest challenge for Sykes will be balancing her offensive and defensive responsibilities. She is arguably the best perimeter defender in the league, but it’s much harder to hit that level consistently when you also have to be your team’s go-to scorer. 

24. Bri Jones — C, Connecticut Sun

Jones is another player who would be higher on this list if not for injury. In her case, though, she is coming back from a torn Achilles tendon that ended her 2023 season after just 13 games. Prior to getting hurt, Jones was playing the best basketball of her career, and was well on her way to another All-Star honor. You would expect her to get back to that level at some point, but probably not for a few months. Even with all the medical advancements, Achilles tendon repairs are one of the most serious surgeries an athlete can undergo. 

25. Jordin Canada — G, Atlanta Dream

Canada’s final season with the Sparks was her best yet, as she set career-highs in all major stat categories with 13.3 points, 3.1 rebounds, six assists and a league-leading 2.3 steals per game. She made All-Defensive First Team and finished as runner-up for Most Improved Player. While she’s currently sidelined with a hand injury, the Dream have not given any indication that it will be a long-term problem. Her willingness to play fast and get after it defensively will make her a perfect fit for Tanisha Wright’s style, and her playmaking will make life much easier for Gray and Howard. 

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