Angel Reese over Caitlin Clark for Rookie of the Year? Why ESPN analyst has Sky forward ahead of Fever guard-B

Angel Reese

 

 

Caitlin Clark entered the WNBA season as the Rookie of the Year front-runner.

The No. 1 overall pick came into the league with immense hype surrounding her after she dominated the college sports scene during her career at Iowa. Yet despite her popularity and early success, she’s not the only first-year player that’s in the running for the major award.

Angel Reese is having a standout season herself, and it’s fueling the Larry Bird and Magic Johnson comparisons. Clark and Reese’s rivalry dates back to their college days, and it’s heating up again with the Rookie of the Year race.

Monica McNutt, a basketball analyst at ESPN, pointed to Reese as her pick to win the award. Here’s why she’s opting for the Sky’s double-double machine over the Fever’s long-range threat.

Why ESPN analyst has Angel Reese over Caitlin Clark for Rookie of the Year

McNutt is favoring Reese right now in the Rookie of the Year race, she said Thursday, pointing to the Sky’s position in the WNBA playoff picture.

“My rookie of the year is going to go based on the standings because I think that is how you have the opportunity to measure impact,” McNutt said.

 

McNutt explained that Reese has done more with less around her, citing the absence of a No. 1 pick or 2024 All-Star on the  Chicago roster. The Fever have two No. 1 overall picks in Clark and Aliyah Boston and another All-Star in Kelsey Mitchell.Despite that discrepancy, Chicago is in the playoffs as of now, while Indiana isn’t, McNutt noted. If the season ended Friday, the Sky would hold the eighth seed with a 7-11 record, while the Fever would be the first team out with an 8-13 record. They’re separated by half a game in the standings.

In her argument for Reese, McNutt also mentioned the Chicago forward’s double-double streak, which is nearing the all-time WNBA record. Reese could tie Candace Parker’s record with a 12 consecutive double-doubles in the Sky’s game Friday in Seattle.

Despite siding with Reese at the midway point of the season, McNutt acknowledged both players have been “incredibly impressive” so far.

“I got to say of both of them — I have so much respect,” McNutt said. “The eyeballs are as big as they’ve ever been, and they are showing up and entertaining. Both have exceeded my expectations in their rookie season.”

 

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