WNBA GM Survey Poll Provides Insight For Futures Props

by Vegas Writer

Tuesday, May 14, 2024
Anyone looking to invest in WNBA futures, perhaps the league's general managers can help provide some insight.

Two-time WNBA MVP A’ja Wilson of the Las Vegas Aces was selected as the player most likely to win the MVP award this upcoming season, per the 2024 GM Survey, which brought together votes from the league's 12 general managers to reveal the league’s best teams, players, coaches, offseason moves, and more in advance of the tip off of the league’s 28th season - in their minds.

The 2024 regular season tipped off Tuesday with four games, but there is still time to jump on prop bets for certain awards.

The league's GM's responded to 45 questions and were not permitted to vote for their own team or personnel. Percentages were based on the pool of respondents to that particular question.

Wilson, who led Las Vegas to back-to-back championships in 2022 and 2023, received 67 percent of the MVP votes. The Connecticut Sun’s Alyssa Thomas was next with 25 percent and reigning MVP Breanna Stewart of the New York Liberty was third with eight percent. Wilson, a two-time Defensive Player of the Year (2022, 2023), was selected as the league’s best defender, receiving 42 percent of the votes to finish ahead of Thomas, who was second with 25 percent.

Also as part of the survey, Aces guard Chelsea Gray earned the top spot in six categories voted on by the GMs. The five-time WNBA All-Star and three-time WNBA champion gathered the most votes for best point guard (75 percent), best passer (67 percent), active player who would make the best coach (42 percent), player with the best basketball IQ (36 percent) and best leader (25 percent). Gray also tied with the Dallas Wings’ Arike Ogunbowale as the player GMs would most want to take the shot with the game on the line (each received 25 percent).

Stewart, a two-time WNBA champion and five-time all-WNBA First Team selection, received 58 percent of the vote as the most versatile player in the league, finishing ahead of second-place vote-getter Napheesa Collier of the Minnesota Lynx (17 percent). Stewart was also picked as the player who forces opposing coaches to make the most adjustments (42 percent), while Wilson ranked second (25 percent) and Thomas third (17 percent). GMs also viewed Stewart as the best power forward (42 percent).

After selecting Indiana rookie Caitlin Clark with the No.1 pick in the draft, the Fever finished ahead of Seattle as the GM’s pick for most improved team for the upcoming season with 58 percent of the votes to Seattle’s 33 percent. The Storm, which signed a pair of six-time All-WNBA performers in Nneka Ogwumike and Skylar Diggins-Smith as free agents, was viewed as the team that made the best overall moves this offseason through free agency and trades, receiving 67 percent of the votes.

The Storm, based on longshot odds, might be a good bet to win the title, considering the price of the ticket and being able to hedge once they make the playoffs.

Seattle’s signing of Ogwumike was voted as the player acquisition that will make the biggest impact in 2024, earning 58 percent of the votes. The Storm’s Jewell Loyd, who last season set the WNBA’s single-season scoring record with 939 points, received 75 percent of the votes as the league’s best shooting guard. 

Clark received 92 percent of the votes for preseason WNBA Rookie of the Year, with the Los Angeles Sparks’ Cameron Brink, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2024 Draft, getting the remaining eight percent. Clark also garnered 50 percent of the votes as the player the GMs would select if they were starting a franchise today and had the opportunity to sign any player, ahead of Wilson (42 percent) and 2023 Rookie of the Year and Fever teammate Aliyah Boston (eight percent).

For me, I believe that alone could fuel Wilson's quest for an MVP title, considering she's still yapping about getting a fourth-place vote last season.

Boston was also named as the player most likely to have a breakout season in 2024, earning 18 percent of the vote, while nine other players each received nine percent.

Connecticut’s Thomas was tabbed as the player with the greatest hunger to win a championship this season (40 percent). Seattle’s Diggins-Smith was second (30 percent) and Phoenix’s Natasha Cloud and New York’s Stewart and Sabrina Ionescu all tied for third place (10 percent each).

Among the highlights from the 2024 WNBA.com GM Survey were these: 

- Las Vegas is the team that is the most fun to watch (75 percent) and has the best homecourt advantage (42 percent), so make sure you keep an eye out for value with the Aces at home.

- The Aces’ Becky Hammon is the best manager/motivator of people (45 percent) and the overall best head coach (42 percent), a good indicator for Coach of the Year props.

 - The trade of Kahleah Copper from Chicago to Phoenix was the most surprising move of the offseason (58 percent).

 - The Mercury’s addition of Rebecca Allen in a sign-and-trade deal with Connecticut was considered the most underrated player acquisition (33 percent). 

 - Washington’s Brittney Sykes was voted as the best perimeter defender (50 percent). She also was the top vote-getter for most athletic player (50 percent), edging out Copper (42 percent). Without Cloud and Elena Delle Donne, the Mystics will rely on a slower pace and tighter defense, which means potentially lower-scoring games.

 - Connecticut’s Thomas received the most votes as the league’s most versatile defender (33 percent), so watch for high totals with the Sun.

 - Angel Reese, selected by Chicago with seventh overall pick of the WNBA Draft 2024, was viewed as the biggest steal in terms of where she was selected in the draft (27 percent). She, too, could be a bargain for Rookie of the Year.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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