. . .

Now that we’ve reached the approximate halfway mark of the 2020 WNBA season, it’s fair to say we have a reasonable sample size to gauge the league’s final standings and awards. Among these projectable results are the All-WNBA First and Second Teams.

Last year’s First Team featured league MVP Elena Delle Donne and Defensive Player of the Year Natasha Howard, while Nneka Ogwumike received her fourth career selection on the Second Team. Let’s look into who deserves the nod in 2020 thus far.

2020 ALL-WNBA FIRST TEAM

Courtney Vandersloot, Guard (Chicago Sky)

Chicago’s starting point guard is a playmaking machine, averaging eight assists per game. Vandersloot doesn’t put up a ton of points compared to other stars in the league, but there’s a reason this would be the fourth All-WNBA Team selection of her career.

Arike Ogunbowale, Guard (Dallas Wings)

In her sophomore season, Ogunbowale leads the WNBA with 21.5 points per game. She is perhaps beginning to put herself in the MVP conversation, carrying the Dallas Wings to a 4-7 record and in legitimate contention for one of the lower playoff seeds.

A’ja Wilson, Forward (Las Vegas Aces)

Wilson is returning to her elite level of play after a sophomore slump in 2019, averaging 20.3 points and 8.5 rebounds per game. As the first overall pick in 2018, expectations are high for Wilson, especially seeking the first All-WNBA Team selection of her career.

Breanna Stewart, Forward (Seattle Storm)

After missing the entire 2019 season due to an Achilles injury, Stewart’s return has brought the Storm back to title contention. With the highest player efficiency rating in the WNBA at 23.6, Stewart is also contending for her second MVP selection in three years.

Brittney Griner, Center (Phoenix Mercury)

Averaging 18.1 points, 7.6 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game, Griner is the obvious choice for the First Team’s starting center. It seems likely that Griner will be featured on one of the All-WNBA Teams for the sixth time during her eight seasons in the league.

2020 ALL-WNBA SECOND TEAM

Diana Taurasi, Guard (Phoenix Mercury)

Picked first overall in 2004 by the Mercury, Taurasi holds the record for most All-WNBA Team selection with 13. The 38-year-old point guard averages the second-most assists per game in the WNBA with 5.8, not to mention she’s averaging 16.5 points per game.

Kelsey Mitchell, Guard (Indiana Fever)

Only Ogunbowale and Wilson are averaging more points per game around the league than Mitchell, as the Fever’s guard has put up 19.6 points per game this season. If this holds up, Mitchell may compete in the playoffs for the first time in her WNBA career.

Alyssa Thomas, Forward (Connecticut Sun)

Her 14.5 points per game aren’t as flashy as the other forwards on these teams, but Thomas’ 9.2 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 1.7 steals per game speak to the value she provides for the Sun. It would be her first selection to either of the All-WNBA Teams.

DeWanna Bonner, Forward (Connecticut Sun)

Phoenix selected Bonner fifth overall in 2009, but the Mercury traded her to the Sun in February 2020. Following a disappointing 0-5 start, Bonner has averaged 18.7 points per game, playing a crucial role in Connecticut’s current playoff position and 4-7 record.

Sylvia Fowles, Center (Minnesota Lynx)

The Lynx have put together an impressive 7-3 record to open their season, with Fowles playing a big part and even inserting herself into the MVP discussions. Despite missing some time due to an injury, she has averaged 14.6 points and 9.7 rebounds per game.

HONOURABLE MENTIONS

Chennedy Carter, Guard (Atlanta Dream)

Skylar Diggins-Smith, Guard (Phoenix Mercury)

Myisha Hines-Allen, Forward (Washington Mystics)

Napheesa Collier, Forward (Minnesota Lynx)

Candace Parker, Center (Los Angeles Sparks)

Featured photo: Dallas Wings’ Arike Ogunbowale currently leads the WNBA in points with 21.5 per game. (Credit: SB Nation Swish Appeal/Ned Dishman)

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