The Atlanta Dream made a splash on April 6, acquiring the No. 1 overall pick in the WNBA Draft from the Mystics for the third and 14th picks.
On Monday, the Dream selected Kentucky shooting guard Rhyne Howard — a positive force both on and off the court.
A two-time First-Team All-American and two-time SEC Player of the Year, Howard led the Wildcats in points (20.5), blocks (1.3), steals (2.3) and three-point percentage (38.3%) en route to an SEC Tournament title during her final season in Lexington.
The 21-year-old’s basketball prowess has already sparked financial opportunities.
- As a top-four pick, Howard is in line for a three-year, $226,668 contract with a $91,981 team option for a fourth year, per the WNBA’s rookie scale.
- The Tennessee native holds endorsement deals with Wingstop, Powerade, Reebok, and Direct Auto Insurance.
- She was one of the most prominent NIL advocates in Kentucky, speaking at a ceremony before the state’s Senate Bill 6 was signed into law.
Under first-time head coach Tanisha Wright, Howard will attempt to turn around a franchise that has been mired in mediocrity in recent years — but history suggests a top pick can work wonders for the Dream.
The last time they drafted first overall, they took five-time All-Star Angel McCoughtry in 2009 — and made the WNBA Finals three times between 2010 and 2013.
Unfortunately, the Dream failed to win a single game in any of those Finals — and have only advanced once in a playoff series since.