Angel Reese has overtaken Caitlin Clark as the top WNBA rookie based on advanced metrics 👀

Chicago Sky rookie Angel Reese has gone on a historic double-double streak. The Indiana Fever’s Caitlin Clark became the WNBA’s first rookie to record a triple-double. And Cameron Brink, who was No. 1 the last time we ranked the WNBA rookies, was lost for the season to a torn ACL after only 15 games.With so many shakeups, our updated rookie rankings reflect a much larger sample.

As a refresher on our process, each 2024 rookie is rated based on how many wins each has added so far this season, using a consensus of three different advanced value metrics: Basketball-Reference’s Win Shares, Estimated Wins Added from Player Efficiency Rating (PER) and wins generated via Estimated RAPTOR, a plus/minus-style stat that accounts for both a player’s individual production and her effect on her team’s net rating during a game

. The RAPTOR metric is a new addition to these rankings, and it’s a big improvement because it includes a player’s stats and the effect of those stats on the game.Each estimate of wins created is then averaged into a single metric, called Consensus Wins, which can then be used to rank every qualified rookie. Last time, we ranked off of per-minute production because teams had played wildly disparate numbers of games; now we can simply rank off of total wins added, as each team has played between 21 and 23 games — which also marks the halfway mark of the WNBA’s 40-game season.We’re still judging each rookie’s rate metrics on a percentile scale (0-100) relative to all WNBA players this season — in scoring (based on points per 100 possessions), true shooting percentage, passing (based on assist rate), rebounding rate and defensive impact (based on both RAPTOR and defensive rating).

That way, we can see why players rank where they do.Let’s begin with the two rookies who have begun to put distance between themselves and the rest of the 2024 draft class.1. Angel Reese, F, Chicago SkyLast ranked: No. 2 | Draft pick: No. 7 (LSU)Win Shares: 2.8 | PER Wins: 3.3 | RAPTOR Wins: 2.5 | Consensus: 2.9Rankings BreakdownAs of July 10, here is Reese’s standing (on a 0-100 scale):SCORING TRUE SHOOTING PASSING REBOUNDING DEFENSE68 24 18 100 78For the most part, Reese has been a stat-stuffing dynamo in her debut campaign. She is a close second (behind Clark) in points per 100 possessions among rookies, leads by a mile in rebound rate and has been the best active defensive rookie following Brink’s injury June 19. And aside from teammate Lindsay Allen, no member of the Sky has been associated with more of an uptick in the team’s performance while on the court than Reese, who has overseen a 16.6-point improvement in Chicago’s net rating when she’s in the game.Where she can improve: Despite hitting her first two career 3-pointers in her recent 27-point outing against Seattle, the biggest flaw in Reese’s skill set remains her shooting. She’s not a consistent threat from 3-point range yet, and at 75% from the line, she’s a below-average free throw shooter as well. A player as good on the inside as Reese is needs to shoot better than 43% on 2-pointers sooner or later. (The league average on 2s is 49%, a mark Reese is missing because she takes 42% of her shots from midrange and makes just 27% of them.) But if Reese is contributing this much while shooting inefficiently, imagine when she improves that aspect of her game.2. Caitlin Clark, G, Indiana FeverLast ranked: No. 6 | Draft pick: No. 1 (Iowa)Win Shares: 0.9 | PER Wins: 2.1 | RAPTOR Wins: 1.8 | Consensus: 1.6Rankings BreakdownAs of July 10, here is Clark’s standing (on a 0-100 scale):SCORING TRUE SHOOTING PASSING REBOUNDING DEFENSE76 78 99 58 32No player has improved more since our initial rankings than Clark, who is averaging 18.3 points, 10.1 assists and 7.6 rebounds per game (on 63.2% true shooting) since mid-June. Clark has also gotten her signature logo 3-shooting touch going, with a 15-for-36 showing (41.7%, which is significantly higher than the overall WNBA 3-point average of 33.7%) on shots of 30-34 feet. And the Fever have been better with Clark on the court than off, which wasn’t true early on in the season.Where she can improve: I wrote a long explainer here about why the advanced metrics aren’t quite as high on Clark as we’d expect from the eye test — or her hype entering the league. The TL;DR is that she still turns over the ball far too often, hurting

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