The Las Vegas Aces’ A’ja Wilson and the Original York Liberty’s Breanna Stewart had been the highest gamers within the WNBA, and the enviornment, for some time, and they also’re as soon as extra duking it out for MVP honors, which is able to be introduced by the league Sept. 26.

No matter who is named — and despite Stewart edging Wilson by one vote for The Connected Press Participant of the 12 months honors — the No. 1 space in our ranking of the highest 25 gamers within the 2023 WNBA playoffs is location, with Wilson’s spectacular second half of of the 2023 campaign catapulting her over the Liberty star.

The Aces stumbled somewhat after Candace Parker’s season-ending damage, but Wilson has been sensational in her absence. Earlier than the All-Big title break, Wilson was as soon as averaging 19.7 features, 9.3 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game. After the break? A league-most efficient 26.2 PPG, to head along with 9.7 RPG and 2.3 BPG. She has been efficient all 12 months long, on the support of a occupation-most efficient 55.7% taking pictures rate.

Just a few of Wilson’s particular individual game performances had been staggering too. Closing month, she tied the WNBA single-game scoring epic with 53, after a 40-part 11 days prior.

She also remains thought to be among the league’s most efficient defenders, because the reigning Defensive Participant of the 12 months. And he or she carried out the 2023 traditional season with 22 double-doubles, on the support of simplest the Connecticut Sun’s Alyssa Thomas (28).

If Wilson takes dwelling the MVP trophy, which she also obtained last 12 months, she would change into the fourth WNBA player to get the award three instances. She’ll delight in carried out so earlier than she turns 28.

Nonetheless the South Carolina gigantic for the time being has bigger aspirations: leading her Aces to support-to-support WNBA titles, one thing that hasn’t been carried out within the WNBA since the Los Angeles Sparks in 2001 and 2002.

ESPN’s Michael Voepel, Alexa Philippou and Kevin Pelton debated and talked about the remainder of the highest 25 rankings, which simplest facets gamers competing within the postseason. The Aces’ Parker was as soon as no longer integrated, as all indications present her being carried out for the 12 months.

1. A’ja Wilson, Las Vegas Aces

Forward | 6-foot-4
2023 stats:
22.8 PPG, 9.5 RPG, 2.2 BPG
Midseason detestable: 2

The two-time MVP would possibly maybe well maybe also get the honour for a Third time after posting occupation-most efficient averages in features, rebounds, blocks and field aim share (55.7). She did it despite being fourth on the Aces in minutes carried out (30.7). “She’s better than she was as soon as last 12 months,” Las Vegas coach Becky Hammon talked about. “She is brilliant. She comes with the identical vitality each day.” — Voepel

2. Breanna Stewart, Original York Liberty

Forward | 6-foot-4
2023 stats:
23.0 PPG, 9.3 RPG, 3.8 APG
Midseason detestable: 1

Or no longer it is testament to how successfully Wilson carried out that Stewart would possibly maybe well maybe also set up up occupation highs in both PPG and APG and fall a neighborhood to second. Despite joining the star-studded Liberty, Stewart’s offensive highs had been bigger than ever earlier than. She scored a minimal of 40 features four instances after doing so simplest as soon as in six seasons with the Seattle Storm — her last game for the team of workers, a loss to Wilson and the Aces in last 12 months’s playoffs. If the present playoff bracket holds, we are going to get a huge gamble to gaze the 2 MVPs square off in their third playoff assembly in four years, having break up the first two. — Pelton

3. Alyssa Thomas, Connecticut Sun

Forward | 6-foot-2
2023 stats:
15.5 PPG, 9.9 RPG, 7.9 APG
Midseason detestable: 3

Thomas’ occupation season — six triple-doubles, 28 double-doubles, nearly carried out because the first player to steer the league in assists and rebounds in a season — catapulted the Sun to the highest quarter of the standings. After the season-ending damage to Brionna Jones, she has taken on extra responsibility and has simplest perceived to thrive. Thomas is a front-runner for MVP, but there’s one component she undoubtedly has her sights location on: winning her, and Connecticut’s, first WNBA title. After two Finals runs in four years, can she indirectly get the Sun over the streak? — Philippou

4. Napheesa Collier, Minnesota Lynx

Forward | 6-foot-1
2023 stats:
21.5 PPG, 8.5 RPG, 1.6 SPG
Midseason detestable: 6

