|2019 WNBA season|
|League||Women's National Basketball Association|
|Duration||May 24 – October 10|
|Number of games||34|
|Number of teams||12|
|TV partner(s)||ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, NBA TV, CBSSN|
|Top draft pick||Jackie Young|
|Picked by||Las Vegas Aces|
|Season MVP||Elena Delle Donne (Washington)|
|Eastern champions||Washington Mystics|
|Eastern runners-up||Connecticut Sun|
|Western champions||Los Angeles Sparks|
|Western runners-up||Las Vegas Aces|
|Finals champions||Washington Mystics|
|Finals MVP||Emma Meesseman (Washington)|
The 2019 WNBA season was the 23rd season of the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA). The Seattle Storm are the defending champions. The regular season began on May 24, with the Atlanta Dream hosting the Dallas Wings and the New York Liberty hosting the Indiana Fever. The season ended with the Washington Mystics securing their first WNBA Title over the Connecticut Sun three games to two, in a closely contested finals. Emma Meesseman was named Finals MVP, and teammate Elena Delle Donne was named regular season MVP.
- 1 2019 WNBA draft
- 2 Rule changes
- 3 Media coverage
- 4 Transactions
- 5 Arena changes
- 6 Regular season
- 7 Playoffs
- 8 Season award winners
- 9 Coaches
- 10 References
2019 WNBA draft
The Las Vegas Aces had the first pick in the 2019 WNBA draft on April 10, marking the third straight draft in which the franchise won the lottery for the top pick. With the top pick, the Aces selected Jackie Young from Notre Dame. The draft was televised nationally on the ESPN networks (Round 1 on ESPN2, Rounds 2 and 3 on ESPNU).
The WNBA Board of Governors approved two rule changes at their November 15, 2018 meeting that would go into effect during the 2019 season.
- The "Clear Path Foul Rule" was simplified to establish "bright line" standards based on a player's positioning.
- The definition of a "Hostile Act" was expanded for purposes of instant replay.
On April 22, 2019, CBS Sports Network announced a multi-year deal with the league to broadcast 40 games a season starting in May 2019.
- Lindsay Whalen announced her retirement on August 13, 2018 that she would retire at the conclusion of the 2018 season. Whalen played 15 seasons with the Connecticut Sun and Minnesota Lynx, winning four titles with the latter. She retired as the WNBA's all time leader in games won, with 322.
- Noelle Quinn announced that she would retire on February 21. She joined the Seattle Storm as an assistant coach.
- Monique Currie announced her retirement via Instagram on February 26. Currie retired to pursue a career with Nike.
- Cappie Pondexter announced her retirement via Instagram on April 17. Pondexter was the 2007 WNBA Finals MVP and a two time WNBA champion.
Free agency negotiations began on January 15, 2019, with the signing period starting on February 1, 2019.
|Team||2018 season||2019 season||Reference|
|Chicago Sky||Amber Stocks||James Wade|||
|Dallas Wings||Taj McWilliams-Franklin (Interim)||Brian Agler|||
|Los Angeles Sparks||Brian Agler||Derek Fisher|||
|Indiana Fever||Pokey Chatman|||
|New York Liberty||Katie Smith|||
- On June 17, Cathy Engelbert became the first Commissioner of the WNBA (previous top administrators had been titled "President"). She had previously served as CEO of the U.S. member firm of the international professional services firm Deloitte.
- On August 15, 2018 the Seattle Storm announced that they would play their regular season games at the University of Washington's Alaska Airlines Arena while KeyArena undergoes renovations for the future Seattle NHL team. The Storm later announced that of the team's 17 regular-season home games, 12 would be held at Alaska Airlines Arena and the remainder at Angel of the Winds Arena in the northern suburb of Everett, Washington.
- On December 13, 2018 the Atlanta Dream announced that they would return to State Farm Arena, formerly Philips Arena, after playing the previous two seasons at Georgia Tech's McCamish Pavilion while State Farm Arena underwent a $192.5 million renovation.
- The Washington Mystics moved into the St. Elizabeths East Entertainment and Sports Arena beginning with the 2019 season. The arena's capacity is only 4,200, vastly smaller than the team's former home of Capital One Arena.
- On July 24, 2019, the Phoenix Mercury announced that they would play the 2020 season at Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum to accommodate renovations to Talking Stick Resort Arena. The Mercury plans to return to the latter venue upon project completion.
- On September 5, 2019, the Indiana Fever announced that they would move to Butler University's Hinkle Fieldhouse for the entire 2020 and 2021 seasons, plus part of the 2022 season. The move was made necessary by a previously announced project to renovate Bankers Life Fieldhouse, home to both the Fever and the NBA's Indiana Pacers, with most of the work taking place during Pacers offseasons. The Fever plan to return to Bankers Life Fieldhouse upon project completion.
