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2024 WNBA GM Survey Predictions: Las Vegas Aces' A'ja Wilson Favored to Win MVP and Also to be Named Best Defensive Player

May 14, 2024 - Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) News Release

NEW YORK - Two-time WNBA MVP A'ja Wilson of the Las Vegas Aces was selected as the player most likely to win the MVP award this upcoming season, according to the 2024 GM Survey, which invited the WNBA's 12 general managers to assess the league's best teams, players, coaches, offseason moves, and more in advance of the tip off of the League's 28 th season.

The 2024 regular season tips off tonight with four games, including a doubleheader on ESPN2, ESPN+ and Disney+. Action gets underway with the Indiana Fever's Caitlin Clark, the No. 1 pick in the 2024 WNBA Draft presented by State Farm, making her WNBA debut at the Connecticut Sun (7:30 p.m. ET). That game will be followed by the Las Vegas Aces, led by Wilson, hosting the Phoenix Mercury and WNBA career scoring leader Diana Taurasi (10:00 p.m. ET).

The complete results of the 19 th GM Survey were posted today at . The GMs responded to 45 questions and were not permitted to vote for their own team or personnel. Percentages are based on the pool of respondents to that particular question.

Wilson, who guided Las Vegas to back-to-back championships in 2022 and 2023, received 67 percent of the MVP votes. The Connecticut Sun's Alyssa Thomas was next with 25 percent and reigning MVP Breanna Stewart of the New York Liberty was third with eight percent. Wilson, a two-time Kia WNBA Defensive Player of the Year (2022, 2023), was selected as the league's best defender, receiving 42 percent of the votes to finish ahead of Thomas, who was second with 25 percent.

In the survey, Aces guard Chelsea Gray earned the top spot in six categories voted on by the GMs. The five-time WNBA All-Star c ollected the most votes for best point guard (75 percent), best passer (67 percent), active player who would make the best coach (42 percent), player with the best basketball IQ (36 percent) and best leader (25 percent). Gray also tied with the Dallas Wings' Arike Ogunbowale as the player GMs would most want to take the shot with the game on the line (each received 25 percent) .

The Liberty's Stewart, a two-time WNBA champion and five-time All-WNBA First Team selection, received 58 percent of the vote as the most versatile player in the WNBA, finishing ahead of second-place vote-getter Napheesa Collier of the Minnesota Lynx (17 percent). Stewart was also picked as the player who forces opposing coaches to make the most adjustments (42 percent), while Wilson ranked second (25 percent) and Thomas third (17 percent). GMs also viewed Stewart as the best power forward (42 percent).

After selecting Clark with the No.1 pick in the draft, the Fever finished ahead of Seattle as the GM's pick for most improved team for the upcoming season with 58 percent of the votes to Seattle's 33 percent. The Storm, which signed a pair of six-time All-WNBA performers in Nneka Ogwumike and Skylar Diggins-Smith as free agents, was viewed as the team that made the best overall moves this offseason through free agency and trades, receiving 67 percent of the votes.

Indiana's Clark received 92 percent of the votes for Kia WNBA Rookie of the Year, with the Los Angeles Sparks' Cameron Brink, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2024 WNBA Draft, getting the remaining eight percent. Clark also garnered 50 percent of the votes as the player the GMs would select if they were starting a franchise today and had the opportunity to sign any player. Wilson was second (42 percent) and 2023 Kia WNBA Rookie of the Year Aliyah Boston was third (eight percent).

Boston was also named as the player most likely to have a breakout season in 2024, earning 18 percent of the vote, while nine other players each received nine percent: Shakira Austin (Washington Mystics), Chennedy Carter (Chicago Sky), Napheesa Collier (Minnesota), Kahleah Copper (Phoenix Mercury), Skylar Diggins-Smith (Seattle), Dana Evans (Chicago), Rhyne Howard (Atlanta Dream), Rickea Jackson (Los Angeles), and NaLyssa Smith (Indiana).

Seattle's signing of Ogwumike was voted as the player acquisition that will make the biggest impact in 2024, earning 58 percent of the votes. The Storm's Jewell Loyd, who last season set the WNBA's single-season scoring record with 939 points, received 75 percent of the votes as the league's best shooting guard.

Connecticut's Thomas was tabbed as the player with the greatest hunger to win a championship this season (40 percent). Seattle's Diggins-Smith was second (30 percent) and Phoenix's Natasha Cloud and New York's Stewart and Sabrina all tied for third place (10 percent each).

Among the highlights from the 2024 GM Survey were these:

Las Vegas is the team that is the most fun to watch (75 percent) and has the best home court advantage (42 percent).

The Aces' Becky Hammon is the best manager/motivator of people (45 percent) and the overall best head coach (42 percent) .

The trade of Kahleah Copper from Chicago to Phoenix was the most surprising move of the offseason (58 percent).

The Mercury's addition of Rebecca Allen in a sign-and-trade deal with Connecticut was considered the most underrated player acquisition (33 percent).

Washington's Brittney Sykes was voted as the best perimeter defender (50 percent). She also was the top vote-getter for most athletic player (50 percent), edging out Copper (42 percent).

Connecticut's Thomas received the most votes as the league's most versatile defender (33 percent).

Angel Reese, selected by Chicago with seventh overall pick of the WNBA Draft 2024, was viewed as the biggest steal in terms of where she was selected in the draft (27 percent).

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The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

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