Collier has officially taken the reins because the Lynx’s franchise player since Sylvia Fowles’ retirement last season and has excelled in that characteristic, propelling the team of workers support to the postseason after a one-12 months hiatus. After missing the massive majority of 2022 attributable to of being pregnant/maternity trek away, she has also established herself as an MVP contender, together with her motor and ability to have an effect on the game in so many programs making her thought to be among the league’s most promising younger stars. A huge postseason from her would simplest extra cement that. — Philippou

5. Jackie Younger, Las Vegas Aces

Guard | 6-foot-0
2023 stats:
17.6 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 3.8 APG
Midseason detestable: 4

Younger had her highest scoring common in her five WNBA seasons, and her fabulous development as a 3-level shooter persisted. She made 22 3-pointers combined her first three seasons, 50 last 12 months and 89 this 12 months. Her effective field aim share (which adjusts for the larger tag of 3-pointers) was as soon as a occupation-most efficient 61.7, which led the WNBA. — Voepel

6. Chelsea Gray, Las Vegas Aces

Guard | 5-foot-11
2023 stats:
15.3 PPG, 7.3 APG, 4.0 RPG
Midseason detestable: 5

Though Gray inevitably couldn’t protect up the heater she was as soon as on in last 12 months’s playoffs — when she made 65.5% of her 2-level makes an strive and shot 54% from 3-level fluctuate — 2023 was as soon as peaceable the most efficient offensive season of her standout occupation. She posted occupation highs in both PPG and APG, ranking third within the WNBA within the latter category. Her 1.8 3-pointers per game had been also the most Gray has ever averaged, phase of probably the league’s most entire offensive game. — Pelton

7. Satou Sabally, Dallas Wings

Forward | 6-foot-4
2023 stats:
18.6 PPG, 8.1 RPG, 4.4 APG
Midseason detestable: 11

Eventually wholesome and having relaxing on the court all yet again, Sabally has shown this season why she was as soon as taken No. 2 overall within the 2020 draft. The German unicorn — a Most Improved Participant and MVP contender — has been the Wings’ most entire player, serving to them attain because the No. 4 seed and be the most efficient team of workers to defeat the Aces, Liberty and Sun this season. Her 14 double-doubles detestable fourth amongst gamers who’ll appear within the postseason, and he or she also recorded the Wings’ first triple-double in July. Sabally can wait on the franchise advance previous the first round for the first time in 14 years, when it was as soon as located in Detroit because the Shock. — Philippou

8. Sabrina Ionescu, Original York Liberty

Guard | 5-foot-11
2023 stats:
17.0 PPG, 5.6 RPG, 5.4 APG
Midseason detestable: 13

Cherish the Liberty as a team of workers, it took some time for Ionescu to click in a trudge characteristic than she’d carried out in 2022, when the ball was as soon as in her palms far extra most frequently. Thru July 5, Ionescu was as soon as averaging correct 15.4 PPG and 4.9 APG, knocking her out of the highest 10 of our midseason rankings. Since then, she has emerged because the horrible second-most efficient player on Original York’s superteam, averaging 18.4 PPG and 5.6 APG. She’s been on a season-long 3-level hot trek, making a single-season epic 128 at a forty five% clip and surroundings a epic in winning the 3-level contest. — Pelton

9. Kelsey Plum, Las Vegas Aces

Guard | 5-foot-8
2023 stats:
18.7 PPG, 2.4 RPG, 4.5 APG
Midseason detestable: 7

Plum ranked sixth the league in 3-level field desires (95) and fifth in effective field aim share (56.6). She also had her occupation-most efficient overall field aim share (47.5). She led the Aces in common minutes carried out (32.4) and had thought to be among the league’s 40-level games this season. As dynamic a scorer as Plum will be, Hammon has been very pleased together with her development as a playmaker over the previous two seasons too. — Voepel

10. Elena Delle Donne, Washington Mystics

Forward/guard | 6-foot-5
2023 stats:
16.7 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 2.1 APG
Midseason detestable: 12

Ankle and hip components restricted Delle Donne to 23 games this season, eight of these since the All-Big title break in mid-July. She has had some very appropriate performances when wholesome. Delle Donne, who became 34 earlier this month, has worked laborious to beat the bodily ailments she has handled since her last MVP season in 2019. At her most efficient, she is peaceable a truly refined player to pause offensively. — Voepel

11. Jonquel Jones, Original York Liberty

Forward | 6-foot-6
2023 stats:
11.3 PPG, 8.4 RPG, 1.3 BPG
Midseason detestable: 23