July 27, 2019
3:30 p.m. ET
|Team Wilson 129, Team Delle Donne 126|
|Scoring by quarter: 39-23, 38-40, 28-32, 24-31|
|Pts: Wheeler 25
Rebs: Fowles 9
Asts: Gray 10
|Pts: Ogwumike 22|
Rebs: Jones 13
Asts: Toliver 9
|1||Washington Mystics (1)||26||8||.765||–||14–3||12–5||13–3|
|2||Connecticut Sun (2)||23||11||.676||3||15–2||8–9||11–5|
|3||Chicago Sky (5)||20||14||.588||6||12–5||8–9||11–5|
|4||e –Indiana Fever||13||21||.382||13||7–10||6–11||7–9|
|5||e –New York Liberty||10||24||.294||16||4–13||6–11||3–13|
|6||e –Atlanta Dream||8||26||.235||18||5–12||3–14||3–13|
|1||Los Angeles Sparks (3)||22||12||.647||–||15–2||7–10||10–6|
|2||Las Vegas Aces (4)||21||13||.618||1||13–4||8–9||11–5|
|3||Seattle Storm (6)||18||16||.529||4||11–6||7–10||10–6|
|4||Minnesota Lynx (7)||18||16||.529||4||11–6||7–10||7–9|
|5||Phoenix Mercury (8)||15||19||.441||7||9–8||6–11||5–11|
|6||e – Dallas Wings||10||24||.294||12||8–9||2–15||5–11|
- (#) – Conference Standing, Playoff Seeds shown to the right of team name
- e – Eliminated from playoffs
|Points per game||Brittney Griner||Phoenix Mercury||20.7 ppg|
|Rebounds per game||Jonquel Jones||Connecticut Sun||9.7 rpg|
|Assists per game||Courtney Vandersloot||Chicago Sky||9.1 apg|
|Steals per game||Jordin Canada||Seattle Storm||2.3 spg|
|Blocks per game||Brittney Griner
|Field goal percentage||Sylvia Fowles||Minnesota Lynx||58.8%|
|Three point FG percentage||Alysha Clark||Seattle Storm||48.1%|
|Free throw percentage||Elena Delle Donne||Washington Mystics||97.4%|
|Points per game (team)||Washington Mystics||89.3 ppg|
|Field goal percentage (team)||Washington Mystics||46.9%|
The WNBA continued its current playoff format for 2019. The top eight teams, regardless of conference, make the playoffs, with the top two teams receiving a bye to the semi-finals. The remaining six teams play in two single-elimination playoff rounds, with the third and fourth seeds receiving a bye to the second round.
(Sept. 17 – Sept. 24)
(Sept. 29 – Oct. 10)
|Las Vegas Aces||1|
|Las Vegas Aces||93|
|Los Angeles Sparks||92|
|Los Angeles Sparks||0|
Note: Teams re-seeded after each round.
|Las Vegas Aces||95||91||92||90|
|Los Angeles Sparks||75||68||56|
Season award winners
Player of the Week Award
|Date Awarded||Eastern Conference||Western Conference||Reference|
|June 3||Jonquel Jones||Connecticut Sun||Natasha Howard||Seattle Storm|||
|June 10||Jonquel Jones (2)||Connecticut Sun||DeWanna Bonner||Phoenix Mercury|||
|June 17||Jonquel Jones (3)||Connecticut Sun||Natasha Howard (2)||Seattle Storm|||
|June 24||Elena Delle Donne||Washington Mystics||A'ja Wilson||Las Vegas Aces|||
|July 1||Elena Delle Donne (2)||Washington Mystics||A'ja Wilson (2)||Las Vegas Aces|||
|July 8||Tina Charles||New York Liberty||Brittney Griner||Phoenix Mercury|||
|July 15||Jonquel Jones (4)||Connecticut Sun||Nneka Ogwumike||Los Angeles Sparks|||
|July 22||Elena Delle Donne (3)||Washington Mystics||Natasha Howard (3)||Seattle Storm|||
|August 5||Elena Delle Donne (4)||Washington Mystics||Candace Parker||Los Angeles Sparks|||
|August 12||Elena Delle Donne (5)||Washington Mystics||Nneka Ogwumike (2)||Los Angeles Sparks|||
|August 19||Elena Delle Donne (6)||Washington Mystics||Arike Ogunbowale||Dallas Wings|||
|August 26||Courtney Vandersloot||Chicago Sky||Napheesa Collier||Minnesota Lynx|||
|September 3||Courtney Williams||Connecticut Sun||Brittney Griner (2)||Phoenix Mercury|||
|September 9||Elena Delle Donne (7)||Washington Mystics||Candace Parker (2)||Los Angeles Sparks|||
Player of the Month Award
|For games played||Eastern Conference||Western Conference||Reference|
|June 2019||Elena Delle Donne||Washington Mystics||Natasha Howard||Seattle Storm|||
