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Where Aari McDonald stands in WNBA mock drafts

Arizona v Stanford Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

After leading Arizona to the national championship game and turning in a career that undoubtedly makes her the best player in program history, Aari McDonald has a chance to make more history this week by becoming the first Wildcat ever selected in the first round of the WNBA Draft.

The 36 selections are scheduled to start rolling in on Thursday, April 15 at 4 p.m. PT on ESPN. It’s not really a question of if McDonald will be selected with one of the 12 first round picks, but where?

Here’s where she stands in mock drafts across the web along with some analysis from the experts.

ESPN — No. 5 overall, Dallas Wings

“We’ll see if Dallas goes for a point guard with this pick, and if so, will it be McDonald or Louisville’s Dana Evans? McDonald was the star of the NCAA tournament, coming so close to winning the championship. She had a terrific career and finished her senior season averaging 20.6 points, 5.6 rebounds and 4.0 assists. Did her performance in San Antonio raise her draft stock? Or did the fact that she shot 5-of-20 in the final against Stanford, the NCAA tournament opponent that knew her best, temper that? She’s an exciting player with great speed and a knack for getting to the foul line. She’s a relentless defender. Sure, she’s small, but her will is mighty, and she plays ‘hungry,’ as Arizona coach Adia Barnes said.” — Michelle Voepel

SB Nation/Swish Appeal — No. 5 overall, Dallas Wings

“If the Wings draft bigs with picks Nos. 1 and 2, they’ll probably look elsewhere at No. 5. McDonald’s fit in Dallas may not seem ideal at first glance, but given how she performed in the 2021 NCAA Tournament, this is a case in which the Wings should just take the best player available and figure the rest out later. There aren’t many guards faster than McDonald in the open court, and she’s one of the best point of attack defenders in the country as well.” — Eric Nemchock

CBS Sports — No. 4 overall, Indiana Fever

“McDonald was the star of the NCAA Tournament, and probably played herself into the top five of this draft by leading Arizona to within a possession of its first national championship. She’s only 5-foot-6, and there are concerns about her outside shooting, but she’s a leader, a good playmaker and an elite perimeter defender. The Fever have a number of guards on their roster, but they aren’t in a position to pass up a player as talented as McDonald.” — Jack Maloney

Winsidr — No. 3 overall, Atlanta Dream

“Nobody’s stock rose more in the NCAA Tournament than McDonald’s. Her stellar performances, plus heroic ability to lead her team to victory after victory, were exciting to watch for fans across the country. McDonald is a superb two-way guard with quick hands and can provide scoring from multiple levels. While a streaky shooter, she’s a capable facilitator and understands how to get others involved. On top of that, she also defends at a high level, which is evidenced by her taking home consecutive Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year honors.” — B. Terrell