The 2024 WNBA draft is Monday (7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN) and Iowa Hawkeyes guard Caitlin Clark is essentially considered a lock as the No. 1 pick by the Indiana Fever. If so, she will join a list of 27 other players who have had their name selected first in the WNBA draft, which began in 1997, the league’s inaugural year.

The majority of No. 1 picks have paid off for the WNBA teams that selected them. Eight former No. 1 picks have combined to win 13 MVP awards; 16 have won at least one WNBA championship.

The No. 1 picks come from 16 different U.S. colleges and three foreign countries. Clark would be the first No. 1 pick from Iowa and the second from a Big Ten school.

Some of the top picks spent their entire careers with one team, others have moved around. The less successful No. 1s generally came in draft classes that weren’t strong overall. There are a few cases where the top pick didn’t turn out to be the best player in her draft class.

When we previously ranked the No. 1 picks, which was before the 2020 draft, some big names were still in the early stages of establishing their WNBA careers. They’ve moved up on this list, as they have lived up to the promise of being No. 1s. For instance, A’ja Wilson and Breanna Stewart, both outside the top 10 in the 2020 ranking, are now in the top six, their careers still on the ascent.

1. Diana Taurasi, G, Phoenix Mercury, 2004

This is no knock on all the talented teammates she has had. But when you think of the Mercury, you think first and foremost of Taurasi. She is the face of the franchise in a way few athletes are. She gave the Mercury their swagger and identity, which has influenced everything about the organization — from the passion of the X factor fan base to the way teammates such as Brittney Griner, also a No. 1 pick, credit her with shaping them as pros. Taurasi is also a three-time WNBA champ and the league’s all-time leading scorer (10,108 points). The former UConn star will be playing in her 20th WNBA season this year; she turns 42 in June.

2. Candace Parker, F/C, Los Angeles Sparks, 2008

The only player to win Rookie of the Year and MVP in the same season, Parker took the handoff from Lisa Leslie — whom she played alongside for two seasons — as the signature player for the Sparks. She won a second MVP award in 2013, was a WNBA champion in 2016 and was Defensive Player of the Year in 2020. The Former Tennessee star went to Chicago, winning a WNBA title in 2021, and then Las Vegas, winning a championship last year (although she was injured for the latter part of the season). Parker has averaged 16.0 points, 8.5 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 1.5 blocks in her 16 seasons.

3. Sue Bird, G, Seattle Storm, 2002

Just as her friend and former UConn teammate Taurasi has been the face of the Mercury, Bird filled that role for the Storm for 19 seasons, retiring after the 2022 season. She was the consistent presence for all four of Seattle’s championships, and was not only a great ambassador for the Storm, but also for the league. Bird was a 13-time All-Star and finished as the WNBA’s all-time leader in assists (3,234) and games played (580 in the regular season, 60 in the playoffs).

4. Maya Moore, F, Minnesota Lynx, 2011

Moore’s Lynx career was short but nearly immaculate: six trips to the WNBA Finals in eight seasons, with four championships. During her MVP season in 2014, Moore averaged 23.9 points, 8.1 rebounds and 3.4 assists. She stepped away from the WNBA after the 2018 season to focus on social justice and to help a prisoner, Jonathan Irons, fight a wrongful conviction. Irons was freed in 2020; he and Moore then married and have a son. Moore, 34, officially announced her retirement in January 2023.

5. A’ja Wilson, F, Las Vegas Aces, 2018

Just six seasons into her WNBA career, Wilson is already on the path to being one of the all-time greats. She has won two MVP awards and two WNBA championships with Las Vegas. A five-time All-Star out of South Carolina, she has had the same kind of impact on the Aces that she did the Gamecocks, with whom she won the 2017 NCAA title. Wilson has averaged 19.9 points and 8.7 rebounds and has been the WNBA Defensive Player of the Year twice.

