The Swish Appeal 2022 WNBA All-Star Game mock draft
The 2022 All-Star roster is set, with 10 starters selected by the fans/media/players joining 12 reserves chosen by the coaches. The All-Star Draft will be taking place this Saturday, July 2 at 3 p.m. ET to determine the two teams.
Having already gone through the exercise of voting on the starters (and choosing reserves), we thought it would be fun to pick the teams as well. Let us know whose side would win the Swish Appeal 2022 WNBA All-Star Game!
But, first a refresher on the process. As the highest vote-getters among the fans, A’ja Wilson and Breanna Stewart are two of the team captains. They are joined by two retiring legends who were also voted as starters, Sue Bird and Sylvia Fowles. Wilson and Bird’s team is coached by Becky Hammon of the Aces, and Stewart and Fowles’ team will be helmed by James Wade of the Sky.
Zack Ward will be drafting for Team Wilson, and Sabreena Merchant will be drafting for Team Stewart. Team Wilson will have first pick among the six starters, and then Team Stewart will choose first from the reserves.
All-Star Draft player pool
|Sabrina Ionescu||Ariel Atkins|
|Jonquel Jones||Kahleah Copper|
|Nneka Ogwumike||Skylar Diggins-Smith|
|Candace Parker||Dearica Hamby|
|Kelsey Plum||Natasha Howard|
|Jackie Young||Rhyne Howard|
Team Wilson — Kelsey Plum
Zack Ward: She’s probably having the next-best season after top-vote getters A’ja Wilson and Breanna Stewart. Plus, she’s Wilson’s teammate, so there will definitely be chemistry there. I’m hoping her first All-Star game is a scoring-fest for her. She’s certainly capable.
Team Stewart — Candace Parker
Sabreena Merchant: Let’s get a playmaker and Chicago’s hometown girl. Parker loves to put on a show, and the crowd will be throwing all of its support behind her.
Team Wilson — Jonquel Jones
ZW: Why not take the best player available, regardless of how well people are doing this season. If we’re going to beat Stewie and Syl, we could really use J. Jones. She was a big part of Team WNBA’s upset win in the All-Star Game last year. I can move J. Jones around to really anywhere on the court so she could be a 3, 4 or 5, depending on if I pick Nneka Ogwumike or Jackie Young next. (Hint: I’m not taking Sabrina Ionescu with the backcourt of Bird and Plum!).
Team Stewart — Jackie Young
SM: Let’s have some fun and split up the Aces, shall we? With three frontcourt players already, I could use a guard, and it’ll be fun to match up Young against Plum. Young has been a dynamite scorer all season, her size is going to be a problem for Bird and Plum, and I can’t wait for Parker to hit her in transition. As much as I’d love to take Nneka Ogwumike here, I’ve watched Ogwumike be saddled with terrible spacing for too long, and I can’t do that to her in an All-Star Game.
Team Wilson — Nneka Ogwumike
ZW: After all that controversy about her not making the 2020 Olympic team, she gets her due respect here as an All-Star starter. She has truly been the best player on the Sparks, better than big-name offseason acquisition Liz Cambage, which is great to see because she is the fan favorite who has been with the team her entire 11-year career and because she’s bouncing back from a couple of off years by her standards. Given her consistent play this season, I’m confident she can put up a good stat line in the All-Star Game.
Team Stewart — Sabrina Ionescu
SM: This worked out pretty perfectly for Team Stewart. The starters get another ball handler alongside Parker, and Ionescu benefits dramatically from sharing the playmaking burden with another point guard (or forward, in this case). Ionescu also helps our spacing as a 35 percent three-point shooter and adds even more flair alongside Parker and Stewart.
Team Stewart — Courtney Vandersloot
SM: All-Star games are made for point guards, and Sloot’s style of play is particularly built for this midseason showcase with her audacious passing and willingness to push the pace. Her jump shot has also been money this year (case in point, the game-winner against Minnesota), making her the perfect guard to set up all of her supremely talented teammates and also let it fly on her home court.
Team Wilson — Skylar Diggins-Smith
ZW: Sabreena and I both voted for her as a starter. I agree that Sloot is better in an All-Star Game full of talented scorers around her, but Diggins-Smith may be taking the title of best PG in the game from Sloot this year. I’ll start my bench with Diggins-Smith running the show.
