2022 WNBA All-Star Game: An early look at potential rookies as fan voting begins

The WNBA season isn’t even a month away, but it’s already time to start thinking about the 2022 All-Star Game. This year’s event is scheduled for July 10 in Chicago, where defending champion Sky will host the mid-season show for the first time ever.

After going with Team USA against Team USA last year because of the Olympics, the captain’s draft format will be back this summer. The two players with the most fan votes will be captains and assemble their teams from the pool of players selected to be the starting and reserve players in the game. Including the captains, there will be 10 starters and 12 reserve players for a total of 22 players – 11 on each team.

As usual, starters will be decided by fans, media and current players. Fans will receive 50 percent of the vote, while both the media and players will account for 25 percent. Fan voting opened on Friday, June 3, and will run through June 20. Then the starters will be announced on June 22, while the reserves, chosen by the head coaches, will be announced on June 28. Once the final players pool was over, the draft was set live on ESPN on July 2.

With fan voting now open, let’s take a look at potential newbies. We won’t delve deeper at this point given that most teams haven’t played 10 matches yet, but it’s still interesting to take an early look. Voting is separated into backcourt and frontcourt. Voters must choose four players in the backcourt and six players in the front zone.

(Note: I don’t have a vote in the media.)

back area:

  • Ryan Howard, Atlanta Dream
  • Jeel Lloyd, Seattle Storm
  • Kelsey Bloom, Las Vegas Ice
  • Jackie Young, Las Vegas Ice

Young (who left Thursday night’s game with an ankle injury, the situation has not been determined) and Bloom Dynamite was driving the Aces to their best start to the league with a 9-2 score. They are fourth and fifth in the league in scoring, respectively, and are two of only four players averaging at least 18 points, three rebounds and three assists per game. Plus, they both shoot at least 45 percent of a three-point ground.

Meanwhile, Howard showed everyone why the dream traded for first place in this year’s draft. She has had a bit of trouble adjusting to the pros and is now eighth at 17.4 points per game but she plays a huge role in the best defense in the league.

The last guard spot where there will be some discussion now. In the end, Lloyd got approval. It may be a bit of a reputation, but it ranks sixth in the league with 18.4 points per game and joins Young and Bloom as one of four players at the club 18/3/3.

front court:

  • Elena Delle Donne, Washington Mystics
  • Sylvia Fowles, Minnesota Links
  • Nika Ogomec, Los Angeles Sparks
  • Brianna Stewart, Seattle Storm
  • Alyssa Thomas, Connecticut Sun
  • Aja Wilson, Las Vegas Aces

Stewart, Wilson, Thomas, Ogomic and Fowles should be locks right now, and it’s hard to imagine anything changing over the next few weeks.

Stewart has been excellent since returning from HSA, scoring 20.7 points, 7.5 rebounds, three assists, and three steals per game. While the win isn’t everything to the All-Star nods, it’s worth noting that Storm was 5-1 with Stewart and 0-2 without her.

Wilson has been incredible leading the Aces to a league best record by laying down 16.8 points, 10.1 rebounds and 2.4 blocks. She is one of only two players to average a double and is second in the blocks.

Thomas is completely back in her pre-injury form and has been doing a little bit of everything for the sun on either side of the ball: 15.8 points, 8.4 rebounds, 4.9 assists and two steals. The only other player to put up these numbers over the course of the season is Tamika Catchings.

Ogwumike also looks refreshed after being limited to 18 games last season. She has 18 points and 7.5 rebounds per game making her one of only four players in the top 10 in both rebounding and scoring. She also shoots 58.6 percent of the field, which is good for a third-place finish in the league.

As for Fowls, they do everything they can to keep Lynx looking like a respectable club. She collected 17 points, 10.9 rebounds, 1.7 steals and 1.4 pieces per game while shooting 64 percent of the playing field. In addition to leading the league in rebounds percentage and field goals, she is one of two players to average a double.

There will be some debate about the other front spot. The league’s talent pool is heavily skewed towards front yard players, and there simply won’t be enough room for every star. In the end, Delle Donne made the cut at this time. While she only played seven games because the Mystics are trying to protect her, she was great when she was on the ground: 17.9 points, 6.6 rebounds, and 1.4 blocks per game.