Ranking the WNBA's top 2024 rookies, by the stats

Sparks forward Cameron Brink (left) has already become a top defender, while Sky forward Angel Reese leads the WNBA in offensive rebounds. Melissa Tamez/Icon Sportswire

More than perhaps any season in its 28-year history, big name rookies are dominating the storyline in the 2024 WNBA campaign.

No. 1 draft pick Caitlin Clark, one of the most anticipated prospects in the WNBA, is embarking on her pro career with the Indiana Fever after rewriting the college record books at Iowa. Former LSU star Angel Reese (now with the Chicago Sky) and ex-Stanford standout Cameron Brink (Los Angeles Sparks) lead a group of top draftees looking to enhance their WNBA legacies.

Throughout the season, we keep tabs on which rookies perform the best according to a variety of statistics. To that end -- and in a similar vein to our NBA playoffs player rankings -- we'll be blending three different metrics: Basketball-Reference's Win Shares, Estimated Wins Added from Player Efficiency Rating (PER) and wins generated via the Simple Player Rating (SPR), a box score plus/minus-style stat that provides yet another prism through which we can view a player's production.

Each estimate of wins created is then averaged into a single metric, called Consensus Wins, which can be used to rank qualified rookies on a per-minute basis. (We're ranking this way to keep things fair, because some teams have played nearly twice as many games as others.)

As an added wrinkle, we'll be grading each rookie on a percentile scale (0 to 100) relative to all WNBA players this season in their scoring (based on points per 100 possessions), true shooting percentage, passing (based on assist rate), rebounding rate and defensive impact (based on both SPR and defensive rating). That way, we can see why players rank where they do -- and what they might do to improve over the rest of their debut season.

The league's 40-game schedule started on May 14 and as of Thursday, every team has played at least six games. So while it's early, each rookie has at least a sample of work to analyze. Among rookies with at least 104 minutes played as of Tuesday's games, here are the most effective qualified performers in 2024:

1. Cameron Brink, F, Los Angeles Sparks

Draft pick: No. 2 (Stanford)
Win Shares: 0.4 | PER Wins: 0.4 | SPR Wins: 0.4 | Consensus: 0.4