6. Breanna Stewart, F, Seattle Storm, 2016

Stewart made a seamless adjustment to the pro game after winning four NCAA titles at UConn. She has won two WNBA championships and two MVP awards. Stewart missed the 2019 season after tearing her Achilles tendon overseas, but injury has been the only thing that has slowed her. After six seasons with Seattle, she went as a free agent to New York last year and led the Liberty to the WNBA Finals. A five-time All-Star, Stewart has averaged 20.8 points and 8.7 rebounds in her WNBA career.

7. Lauren Jackson, C/F, Seattle Storm, 2001

For 10 seasons, she was an unstoppable force on offense and defense and became part of a dynamic duo with Sue Bird in winning two WNBA championships. Her 2007 season might be the best individually in WNBA history: 23.8 PPG, 9.7 RPG, 2.0 BPG and nearly a 50/40/90 shooting percentage from the field, 3-point range and foul line. She was brilliant while earning her third MVP in 2010 as the Storm took the title, but that was her last full season in the league. Injuries piled up and she played just 28 more games in a Storm uniform. But when Jackson was healthy, there was no one better in the WNBA.

8. Tina Thompson, F, Houston Comets, 1997

Thompson was overshadowed a bit by older Comets teammates Sheryl Swoopes and Cynthia Cooper, but make no mistake: Houston would not have won its four championships without her. The Comets set the tone for excellence in the WNBA’s first four years, so Thompson’s success was crucial not just for Houston (the franchise dissolved in 2008) but for the league. She was the first pick in the first college draft and by the end of her 17-year career she was the WNBA’s all-time leading scorer. Only Taurasi has since passed her.

9. Nneka Ogwumike, F, Los Angeles Sparks, 2012

After 12 seasons as a stalwart presence for the Sparks, Stanford graduate Ogwumike left in free agency this season for Seattle. It will be odd seeing her in a different uniform than the purple and gold in which she was 2016 MVP and was an eight-time All-Star. Ogwumike, Rookie of the Year in 2012, won a WNBA title with Los Angeles in 2016 and has also been one of the most active players in league history in the union, where she serves as president of the executive committee.

10. Seimone Augustus, G, Minnesota Lynx, 2006

The 2006 Rookie of the Year out of LSU, Augustus was there in the lean years for Minnesota, setting the stage for the coming dynasty. She could have been territorial about her scoring opportunities when Moore came aboard in 2011, but instead was the consummate teammate in welcoming her. Augustus was part of four Lynx championship teams, was an eight-time All-Star and finished her career after spending the 2020 season with Los Angeles. She averaged 15.4 points and 3.1 rebounds in 15 seasons.

11. Brittney Griner, C, Phoenix Mercury, 2013

She has a WNBA title (2014) and has established herself as one of the great interior scorers in league history as well as being a premiere rim-protector. After helping Phoenix reach the WNBA Finals in 2021, Griner missed the 2022 season as she was wrongfully detained in Russia. She made an astonishing comeback after that ordeal, averaging 17.5 points, 6.3 rebounds and 1.6 blocks in 2023. An eight-time All-Star, Griner is now 33 and remains one of the league’s best. She hopes to get Phoenix back to that level, too.

12. Tina Charles, C, Connecticut Sun, 2010

The 2012 MVP and an eight-time All-Star out of UConn, Charles spent her first four WNBA seasons in Connecticut, then the next six in New York. She didn’t play the 2020 pandemic-impacted season, and spent 2021 in Washington, where she led the league in scoring (23.4 PPG). Charles split 2022 between Phoenix and Seattle and then didn’t play in the WNBA in 2023. She is back in the league this season with Atlanta, and at age 35 is still seeking a WNBA title, the only thing her résumé lacks.

