Top 5 players with the best rookie season in WNBA history

A'ja Wilson had one of the best rookie seasons in the WNBA history

The WNBA season is set to begin on May 4 and so will the race for the Rookie of The Year. With historically great college players coming in this draft year, the expectations are soaring high for these rookie players to defy the highest odds.

The WNBA has witnessed some of the greatest rookie seasons by historically great players. With that in mind, here is the list of the top five players with the best rookie season in the league's history.

Top 5 players with the best rookie season in WNBA history

#5. Elena Delle Donne - 2013

Elena Delle Donne was selected at No. 2 by the Chicago Sky in the 2013 draft, the same year Phoenix Mercury selected Brittney Griner at No. 1. She proved to be one of the best picks in the Sky's history and also guided them into the playoffs in her rookie season.

In her rookie season, Donne put up historical numbers on the board. She averaged 18.1 points, 5.6 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per game. Donne has had a stellar career so far in the league. She is the first WNBA player to join the 50–40–90 club. Donne is a two-time MVP and won a championship in 2019 with the Washington Mystics, her current team.

#4. A'ja Wilson - 2018

The reigning WNBA Finals MVP proved herself in her first season in the league. Wilson was selected at No. 1 by the Las Vegas Aces in 2018. She was not only voted at the ROTY but also made it to the All-Star selection in her rookie year.

As a rookie, Wilson averaged 20.7 ppg, 8.0 rpg and 1.7 bpg. Wilson is a two-time champion, a five-time All-Star, two-time MVP and a two-time Defensive Player of The Year.

#3. Breanna Stewart - 2016

Breanna Stewart played for UConn in college and won four back-to-back NCAA titles. Even before she was drafted at No. 1 by the Seattle Storm in 2016, she was largely considered to be playing at the same level as the WNBA players.

The narrative wasn’t far from the reality. Stewart came and dominated while the entire league continued to watch her perform on the highest stage. In her rookie year, Stewart averaged 18.3 ppg, 9.3 rpg, 1.2 spg and 1.9 bpg. She won the ROTY award and the Olympic Gold medal in the same season.

#2. Tamika Catchings - 2002

Tamika Catchings is one of the greatest WNBA players and one of the reasons that she is in the Basketball Hall of Fame today. Catchings was selected at No. 3 by the Indiana Fever in the 2001 WNBA draft. But she didn't play that year due to an ACL injury.

Catchings grew up to become one of the best defensive players in the league and she was no less on her offense. In her rookie season in 2002, she averaged 18.6 ppg, 8.6 rpg, 2.9 spg and 1.3 bpg.

She became the only rookie in the league's history to lead the league in player efficiency rating with 30.87%.

#1. Candace Parker - 2008

Whenever there is a discussion about the best rookie in the WNBA, Candace Parker is the unanimous selection among everyone else.

Parker is the only player in the league's history to win Rookie of The Year and the MVP award in the same season. She also won the Olympic Gold Medal in the same year. She was selected at No. 1 by the Los Angeles Sparks in the 2008 draft. In her rookie season, Parker averaged 18.5 ppg, 9.5 rpg, 1.2 spg and 2.3 bpg.

Parker shot 52.3% from the field and 42.3% from the three-point line. Parker also led the league in win shares in her rookie season.

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