Jones returning to her dominant programs set up the Liberty’s title aspirations support no longer off course. Her efficiency within the Commissioner’s Cup championship game, where she obtained MVP on the support of a 16-level, 15-board outing, demonstrated correct how extreme her defense, rebounding and paint presence are to Original York. If the 2021 MVP can finish out of pass ache and protect up that job on both ends, Original York have to peaceable be support within the WNBA Finals for the first time since 2002. — Philippou

12. Arike Ogunbowale, Dallas Wings

Guard | 5-foot-8
2023 stats:
21.2 PPG, 3.4 RPG, 4.5 APG
Midseason detestable: 15

Ogunbowale was as soon as a rock for the Wings this season, playing all 40 games and leading the WNBA in common minutes (37.2). She ranked second within the league in 3-pointers (117) and fifth in scoring, but she also registered a occupation excessive in assists common. That showed she took profit of Dallas’ improved put up play in serving to the Wings to their first winning epic in eight seasons in Dallas. — Voepel

13. Courtney Vandersloot, Original York Liberty

Guard | 5-foot-8
2023 stats:
10.5 PPG, 8.1 APG, 3.5 RPG
Midseason detestable: 18

Vandersloot doesn’t are usually expansive flashy on the court, but then on the tip of the game you take a look at the box earn and gaze, extra in general than no longer, that she has 10-plus assists. Her characteristic because the conductor of Original York’s offense — which boasts the highest wait on share within the league to this level this season at 75% — can at instances be refined, but can’t be overstated. One more WNBA title would simplest add to her legacy, which now entails a seventh Prime Performer Award for ending with the most efficient assists-per-game tag in a season. — Philippou

14. DeWanna Bonner, Connecticut Sun

Forward | 6-foot-4
2023 stats:
17.4 PPG, 5.6 RPG, 2.2 APG
Midseason detestable: 17

Bonner experienced the first major damage of her expert occupation this offseason when she tore what’s casually most frequently known because the ACL of the wrist. It has no longer fully healed, however the five-time All-Big title peaceable managed to delight in a occupation season in which she’s set up together support-to-support 30-level games, and even a 40-part efficiency. Consistency within the playoffs will be a necessity if she desires to get the Sun support to the Finals for the third time in five seasons. — Philippou

15. Allisha Gray, Atlanta Dream

Guard | 6-foot-0
2023 stats:
17.1 PPG, 4.9 RPG, 3.1 APG
Midseason detestable: 19

The Dream traded with Dallas to construct Gray in January and signed her to a contract extension in March, believing she was as soon as a key constructing block for the franchise’s future. To this level, so appropriate for the frail Rookie of the 12 months. Gray had occupation highs in scoring, assists and field aim share (46.5) in leading Atlanta support to the playoffs for the first time since 2018. — Voepel

16. Rhyne Howard, Atlanta Dream

Guard | 6-foot-2
2023 stats:
17.5 PPG, 4.9 RPG, 3.5 APG
Midseason detestable: 16

Howard’s initial omission from the All-Big title reserves perceived to spark her strongest stretch of the season. She dropped a occupation-excessive 43 features the day after the checklist was as soon as introduced, then 32 the week after — her simplest two instances topping 30 features all season. In 12 months 2 within the WNBA, Howard took real steps forward, enhancing her taking pictures percentages both inside of and outdoor the arc. The No. 1 decide of the 2022 draft also helped lead Atlanta to its first playoff appearance since 2018. — Pelton

17. Kahleah Copper, Chicago Sky

Guard/forward | 6-foot-1
2023 stats:
18.7 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 2.0 APG
Midseason detestable: 21

Copper undoubtedly became the face of the Sky this 12 months, and he or she earned a contract extension, providing the management major in a season that integrated a coaching commerce, as James Wade left for the NBA. Most preseason predictions had the Sky missing the playoffs after the departures of Courtney Vandersloot and Candace Parker, but Chicago acquired the last space with Copper having a occupation-most efficient scoring 12 months. — Voepel

18. Brittney Sykes, Washington Mystics

Guard | 5-foot-9
2023 stats:
15.9 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 2.1 SPG
Midseason detestable: 22

The simplest Washington player to launch all 40 games, Sykes was as soon as the team of workers’s rock for the length of an damage-plagued season. Signed to play a complementary characteristic on offense while providing her neatly-liked stellar defense, she as an alternative posted the very excellent averages of her occupation all over the board. Sykes’ development as a shooter was as soon as in particular necessary. She knocked down 3s at a 35% clip while also attempting extra of them (4.0 per game) than ever earlier than. — Pelton