|July 2019||Elena Delle Donne (2)||Washington Mystics||Nneka Ogwumike||Los Angeles Sparks|||
|August 2019||Elena Delle Donne (3)||Washington Mystics||Brittney Griner||Phoenix Mercury|||
Rookie of the Month Award
|For games played||Player||Team||Reference|
|June 2019||Arike Ogunbowale||Dallas Wings|||
|July 2019||Napheesa Collier||Minnesota Lynx|||
|August 2019||Arike Ogunbowale (2)||Dallas Wings|||
Coach of the Month Award
|For games played||Coach||Team||Reference|
|June 2019||Mike Thibault||Washington Mystics|||
|July 2019||Bill Laimbeer||Las Vegas Aces|||
|August 2019||Mike Thibault (2)||Washington Mystics|||
|Most Valuable Player Award||Elena Delle Donne||Forward/Guard||Washington Mystics||41 of 43|
|Finals MVP Award||Emma Meesseman||Forward||Washington Mystics|||
|Rookie of the Year Award||Napheesa Collier||Forward||Minnesota Lynx||29 of 43|
|Most Improved Player Award||Leilani Mitchell||Guard||Phoenix Mercury||27 of 43|
|Defensive Player of the Year Award||Natasha Howard||Forward||Seattle Storm||33 of 44|
|Sixth Woman of the Year Award||Dearica Hamby||Forward||Las Vegas Aces||41 of 43|
|Kim Perrot Sportsmanship Award||Nneka Ogwumike||Forward||Los Angeles Sparks||7 of 43|
|Peak Performer: Points||Brittney Griner||Center||Phoenix Mercury||20.7 PPG|
|Peak Performer: Rebounds||Jonquel Jones||Center||Connecticut Sun||9.7 RPG|
|Peak Performer: Assists||Courtney Vandersloot||Guard||Chicago Sky||9.1 APG|
|Coach of the Year Award||James Wade||Coach||Chicago Sky||27 of 43|
|Basketball Executive of the Year Award||Cheryl Reeve||General Manager/Head Coach||Minnesota Lynx||28 points|
|All-WNBA First Team||Courtney Vandersloot||Chelsea Gray||Elena Delle Donne||Natasha Howard||Brittney Griner|
|All-WNBA Second Team||Odyssey Sims||Diamond DeShields||Nneka Ogwumike||Jonquel Jones||Liz Cambage|
|All-Defensive First Team||Jasmine Thomas||Jordin Canada||Natasha Howard||Nneka Ogwumike||Jonquel Jones|
|All-Defensive Second Team||Ariel Atkins||Natasha Cloud||Alysha Clark||Alyssa Thomas||Brittney Griner|
|All-Rookie Team||Arike Ogunbowale||Jackie Young||Napheesa Collier||Brianna Turner||Teaira McCowan|
|Team||Head coach||Previous job||Years with team||Record with team||Playoff Appearances||Finals Appearances||WNBA Championships|
|Atlanta Dream||Nicki Collen||Connecticut Sun (assistant)||1||23–11||1||0||0|
|Chicago Sky||James Wade||UMMC Ekaterinburg (assistant)||0||0–0||0||0||0|
|Connecticut Sun||Curt Miller||Los Angeles Sparks (assistant)||3||56–46||3||1||0|
|Indiana Fever||Pokey Chatman||Chicago Sky||2||15–53||0||0||0|
|New York Liberty||Katie Smith||New York Liberty (assistant)||1||7–27||0||0||0|
|Washington Mystics||Mike Thibault||Connecticut Sun||6||104–100||5||1||0|
|Team||Head coach||Previous job||Years with team||Record with team||Playoff Appearances||Finals Appearances||WNBA Championships|
|Dallas Wings||Brian Agler||Los Angeles Sparks||0||0–0||0||0||0|
|Las Vegas Aces||Bill Laimbeer||New York Liberty||1||14–20||0||0||0|
|Los Angeles Sparks||Derek Fisher||New York Knicks||0||0–0||0||0||0|
|Minnesota Lynx||Cheryl Reeve||Detroit Shock (assistant)||8||213–93||7||6||4|
|Phoenix Mercury||Sandy Brondello||Los Angeles Sparks (assistant)||5||103–67||5||1||1|
|Seattle Storm||Dan Hughes||San Antonio Stars||1||26–8||1||1||1|
- Year with team does not include 2019 season.
- Records are from time at current team and are through the end of the 2018 season.
- Playoff appearances are from time at current team only.
- WNBA Finals and Championships do not include time with other teams.
- Coaches shown are the coaches who began the 2019 season as head coach of each team.
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