Her Hoop Stats WNBA Power Rankings

Our preseason rankings are tallied. Who's the top team going into the season?

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By Jacqueline LeBlanc and Calvin Wetzel

The WNBA is finally set to tip off this Saturday, July 25, with a nationally televised triple-header.

Like everything that has happened in 2020, it’ll be difficult to foresee how the WNBA shortened season goes, as the championship picture looks vastly different than a few months, or even weeks, ago. Nevertheless, the Her Hoop Stats team took a shot at predicting who will rise to the top of the Wubble. 

Thirteen Her Hoop Stats contributors voted in an internal poll and ranked where they think all twelve teams stand going into the start of the season. The results were averaged for our overall Her Hoop Stats WNBA Preseason Power Rankings.


Photo credit: Chris Poss

1. Seattle Storm

Last year: 18-16; lost in second round of playoffs

Highest individual ranking: 1

Lowest individual ranking: 2

There’s a wide consensus that the return of Breanna Stewart and Sue Bird will propel the Storm to another WNBA championship. The Storm are one of a handful of teams that have all 12 players in Bradenton ahead of the start of the season, including Australian standout Ezi Magbegor. Seattle’s first-round draft pick in 2019, Magbegor helped lead the Melbourne Boomers to the WNBL semifinals with 8.7 points and 4.3 rebounds per game during the WNBA offseason.  

2. Chicago Sky

Last year: 20-14; lost in second round of playoffs

Highest individual ranking: 1

Lowest individual ranking: 6

The Sky were one miraculous Hamby Heave away from making the semifinals last year after a season of vast improvement from 2018. Chicago will look to build on its success from last year with their all-star backcourt, a growing star in Diamond DeShields, and new additions to the team of Azura Stevens, Ruthy Hebard, and last year’s NCAA DI leading scorer Stella Johnson. 

3. Los Angeles Sparks

Last year: 22-12; lost in semifinals 

Highest individual ranking: 1

Lowest individual ranking: 6

The Sparks will be without Maria Vadeeva, Chiney Ogwumike, and Kristi Toliver this season, but their starting lineup has remained intact with the addition of Seimone Augustus. They restored their bench with newcomers Brittney Sykes, Reshanda Gray, Marie Gulich, Kristine Anigwe, and Te’a Cooper. The Sparks have a deep roster, but the question comes back to team chemistry and how the Sparks will jump back from last year’s playoff semifinal elimination.

4. Phoenix Mercury

Last year: 15-19; lost in first round of playoffs

Highest individual ranking: 3

Lowest individual ranking: 7

Skylar Diggins-Smith’s debut in orange and purple and Diana Taurasi’s return might be one of the most anticipated Wubble duos. The backcourt has the potential to take this team even higher, but without DeWanna Bonner, Brittney Griner will have to take on some of Bonner’s 7.6 rebounds per game. Jessica Breland is the only other player on the roster to average more than 4.1 rebounds per game last year, and she’s medically exempted from the season. It will be up to last year’s trio of rookies to take their game to the next level and become reliable role players.

5. Las Vegas Aces

Last year: 21-13; lost in semifinals

Highest individual ranking: 2

Lowest individual ranking: 8

The Aces may have a higher ceiling and a lower floor than the Storm. Seattle knows what it's getting out of its roster as much as any team in the league during a year when no one really knows what to expect. The Aces could flop without Liz Cambage and Kelsey Plum, but they also could take another step forward as a team if Jackie Young does so as an individual and if Angel McCoughtry has some stardom left in the tank.

6. Connecticut Sun

Last year: 23-11; lost in finals

Highest individual ranking: 4

Lowest individual ranking: 10

The Sun find themselves in a similar boat as the team that beat them in last year's finals. Both teams enter the season with more than half of their 2019 starting lineups gone, but head coaches Curt Miller and Mike Thibault are respected enough to find themselves in the middle of the pack in our poll. Although Jonquel Jones and Courtney Williams may be gone, DeWanna Bonner’s impact and championship experience shouldn’t be underestimated for the Sun. 

7. Washington Mystics

Last year: 26-8; WNBA champions

Highest individual ranking: 4

Lowest individual ranking: 9

The Mystics took the hardest hit in terms of player losses going into Florida and will have to wait to see if Tina Charles re-signs in 2021 to play with the reigning league MVP. Elena Delle Donne has not stated whether or not she will be playing this season, but if she makes her return at some point the Mystics instantly jump into the top five teams. WNBA Finals MVP Emma Meesseman also has a shot to take on more of a leadership role and cement her spot among the league’s stars. 

8. Minnesota Lynx

Last year: 18-16; lost in first round of playoffs

Highest individual ranking: 5

Lowest individual ranking: 9

It’s hard to pick against a coach like Cheryl Reeve, no matter who is on their roster. If Napheesa Collier can build on her tremendous rookie season and Sylvia Fowles can return to her MVP form, the Lynx may have a shot to win it all. Lynx players also have the unique opportunity to learn from assistant coaches Plenette Pierson, Katie Smith, and Rebekkah Brunson, all former players who have at least two WNBA Championships on their resume.

9. Indiana Fever

Last year: 13-21; missed playoffs

Highest individual ranking: 3

Lowest individual ranking: 11

Of the four teams that didn’t make the playoffs last year, the Fever seem to be in a good spot to make the most strides to get back into the postseason. Teaira McCowan has what it takes to become one of the league’s best post players, and she’s finally reunited with a healthy Victoria Vivians on the court. If Lauren Cox plays and can duplicate the success she had playing with Kalani Brown at Baylor with McCowan, the Fever might just surprise some people. 

10. Dallas Wings

Last year: 10-24; missed playoffs

Highest individual ranking: 7

Lowest individual ranking: 11

None of the Wings’ players were older than three years old when the WNBA was founded in 1997, and only five of them were even born. The average years of experience on the team is just 1.75 years. Clearly this team has a bright future, but it remains to be seen how soon that future arrives. 

11. Atlanta Dream

Last year: 8-26

Highest individual ranking: 9

Lowest individual ranking:12

The Dream went from one of the most exciting and competitive teams in 2018 to last place in 2019. They were the only team last year to win fewer than ten games, and they struggled immensely on offense. Losing Renee Montgomery and Tiffany Hayes for the season dampens their hopes at offensive improvement, but it gives rookie Chennedy Carter more of a chance to shine and make a name for herself in the WNBA. Courtney Williams has not yet arrived in Florida, but if she plays and can find a good rhythm with Carter without either stepping on each other’s toes, Atlanta could find themselves in a better position to succeed than last year. 

12. New York Liberty

Last year: 10-24; missed playoffs

Highest individual ranking: 11

Lowest individual ranking: 12

The Liberty at last place on our poll was almost unanimous, and yet they currently have more nationally televised games scheduled than any other team. Sabrina Ionescu is already demanding people’s attention, but we’ll see how that translates to the young team’s success this season. 


Thanks for reading the Her Hoop Stats Newsletter. If you like our work, be sure to check out our stats site, our podcast, and our social media accounts on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram. You can also buy Her Hoop Stats gear, such as laptop stickers, mugs, and shirts!

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