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‘Caitlin Clark Effect’ Reaches WNBA 1 Week Ahead of Draft, Phoenix Mercury and Las Vegas Aces Prepare for Her Arrival

Jay Mahesh Lokegaonkar

'Caitlin Clark Effect' Reaches WNBA 1 Week Ahead of Draft, Phoenix Mercury and Las Vegas Aces Prepare for Her Arrival

The 2024 WNBA Draft is still a week away, but there are no surprises as to who’ll be the first player to be taken off the board. The Indiana Fever, who own the top pick in the Draft, will undoubtedly pick Iowa Hawkeyes superstar Caitlin Clark first overall. Clark is coming off a historic season, recently securing the NCAA Division I basketball’s all-time points leader tag. She has been the consensus top pick since she announced on March 1st that she’d forego the final year of her college eligibility and head to the WNBA. However, it seems like other teams are also gearing up to welcome the college basketball superstar.

The Fever wasted no time in dropping hints about who they’d pick first overall, with a post on X following Clark’s announcement. While Indiana eagerly waits to welcome the Hawkeyes superstar, the rest of the WNBA also have a horse in the race.

The Phoenix Mercury is marketing their first game of the season against the Fever as a battle between the legendary Diana Taurasi and the rising Caitlin Clark. They have dubbed it ‘The GOAT versus The Rook.’

Defending WNBA champions, the Las Vegas Aces, are also planning for their first game against Clark and the Fever of the 2024-25 season. Per CBS News, they’ve moved their home game against Indiana from the 12,000-seater Michelob Ultra Arena at Mandalay Bay to the 18,000-seater T-Mobile Arena, in anticipation of a major surge in ticket demand to watch Clark in action against the reigning champions. Many teams have already started promoting the matchups to boost ticket sales.

Clark’s impact on women’s basketball has been unprecedented. While there’ve been several incredible female players in the past, none have moved the needle and made the sport mainstream like the Hawkeyes superstar. The WNBA is bracing itself for a megastar unlike any other and teams are already looking to capitalize on her superstardom, even before she officially joins the league.

Diana Taurasi fires a warning for Caitlin Clark

While the world waits for Caitlin Clark to arrive in the WNBA and take the league by storm in her rookie year, Phoenix Mercury superstar Diana Taurasi isn’t buying into the hype. In a chat with SportsCenter’s Scott Van Pelt, the three-time WNBA champion said,

“Reality is coming. You look superhuman playing against some 18-year-olds but you’re going to come play with some grown women that have been playing professional basketball for a long time…”

Taurasi’s fiery comments have set the stage perfectly for her first game against Clark and the Fever on June 30th. The league’s veteran guard isn’t too pleased with the college basketball star’s hype and is preparing to bring their A-game against the rookie.

Post Edited By:Satagni Sikder

About the author

Jay Mahesh Lokegaonkar

Jay Mahesh Lokegaonkar


Jay Lokegaonkar is a basketball journalist who has been following the sports as a fan 2005. He has worked in a slew of roles covering the NBA, including writer, editor, content manager, social media manager, and head of content since 2018. However, his primary passion is writing about the NBA. Especially throwback stories about the league's iconic players and franchises. Revisiting incredible tales and bringing scarcely believable stories to readers are one his main interests as a writer.

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