13. Jewell Loyd, G, Seattle Storm, 2015

She surprised many people by leaving Notre Dame a year early and going to the WNBA as a draft-eligible junior in 2015. It allowed her to be the No. 1 pick — she wouldn’t have been in 2016 because of Stewart — and Loyd proved ready, winning Rookie of the Year honors. Stewart then joined her in Seattle and in 2018 and 2020 they were starters on WNBA championship teams. Stewart left for New York in 2023, but Loyd anchored Seattle, leading the league in scoring last season (24.7 PPG). The five-time All-Star has averaged 16.6 PPG in her career.

14. Angel McCoughtry, G, Atlanta Dream, 2009

The face of the expansion-team Dream for nine seasons, McCoughtry played a key role in Atlanta’s three trips to the WNBA Finals. But the Dream didn’t win a game in any of them. She suffered her first major injury late in 2018 and couldn’t compete in the playoffs that season. She went to Las Vegas in 2020 and helped the Aces make the WNBA Finals, where they lost to Seattle. Because of injuries, she has played just three WNBA games since 2020.

15. Chamique Holdsclaw, F, Washington Mystics, 1999

A lot of pressure was put on the 21-year-old to turn the Mystics — who debuted as an expansion team with a 3-27 record in 1998 — quickly into a contender. Holdsclaw put up terrific numbers — averaging a double-double in 2002 and ’03 — but the Mystics had little continuity in leadership. Holdsclaw played for five different coaches in six seasons in Washington. She also dealt with her mental health, a cause for which she has become a spokesperson and advocate. She finished her 11-year WNBA career with stints in Los Angeles, Atlanta and San Antonio. Statistically, she was an exceptional player, but never got the chance to play for a championship.

16. Kelsey Plum, G, San Antonio Stars, 2017

Plum set the NCAA scoring record at Washington (since passed by Caitlin Clark) but had a tough rookie year for a San Antonio franchise that was dying on the vine. Plum benefited from the Stars moving to Las Vegas to become the Aces in 2018. She missed 2020 with an Achilles injury, but has come into her own since then. She has started the past two seasons for the Aces championship teams (averaging 20.2 and 18.7 PPG) and is a two-time All-Star.

17. Jackie Young, G, Las Vegas Aces, 2019

When we ranked the No. 1 picks before the 2020 draft, Young was last because she had just one season of experience then. Four years later, it’s a different story: She has dramatically improved all aspects of her game to become a premiere player. Drafted after her junior season at Notre Dame, Young retooled her 3-point shot and became one of the key contributors to the Aces’ championships the past two seasons, as well as being an All-Star both years.

18. Margo Dydek, C, Utah Starzz, 1998

At 7-foot-2, she was a strong defensive presence who led the league in blocked shots nine times. She spent her first seven seasons with the Starzz/Stars organization that moved from Utah to San Antonio, then played three seasons in Connecticut before ending her WNBA career with a brief stay in Los Angeles. A native of Poland, she was in the first wave of European players to help build up the WNBA in its early years. She quickly became a fan favorite who also was beloved by teammates and opponents alike. Her death after a heart attack at 37 while pregnant with her third child in 2011 was mourned in the women’s basketball world.

19. Sabrina Ionescu, G, New York Liberty, 2020

After an NCAA-record 26 triple-doubles at Oregon, Ionescu was limited to three games because of an ankle injury her rookie season. Things have gone much better since. The past two seasons, she has been an All-Star and on the all-WNBA second team. She helped the Liberty reach the WNBA Finals in 2023. Ionescu also made headlines with her record-setting victory in the 3-point contest at the 2023 All-Star Game. For her career, she is averaging 15.7 points, 6.1 rebounds, 5.9 assists.

20. Rhyne Howard, G, Atlanta Dream, 2022

Howard was expected to adapt quickly to the WNBA’s style of play and she did. She was Rookie of the Year in 2022 after a successful college career at Kentucky and is a two-time WNBA All-Star. Howard has averaged 16.9 points, 4.8 rebounds and 3.2 assists in the league and helped lead the Dream back to the WNBA playoffs last season after a four-year absence.

