Kent Youngblood's WNBA Power Rankings
1. SEATTLE STORM
It figures the defending champions will take a step back defensively, in particular because of the loss of Natasha Howard. But Seattle still has Breanna Stewart — the game's best player — and all-timer Sue Bird and a backcourt with remarkable depth.
2. LAS VEGAS ACES
The Aces reached the finals last year with center Liz Cambage sitting out the season. Cambage is back and A'ja Wilson is almost unstoppable. Kelsey Plum returns, though veteran Angel McCoughtry has been lost to injury. The addition of Chelsea Gray is big.
3. CHICAGO SKY
The Sky already had one of the better backcourts in the league in Courtney Vandersloot and Allie Quigley. It added future Hall of Famer Candace Parker, who is making a return to her hometown.
4. MINNESOTA LYNX
This is a talented and deep roster, with the past two Rookie of the Year winners and storied center Sylvia Fowles, and the team has great expectations.
5. WASHINGTON MYSTICS
Coach Mike Thibault got the Mystics into the playoffs despite a roster decimated by players who sat out the season. Now we'll get to see how Elena Delle Donne and Tina Charles play together.
6. PHOENIX MERCURY
The ageless Diana Taurasi and Skylar Diggins-Smith willed their team into the playoffs without center Brittney Griner. Now Griner's back.
7. CONNECTICUT SUN
Losing Alyssa Thomas (torn Achilles') is a huge setback. But DeWanna Bonner is coming off a great season, and All-Star center Jonquel Jones is back after sitting out last season.
8. LOS ANGELES SPARKS
It will be difficult to make up for the loss of Parker and Gray. But any team with the Ogwumike sisters (Nneka and Chiney) cannot be discounted.
9. DALLAS WINGS
All that talent accumulated through recent drafts has to start having an impact sometime, right? Arike Ogunbowale is a first-class scorer. But can new coach Vickie Johnson get them to play defense?
10. ATLANTA DREAM
The Dream is anchored by strong guard play, including No. 3 overall pick Aari McDonald of Arizona.
11. NEW YORK LIBERTY
Sabrina Ionescu's first season — which started well — was cut short by injury. She's back and a difference-maker.
12. INDIANA FEVER
The Fever, led by Kelsey Mitchell, will be able to score. But will it be able to defend?