Caitlin Clark will be the ‘backbone of a franchise’: Anonymous WNBA GM scout guard prospects

Caitlin Clark will headline the 2024 WNBA Draft, but she’s not the only impactful guard who will make her way into the league. As the professional game modernizes, franchises are looking for more playmakers on the perimeter in an effort to improve the pace and spacing of their offenses. Clark is the most prolific and recognizable guard of this group, and is joined by a deep class – including several international prospects – of shooters, pure point guards and combo guards eager to make their impact at the next level.

There are less than three weeks until the draft, which will take place on April 15 in Brooklyn, New York, just eight days after the national championship. In anticipation of the event, eight WNBA general managers shared their candid thoughts on the upcoming class project Atletico before the NCAA Tournament. They were granted anonymity to allow them to speak openly. We’ll release another installment on Thursday that will include their unvarnished renditions of frontcourt players like Cameron Brink, Kamilla Cardoso and Angel Reese.

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WNBA Mock Draft: Where will Angel Reese land? Who will be chosen after Caitlin Clark?

After the tournament, we will release our final mock draft and a GM scout of potential picks in the 2025 WNBA Draft.

Players are listed in alphabetical order.

18.8 points per game (ppg), 6.8 assists per game (apg), 33.5 3-point field goal percentage (3-pt fg%), 85.9 free throw percentage (ft%)

• “I think most people will be willing to take on Amoore because he has a clear position. At worst, they might be able to turn her into a reserve, and being able to solidify that position is no small feat in this league. A reserve who can stretch the field is a nice piece to add to your team. “It might be the safest choice out of all of them (Jacy Sheldon, Jaylyn Sherrod and Hailey Van Lith).”

• “The issue of Amorere is size. The question is, can he do some of the same offensive things in college that he would need to do in the pros? Because the length bothers her in some of her pick-and-rolls. “I think she knows how to manage a team very well.”

• “He has that ability that I think the highest level point guards have, where they know not only who needs the ball, but they know how to manipulate the defense to get them the ball in the best situations to be successful, and the best timing .”

Isobel Borlase | 5-11 guard | Adelaide Lightning (WNBL, Australia)

15.6 ppg, 4.7 rebounds per game (rpg), 2.5 apg, 1.8 steals per game (spg)

• “Borlase has a game suited to Australia. “I don’t know if it translates to our game.”

• “I think she does a really good job creating for herself. He can score in certain ways that show he has what I call international maturity. You can tell she plays professional basketball. … From what I’ve seen, I think she could easily be in the first round.”

31.8 ppg, 8.8 apg, 7.3 rpg, 37.9 3pt fg%

• “I think like all my colleagues: a generational talent who can be the backbone of a franchise. “A clear No. 1 pick.”

• “Phenomenal player. “Probably one of the most offensive guards we’ve seen come into the draft in a while.”

• “I think where she will be most beneficial to her team, which we all know what that will be, will be her ability to pass, spread the ball and spread the love to some incredible players on her team. I think she’s going to struggle more offensively because of the strength of the guards that will be defending her, and the speed of those guards is something that she’s not used to seeing in college. But I think where she will have the biggest impact will be her ability to pass.”

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What makes Caitlin Clark the best shooter in college basketball? Her physics behind her shot

Leila Lacan | 5-11 guard | Angers (France)

11.8 points per game, 2.7 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 3.3 points

• “I’m not sure about his speed, quickness and toughness at this level, but I think he’s probably in the first round.”

• “I really like Leila’s size. She has a pretty complete package. I think she’s really good in the pick-and-roll. I think her vision of her is really good, but she also knows how to create for herself. It’s an attractive prospect. “It’s just a little difficult when you’re not sure about overseas obligations and the national team and all that kind of stuff.”

Carla Leite | 5-9 guard | Tarbes (France)

15.9 points per game, 5.8 assists, 1.4 points, 25 million%

• “I’m only 19, but I demonstrate the court awareness to become an elite professional point guard. Extraordinary ability to get to the basket, great change of pace, great ability with the ball in his hands, sees the floor exceptionally well. Decent size, he gets to the line a lot for a PG and makes a high percentage of free throws. “You need to continue to improve your 3-point shooting.”

14.1 points per game, 5.2 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 25 million%

• “She’s a combo guard. I think she’s more two-one than one-two. She’s proven to be good at a lot of things. Can you shoot the 3, midrange? She can get to the edge. Physical defender. But I would say out of these three I would probably give a slight edge to Amoore, and then to (Jacy) Sheldon right behind her.

• “Charisma is simply a great leader, consistent, with a high basketball IQ, willing to do whatever it takes for the team to succeed. … I think his mid-range game is one of the best in the league. Excellent in midrange pull-ups. “He needs to consistently shoot 3s, but he’s a great defender.”

• “Charisma worked really hard on her shot and there was a lot of growth in the first two-thirds of the season. He fought on this rear third. He will have to find some consistency. I think he’s going to have to take Jackie Young’s growth step in his recovery. He has a nice pull-up, a really nice pull-up, like a second layer powered by ball screen action. He can actually elevate and time his release very well in a contest. That 3-point ability has to become really consistent in the way Jackie has cultivated it.

Jacy Sheldon | 5-10 guards | Ohio State

17.8 points per game, 3.8 assists, 1.9 points, 37.3 FG% on 3-pointers

• “The ceiling may be higher than Amoore, but there is also the possibility that the physicality of our league may be too much for her.”

• “Extraordinary athlete. My concern for her is the physicality of the game. Ohio State is a very physical team, but when you look at his body structure, I worry a little about his ability to handle the physicality. But great vision, passer, shooter.”

• “Could he develop an Allie Quigley-type game? She has a quick release. It sounds really good with an up-tempo system. I think he shows excellent mid-court IQ, both with and without the ball. I find her to be an elite communicator. Her ability to swing from one to three positions so fluidly is special.

• “He has great discretion in choosing shots and then really manages to involve his entire team. And I think they go the way she goes. Obviously, one of the most impactful parts of her game is the defensive part. She’s super athletic and she totally recognizes when she should take on a risky thing especially in the press, but she’s a really disciplined defender and I think that will be her biggest impact at the next level, at least in the “immediate time.”

Jaylyn Sherrod | 5-7 guard | Colorado

12.9 points per game, 4.9 assists, 2.2 points, 49.8 FG% on 2 points

• “Extraordinary defense. He captures my attention every time I watch them with his tenacity on defense, his ability to intimidate whoever he’s guarding. Play hard. He seems to be really smart and obviously has added some offensive skills to his game. “I like his tenacity.”

• “She is not a professional shooter at the moment. She might be one of those who needs to go overseas and work on her offensive game and get a consistent jump shot, because nowadays you can’t be a guard in our league and not be a good shooter. . “She can attack the basket and do all that, but people learn to cheat you if you can’t shoot.”

Hailey Van Lith | 5-7 guard | LSU

11.8 ppg, 3.6 apg, 35.5 3pt fg%, 25 m%

• “Good outside shooter, decent at getting to the basket, but mid-range play is a problem. He plays hard: scrappy, competitive, he loves fire. He reminds me a little of Dana Evans. Probably a more natural two than one, but his size will require her to play mostly one. However, one wonders whether he could be as effective.”

• “He didn’t shoot the ball like people thought he would. I don’t know if it’s good or bad for her that she went to LSU and was forced to play point guard. But she had to work on some ball handling and some passing skills because that’s what their team needed.”

(Photo by Charisma Osborne, Caitlin Clark and Hailey Van Lith: G Fiume, Harry How and Ethan Miller / Getty Images)