21. Ann Wauters, C, Cleveland Rockers, 2000

Like Australia’s Jackson a year later, Belgium’s Wauters was a foreign player just 19 years old when drafted. It took awhile to find her footing in the WNBA. And with her overseas commitments, she played just nine seasons (with five different teams) in the WNBA between 2000 and 2016. But when she was at her best, she was very good. That included the 2005 season with New York and 2008 with San Antonio, when the Stars reached the WNBA Finals. She was a little-used reserve in her final season, 2016 in Los Angeles, but was a great veteran to have in practice and on the bench. It was also a nice finish, as she won her only WNBA championship with the Sparks.

22. Lindsey Harding, G, Phoenix Mercury, 2007

Harding is the only WNBA No. 1 pick who never played a game for the team that drafted her; she was traded on draft day to Minnesota. The former Duke star played for six teams in nine seasons, and wasn’t with any of them for more than two years. Her career overall was solid; individually, it’s probably better than a few people ranked above her. But she never found the right fit for very long, and she didn’t get a WNBA title. She has successfully moved on to an NBA coaching career.

23. Aliyah Boston, F/C, Indiana Fever, 2023

Boston has just one season of WNBA experience. Give her a few more years and she will move up this list. She was Rookie of the Year and an All-Star last season, averaging 14.5 points, 8.4 rebounds and 1.3 blocked shots. The former South Carolina star helped Indiana get to double-digit victories (13) for just the second time in the past seven seasons.

24. Chiney Ogwumike, F, Connecticut Sun, 2014

Injuries have been her biggest obstacle. They cost her the 2015 and ’17 seasons with the Sun. Following the 2018 season, upon hearing the Sun might trade her, she requested a deal to join older sister, Nneka Ogwumike, in Los Angeles. New coach Derek Fisher never seemed to settle fully on how best to implement Chiney. She didn’t play in the 2020 season in the bubble. Then she appeared in seven games in 2021, 26 in 2022 and 10 in 2023. We haven’t had the chance to see a healthy Chiney Ogwumike for two seasons in a row, although she has averaged 11.6 points and 6.5 rebounds in her career.

25. Janel McCarville, F/C, Charlotte Sting, 2005

The 2005 draft class wasn’t impactful and McCarville averaged less than 5.0 PPG her first two seasons. But then Charlotte disbanded and she was taken by New York in the dispersal draft. With the Liberty, she hit her stride, with her best seasons in 2007-09, averaging double-figure scoring in each. McCarville then went back to Minnesota, where she’d starred in college, and finished her WNBA career with three seasons with the Lynx, winning a league title in 2013.

26. LaToya Thomas, F, Cleveland Rockers, 2003

A case study in how circumstances can affect careers. A four-time WBCA All-American at Mississippi State, she was the top pick in one of the WNBA’s weakest drafts. Still, she had a good rookie season for a Rockers team that lost a close conference semifinal to eventual champion Detroit. But she was never able to establish roots. The Rockers folded after her first year and Thomas went to San Antonio in the dispersal draft. After three years there, she left as a free agent to Los Angeles, but a year later she was selected in the 2008 expansion draft by Atlanta. The Dream immediately traded her to Detroit, which during the season dealt her to Minnesota, for which she played just 13 games before being released. After five teams in six seasons, she was done in the WNBA after 2008, but kept playing professionally overseas through 2014.

27. Charli Collier, C, Dallas Wings, 2021

Perhaps the COVID-19 pandemic — which prompted the cancellation of the 2020 NCAA tournament and impacted the entire 2020-21 season — is part of why the 2021 draft class was so ineffective. Whatever the reasons, it has been one of the least successful draft classes in league history. Only five players drafted in 2021 have completed three WNBA seasons, and Collier isn’t one of them. The former Texas star, chosen after her junior year of college, played in 45 games with the Wings, averaging 2.9 points and 2.5 rebounds. She was waived in May 2023 by Dallas.