WNBA News & Fantasy Basketball Notes 5/14

May 14th 2024

Cooper Boni

Each day, this column will provide live updates for all WNBA news. Enjoy up-to-the-minute alerts for injuries and lineup confirmations. The Key News to Watch section will highlight notable injuries to monitor for the current WNBA slate.

Key WNBA News to Watch

  • Kelsey Mitchell (ankle) — Available

  • Shakira Austin (hip) — In

  • Moriah Jefferson (injury management) — Available

  • Morgan Bertsch (international clearance) — Available

Follow us on Twitter at @Underdog__NBA for notifications.

New York Liberty News

Confirmed Lineup: Courtney Vandersloot, Sabrina Ionescu, Betnijah Laney-Hamilton, Breanna Stewart, Jonquel Jones

The Liberty will open their season against the Mystics after splitting the regular season series with them in 2023. New York brings back the same starting unit that helped guide it to a 32-8 record last year. Jones is back to patrol the frontcourt, and she's set to match up with Shakira Austin early and often. Despite having her lowest scoring average (11.3) since her rookie year last year, Jones was great on the glass and shot over 50.0% from the field for the sixth time in seven seasons.

Washington Mystics News

Confirmed Lineup: Brittney Sykes, Ariel Atkins, Karlie Samuelson, Shakira Austin, Stefanie Dolson

  • Shakira Austin (hip) — In

Sykes, Atkins, and Austin will lead the way for Washington this season as Elena Delle Donne announced she's stepping away from basketball, and Natasha Cloud departed in the offseason. The new campaign begins with a game against New York, a contest that the Mystics will host. Like most teams, Washington will have their hands full against the Liberty, who finished the 2023 season with the league's second-best Net Rating (+10.3). The Mystics will try to retain their defensive prowess that saw them post a top-five Defensive Rating (100.3) last year.

Indiana Fever News

Confirmed Lineup: Erica Wheeler, Caitlin Clark, Katie Lou Samuelson, NaLyssa Smith, Aliyah Boston

  • Kelsey Mitchell (ankle) — Available

  • Damiris Dantas (knee) — Out

Clark will make her regular-season debut against the Sun, but she'll likely have to do so without her backcourt mate, Mitchell. The Fever are poised to have one of the league's top backcourts once Mitchell is healthy, but for now, expect a lot of Clark, Boston, and Smith. Boston won Rookie of the Year in 2023 after averaging 14.5 points, 8.4 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks per contest. She'll man the paint against the veteran duo of Alyssa Thomas and Brionna Jones.

Connecticut Sun News

Confirmed Lineup: DiJonai Carrington, Tyasha Harris, DeWanna Bonner, Alyssa Thomas, Brionna Jones

  • Moriah Jefferson (injury management) — Available

Jefferson was also managing her right ankle ailment during the preseason, so her appearance on the injury report wasn't necessarily a surprise. She's part of a new look backcourt in Connecticut that also added Mitchell, but parted ways with Natisha Hiedeman and lost Tiffany Hayes to retirement. The Sun's guards will benefit from Kelsey Mitchell's likely absence but will still have to find ways to slow Caitlin Clark down.

Phoenix Mercury News

Confirmed Lineup: Natasha Cloud, Diana Taurasi, Kahleah Copper, Rebecca Allen, Natasha Mack

  • Morgan Bertsch (international clearance) — Available

  • Brittney Griner (toe) — Injured

The Mercury announced that Griner is out indefinitely and will be re-evaluated in the coming weeks after fracturing a toe on her left foot. The injury could lead to Dixon starting at center, with Bertsch and Natasha Mack playing increased minutes in the frontcourt. After a 9-31 year in 2023, Phoenix is looking to start the new season strong. That will be no easy task against the Aces, who've won back-to-back championships.

Las Vegas Aces News

Confirmed Lineup: Kelsey Plum, Jackie Young, Alysha Clark, A'ja Wilson, Kiah Stokes

  • Chelsea Gray (leg) — Out

With Gray sidelined, Plum and Young should have the ball in their hands a bit more than they did for the majority of last season. Gray is the undoubted creator and facilitator of the offense, but Plum is more than capable of distributing to the Aces' star-studded roster. Wilson, who was All-WNBA First Team in 2023, can win her second MVP award in three years this season. Starting the new campaign against the Mercury sans Brittney Griner should help Wilson get off to a strong statistical start.

Minnesota Lynx News

Confirmed Lineup: Courtney Williams, Kayla McBride, Diamond Miller, Napheesa Collier, Alanna Smith

  • Dorka Juhasz (overseas duties) — Not with team

  • Sika Kone (personal) — Not with team

Juhasz's contract has been temporarily suspended and she won't start the season with the Lynx. Smith, who was acquired in free agency, is the likely candidate to start at center until Juhasz returns. Collier and Miller will have a lot to do with determining Minnesota's success in 2024. Collier is one of the league's best players, while Miller was one of the top rookies league-wide last season. They'll start with a game against the new-look Storm, who are widely expected to take a huge step forward this year.

Seattle Storm News

Confirmed Lineup: Skylar Diggins-Smith, Jewell Loyd, Victoria Vivians, Nneka Ogwumike, Ezi Magbegor

  • Nika Muhl (pending visa approval) — Out

After adding Diggins-Smith and Ogwumike in the offseason, the Storm are set to compete with some of the top teams in the WNBA. They went 11-29 last year, posting the league's second-worst record. They're now projected to be one of the better squads league-wide and should be able to make a deep run. However, Seattle will take it one game at a time, and the first contest of the regular season will be against the Lynx.