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Your comprehensive guide to the 2024 WNBA season

Sports Your guide to the 2024 WNBA season, from the Aces’ three-peat hopes to Caitlin Clark’s arrival Here’s everything you need to know ahead of Tuesday’s tip-off. Caitlin Clark has helped bring more attention to women’s basketball over the last two years.
After a women’s college basketball season that had more eyes on it than ever, several of the stars who helped elevate the profile of the game are set to make their WNBA debuts this week.
It’s no secret that the biggest story line of the 2024 WNBA season, which opens Tuesday, is the debut of Iowa superstar Caitlin Clark with the Indiana Fever. But the exciting rookies are just the tip of the iceberg, as the league looks to parlay a sensational college season into a successful summer for the pros.
There are juggernauts on each coast, coaching changes, and a midseason break that’ll throw a wrench into things for everybody.
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Here’s everything you need to know ahead of Tuesday’s tip-off.
How to watch
The WNBA announced last month the TV schedule for this season, which will see games broadcast and streamed across a variety of channels and platforms.
Games will be shown on ESPN platforms (25 games, including nine on ABC, 14 on ESPN, and two on ESPN2), CBS/Paramount+ (8), CBS Sports Network (12), Ion (43), NBA TV (40), and Prime Video (21).
Every game of the playoffs will be broadcast on ESPN platforms (ABC, ESPN, and ESPN2).
With the interest around Clark, the Fever will have 36 of their 40 games broadcast nationally, starting with their opener Tuesday against the Connecticut Sun on ESPN2.
You can find the full schedule and broadcast information here.
The ‘Caitlin Clark Effect’
Such has been the fanfare around Clark that the WNBA Draft broke viewership records; it drew more eyes than any WNBA game since 2000.
While the Fever will have no problem accommodating fan interest as they share the 17,000-seat Gainbridge Fieldhouse with the NBA’s Pacers, other teams are moving games to larger venues to meet demand. The Los Angeles Sparks are moving their matchup with the Fever from Walter Pyramid on the campus of Long Beach State to Crypto.com Arena; the Washington Mystics made a similar move, moving their game against Indiana from the 4,000-seat Entertainment and Sports Arena to the 20,000-seat Capital One Arena, home of the Wizards.
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Brazilian Kamilla Cardoso (left) was the third overall pick in the draft.
Clark isn’t the only college star to land in the WNBA. She’s joined in this rookie class by Stanford’s Cameron Brink (Sparks), South Carolina’s Kamilla Cardoso (Chicago Sky), and LSU’s Angel Reese (Sky), just to name a few.
The result is more attention around the start of the WNBA season than ever before, and for the teams that don’t share an NBA arena, meeting demand is going to be a big challenge.
Story lines you may have missed
No, it’s not all about Clark. Here are some other major story lines.
Can the Aces three-peat?
Becky Hammon (second from left) and A’ja Wilson (third from left) visited President Joe Biden (right) and vice president Kamala Harris (left) at the White House last week.
It’s been a dominant couple of years for the Las Vegas Aces, who have won back-to-back titles under coach Becky Hammon.
A lot of the talent last season was consolidated in Las Vegas or New York, and the Aces came out on top again behind two-time MVP A’ja Wilson and a star-studded core that includes All-Stars Kelsey Plum and Chelsea Gray.
The Aces’ biggest threat will likely again be the Liberty, who have their own embarrassment of riches in New York in former MVPs Breanna Stewart and Jonquel Jones plus an All-Star backcourt of Sabrina Ionescu and Courtney Vandersloot.
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The teams romped through their sides of the bracket in 2023 before Las Vegas took the Finals in four games, and they look like they’re on a collision course again.
Charter flights
Commissioner Cathy Engelbert announced Thursday that the league plans to fund charter flights at a cost of about $50 million over the next two years in a move that addresses years of player safety concerns. Travel has been a huge topic of discussion for years.
The move was applauded by players around the league, including Clark.
New coaches
Chicago and Phoenix both have new coaches. The Sky will be led by Hall of Famer Teresa Weatherspoon, while longtime NBA assistant Nate Tibbetts will guide the Mercury.
Weatherspoon returns to the WNBA after working with the NBA’s New Orleans Pelicans since 2019. She first was a player development coach and then an assistant starting in 2020. The team released her in June.
Basketball Hall of Famer Teresa Witherspoon (pictured in 2019) has taken the helm in Chicago.
Tibbetts comes to the league after nearly two decades of experience as an NBA assistant and in the NBA’s G League, where he was both a head coach and an assistant. He was most recently an assistant with the Orlando Magic.
The Tibbetts hiring was met with significant criticism, as he will become the league’s highest-paid coach despite having never coached women’s basketball.
End of an era
Candace Parker, a two-time MVP and one of the greatest WNBA players of all time, retired right before the season, wrapping up a career that almost certainly will be honored in the Basketball Hall of Fame.
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Meanwhile, former MVP and 10-time All-Star Diana Taurasi is starting her 20th year in the WNBA, all with the Mercury. Taurasi hasn’t officially said it will be her last, but it wouldn’t be a surprise if this is it for the 41-year-old, who has played in more than 26 games only once in the past five seasons.
Diana Taurasi has played in the WNBA for 20 of its 28 seasons.
Locals in the WNBA
Here’s a look at some players with local ties to keep an eye on:
Aliyah Boston, Indiana Fever (Worcester Academy): Last year’s No. 1 pick and WNBA Rookie of the Year became just the sixth rookie to start in the All-Star Game despite another down season for Indiana. But that down season earned the Fever another No. 1 pick, allowing them to pair Clark and Boston for an exciting tandem.
Taylor Soule, Minnesota Lynx (West Lebanon, N.H., Boston College): Soule, who starred for Kimball Union Academy and BC, was signed to a training camp contract by Minnesota and could make the roster ahead of the season.
Veronica Burton, free agent (Newton South): A star at Newton South and a two-time Globe All-Scholastic Super Teamer, Burton was taken No. 7 overall in 2022 by the Dallas Wings but was waived Sunday after two seasons. Her future is uncertain with the season opening Tuesday.
Blake Dietrick, Los Angeles Sparks (Wellesley): A standout at Wellesley High School and an Ivy League Player of the Year for Princeton, Dietrick is back in the WNBA with the Sparks after a couple seasons playing in France. Dietrick last appeared in a WNBA game in 2021 with the Atlanta Dream.
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Title favorites and odds
No surprises here: The Aces are favorites to win the WNBA title again, with even odds for a three-peat according to Bet365. The Liberty (+250) are the only team in the same category, with nobody else looking at better odds than +1000 to win it all.
Another expected season of dominance for Las Vegas aligns with another expected season of dominance from Wilson, a +160 favorite to earn her third MVP award. New York’s Stewart (+500) is second favorite to pick up a third MVP of her own, and Clark has the fourth-best odds at +1200.
Clark, naturally, is a huge favorite to win Rookie of the Year at -700, with no one else having better than even +1200 odds to pip Clark to the award.

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