Team Stewart — Kahleah Copper
SM: I wasn’t sold on Copper making the team over candidates like Chelsea Gray, Allisha Gray, or Kelsey Mitchell based solely on her body of work this season. But as long as she’s here, let’s get the league’s best wing in transition alongside Parker and Sloot. This game should be as uptempo as possible, and Copper excels in that environment.
Team Wilson — Alyssa Thomas
ZW: Yes, we already have a distributor on the bench, but Thomas is more than just that and I’d like to play her at the 3. She’s another player that both Sabreena and I voted for as a starter. She can be explosive in transition and can do so many things; I think it would be fun to have her in an All-Star Game. Also, I’m biased as a Terp.
Team Stewart — Dearica Hamby
SM: I was tempted to go with yet another Chicago player, but at a certain point, I worry head coach James Wade is going to restrict their minutes, so Hamby is the play here. She fits into the run-and-gun identity of Team Stewart, is an outstanding rebounder to close possessions, and adds some lockdown defense to the equation — I mean, who doesn’t want to see Hamby have to guard Wilson? Plus, Hamby was something of a nonfactor in last year’s All-Star Game, so I expect her to have more motivation this time around.
Team Wilson — Emma Meesseman
ZW: There’s only three more post players available and I can still get Jewell Loyd, Arike Ogunbowale, Rhyne Howard or Ariel Atkins to play shooting guard. Meesseman is an All-Star again! It must feel good for her supporters to be able to say that after she failed in 2020 to be the superstar some expected her to become following her Finals MVP. She has lived up to expectations in Chicago.
Team Stewart — Arike Ogunbowale
SM: The reigning All-Star MVP is exactly the kind of gunner I want to watch in an exhibition. She can pour on points in a hurry and always seems to rise to the big stage.
Team Wilson — Brionna Jones
ZW: I’ll go for the well-balanced lineup with the truest back-to-the-basket talent in the All-Star pool joining Wilson, J. Jones, Ogwumike, Thomas and Meesseman in my pool of frontcourt players. I was so happy to see B. Jones, another Terp, make the All-Star Game for the first time last year and I think she is going to be among the league’s stars for years to come.
Team Stewart — Jewell Loyd
SM: Honestly, I thought I’d be able to get Bri Jones here, so it’s a bit of a downer to miss out on the post with arguably the best footwork in the WNBA. Still, picking up Loyd is a damn good consolation prize. After a slow start to the season, Loyd is shooting 40 percent from three, and there are few plays more deadly than a Loyd/Stewart PNR. She’s also another devastating defensive guard, which we’re going to need against Skylar and whoever Zack drafts next.
Team Wilson — Rhyne Howard
ZW: Ariel Atkins is such a good defender and sharpshooter, but Howard is just too exciting to pass up. She hasn’t been able to maintain her early-season status near the top of the scoring list, but I think the true her would be up there. She’s just had some off games typical of a rookie that have dragged her average down. I’m hoping she puts on a show as the only rookie in the All-Star Game.
Team Stewart — Ariel Atkins
SM: Atkins was close to an All-Star starter for me, so to get her with my last pick is a coup. She can fill up a box score in so many different ways, and perhaps most importantly for my current roster, can guard some wings. Great way for Team Stewart to end the draft with another killer scorer and defender.
Team Wilson — Natasha Howard
ZW: I had her solidly in my reserve picks, so I’m happy with getting her with the last pick. I’m in the camp that believes she is a superstar and it was great for the Liberty to get two All-Stars. Now I have a good mix of frontcourt players who can rack up points in the paint (Thomas and B. Jones) and those who can stretch the floor (Meesseman and Howard).
2022 All-Star mock draft results
|Team Wilson||Team Stewart|
|Team Wilson||Team Stewart|
|A’ja Wilson||Breanna Stewart|
|Sue Bird||Sylvia Fowles|
|Kelsey Plum||Candace Parker|
|Jonquel Jones||Jackie Young|
|Nneka Ogwumike||Sabrina Ionescu|
|Skylar Diggins-Smith||Courtney Vandersloot|
|Alyssa Thomas||Kahleah Copper|
|Emma Meesseman||Dearica Hamby|
|Brionna Jones||Arike Ogunbowale|
|Rhyne Howard||Jewell Loyd|
|Natasha Howard||Ariel Atkins|