WNBA rookie tracker: From Caitlin Clark to Angel Reese

The 2024 WNBA season is off and running for one of the most anticipated rookie classes in league history. With the WNBA at a tipping point, all eyes are on Indiana Fever guard Caitlin Clark, the No. 1 pick in April’s draft and the NCAA Division I all-time leading scorer.

But the rookie class is loaded with potential future stars. In addition to Clark, forwards Cameron Brink, the No. 2 draft pick with the Los Angeles Sparks, and Angel Reese, the No. 7 pick to the Chicago Sky, continue to be among the rookies in starting lineups.

How are the top rookies playing? We’ll track their performances every time they take the court, so check back every game day.

Last updated: June 2


Forward | 6-foot-2 | Game log | Stats

Last time out: The final contest of the Sparks’ three-game road trip didn’t go well. They scored a season low and lost at Phoenix 87-68 on Sunday. Jackson, who has started the past three outings, had nine points and seven rebounds against the Mercury. But she can’t be pleased with her 3-of-10 shooting from the field.

What we learned: Veteran forward Dearica Hamby has been the team’s most consistent player so far.

But the Sparks’ guards were a combined 6-of-25 (24%) from the field Sunday, the second game in a row in which they struggled. The guards were 7-of-27 (25.9%) in Thursday’s 83-73 loss at Chicago. Compare that to 15-of-26 (57.7%) from the Sparks’ guards in their 88-82 win at Indiana on Tuesday.

Along with Hamby, Los Angeles’ guards were able to help rookie post players Jackson and Cameron Brink significantly against the Fever by carrying so much scoring load. But not so much against the Sky and the Mercury. — Michael Voepel

Up next: vs. Minnesota Lynx on Wednesday (10 p.m. ET)


Forward | 6-foot-4 | Game log | Stats

Last time out: Offensively, it wasn’t a great trip for Brink. She had season-best 21 points on May 26, followed by three single-digit scoring outings. She registered 6 points, 5 rebounds and 2 blocked shots Sunday in the loss to Phoenix. To be fair, she also didn’t get a lot of scoring opportunities, going 3-of-6 from the field in 26 minutes against the Mercury.

What we learned: Defensively, Brink continues to make her mark. With her two blocks Sunday, she has 21 in eight games. That is the fourth most through eight career games in WNBA history. Phoenix center Brittney Griner is tops in the statistic with 25 blocks in the first eight games of her rookie season in 2013. — Voepel

Up next: vs. Minnesota Lynx on Wednesday (10 p.m. ET)


Guard | 6-foot | Game log | Stats

Last time out: Back-to-back games are hard to win even for experienced, veteran WNBA teams. And the Fever are not that. Add in that they played their 11th game in 20 days on Sunday and it’s not hard to figure why they looked fatigued in a 104-68 loss at New York in which Clark had a season-low three points on 1-of-10 shooting from the field.

She also had 5 assists, 2 rebounds and 2 steals. Clark left the game late with an apparent ear injury and went to the locker room. She came back to the Fever bench before the game was over. Coach Christie Sides said she had no update on Clark after the game. The Fever don’t play again until Friday.

What we learned: After an emotional win at home Saturday afternoon, the Fever didn’t have much time to celebrate as they got on a plane to New York. The Fever were down 18 after the first quarter against the Liberty. Indiana battled to an even second quarter, but the game was essentially over at halftime. The Fever bench probably should have received more playing time, as four of the five starters still played at least 26 minutes. Clark played 29.

Earlier Sunday, a foul that was committed Saturday on Clark by Chicago’s Chennedy Carter was upgraded to a flagrant 1 by the WNBA.

Before Sunday’s contest, Clark was asked about the physical play in the league, in general.

“It makes me think back to college my first couple years, I was still pretty frail,” Clark said. “I am still pretty frail, but I feel like I added quite a bit of muscle in my college career. But that was probably the tactic in college, ‘Just be really physical with her because she’s not probably as strong as everybody else.’

“My strength will evolve over the course of having an offseason and having time to focus on those things. You got to find a way to hold your own. I grew up with two brothers, and things were very physical, a lot of blood, a lot of tears, whatever it was. So, I’m definitely prepared for it.” — Voepel

Up next: at Washington Mystics on Friday (7:30 p.m. ET, ION)


Center | 6-foot-7 | Game log | Stats

Last time out: After missing the past month with a shoulder injury, Cardoso made her WNBA regular-season debut and finished with 11 points on 5-for-7 shooting in 18 minutes (coach Teresa Weatherspoon said pregame that Cardoso would be on a minutes restriction). Her six rebounds off the bench helped the Sky win the battle on the glass 43-33. Cardoso picked up four fouls in the second half, as she battled hard against former South Carolina teammate Aliyah Boston — and helped get her into foul trouble, too.

What we learned: Teammate Reese said before the game that “you can’t teach 6-foot-7,” and that was apparent for Cardoso as soon as she took the floor. The 2024 Final Four Most Outstanding Player was difficult for the Fever to contain and had an instant impact for Chicago whenever she was on the court. So much so that Weatherspoon turned to Cardoso instead of starting veteran center Elizabeth Williams for the final six minutes of the game, and the rookie ultimately came away with a team-best plus/minus of plus-11.

Despite having been sidelined up to this point and just embarking on her pro career, Cardoso looked fairly comfortable playing, which is great news for Chicago as it looks to incorporate her into its now-healthy frontcourt. — Alexa Philippou

Up next: vs. New York Liberty on Tuesday (8 p.m. ET, NBA TV)


Forward | 6-foot-3 | Game log | Stats

Last time out: Another day, another strong rebounding effort for Reese. Her 13 boards against the Fever were a season high, with eight coming on the offensive end. The former LSU star has compiled four games with five offensive boards, the most in the league this season, while her 35 offensive rebounds are the fourth most by any player through seven games to begin a season in league history.

Reese fell just short of her second career double-double, finishing with eight points. She struggled converting inside the paint (where she was 2-for-9) but continued to find ways to draw fouls and sank 4 of 6 free throws, the most foul shots any player attempted on the afternoon. Her two makes from the field came on a putback and a midrange jumper.

What we learned: With her primarily going up against former lottery pick NaLyssa Smith, Reese’s two made shots from the field and 22.2% shooting were season lows. The rookie has said she has been focusing on her finishing package, even as she impacts the game in other ways.

The bright side was Chicago got to see its draft selections in Reese and Cardoso take the floor together for the first time, with the two combining for 19 points and 19 rebounds. — Philippou

Up next: vs. New York Liberty on Tuesday (8 p.m. ET, NBA TV)

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