19. Natasha Howard, Dallas Wings

Forward | 6-foot-2
2023 stats:
16.5 PPG, 8.0 RPG, 2.6 APG
Midseason detestable: 20

Howard came to Dallas from Original York as phase of a five-team of workers commerce in January, and it be worked out successfully for her and the Wings. She has combined with Satou Sabally and Teaira McCowan to make Dallas the highest rebounding team of workers within the league. Her 33.1 minutes per game are a occupation excessive, and her abilities as a two-time WNBA champion (with Seattle) also helps Dallas. — Voepel

20. Cheyenne Parker, Atlanta Dream

Center | 6-foot-4
2023 stats:
15.0 PPG, 6.7 RPG, 1.8 APG
Midseason detestable: 25

Or no longer it is been a huge 12 months for Parker, who made her first All-Big title Sport appearance and had occupation-excessive averages in features, rebounds and minutes carried out (26.7). She was as soon as Atlanta’s simplest traditional starter who seemed in all 40 games (beginning 38) and helped the Dream navigate a engaging last month of the humble season to compose their first playoff berth in since 2018. — Voepel

21. Teaira McCowan, Dallas Wings

Center | 6-foot-7
2023 stats:
11.9 PPG, 9.1 RPG, 1.2 BPG
Midseason detestable: NR

In her fifth season within the WNBA and second in Dallas, the native Texan looks at dwelling with the Wings. She missed worthy of June playing in EuroBasket with Turkey. Nonetheless she was as soon as strong down the stretch in August and September, with seven double-doubles in her last 10 games. McCowan also has been an correct slot in first-12 months Wings coach Latricia Trammell’s defense. — Voepel

22. Tiffany Hayes, Connecticut Sun

Guard | 5-foot-10
2023 stats:
12.1 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 2.6 APG
Midseason detestable: NR

The Sun are at their most efficient when their guards are rolling, and Hayes is major. In her first 12 months in Uncasville, after spending her entire occupation in Atlanta, the 2017 All-Big title is no longer any longer a serious level of curiosity of the offense admire she in general was as soon as for the Dream, but she brings abilities to a crew that brought in several younger gamers within the offseason. — Philippou

23. Kayla McBride, Minnesota Lynx

Guard | 5-foot-11
2023 stats:
14.3 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 2.2 APG
Midseason detestable: NR

McBride’s strong attain to the season was as soon as a key purpose the Lynx had been ready to come support to the playoffs after a 12 months within the lottery. Foundation with a season-excessive 26 features in Minnesota’s upset of Original York on July 28, she averaged 17.4 PPG over the last 16 games of the humble season. Now we delight in no longer viewed that roughly manufacturing from McBride since her early days with the San Antonio Stars and the Aces. That efficiency netted McBride a multiyear extension with the Lynx last week. — Pelton

24. Betnijah Laney, Original York Liberty

Forward | 6-foot-0
2023 stats:
12.8 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 2.4 APG
Midseason detestable: NR

The Liberty’s superstars tend to get quite a bit of the level of curiosity, but Laney is such a extreme player on that team of workers, as evidenced by the Liberty prioritizing her contract extension earlier than she hit free agency in 2024. The 2020 Most Improved Participant and 2021 All-Big title has stepped up at instances for Original York this season offensively, but it undoubtedly’s her defense and toughness that location her aside and are her calling card on this team of workers. — Philippou

25. Natasha Cloud, Washington Mystics

Guard | 5-foot-10
2023 stats:
12.7 PPG, 6.2 APG, 90% FT%
Midseason detestable: NR

One amongst the WNBA’s top distributors, Cloud was as soon as forced to probe for her maintain offense extra as starters Delle Donne, Ariel Atkins and Shakira Austin missed extended stretches. Her scoring common was as soon as a occupation excessive and jumped to 14.6 PPG in July when the accidents had been at their worst. With Washington getting wholesome, seek recordsdata from Cloud to shift support in direction of playmaking within the playoffs. She handed out 8.3 APG over the team of workers’s last seven games, including a occupation-excessive 15 on Sept. 8 — Pelton

Additionally receiving votes: Ariel Atkins, Washington Mystics; Marina Mabrey, Chicago Sky; Alanna Smith, Chicago Sky; Courtney Williams, Chicago Sky