WNBA Rookie Power Rankings Include Prediction on Kate Martin’s Future With Aces

Kate Martin

Getty Kate Martin of the Las Vegas Aces.

Kate Martin was picked in the second round of the WNBA draft this year (No. 18 overall), but she is quickly becoming one of the most impactful rookies in the league.

Selected by the defending champion Las Vegas Aces, Martin has already become a key role player on one of the league’s best teams.

In USA Today’s latest WNBA rookie power rankings, Martin is ranked No. 4 overall, behind three of 2024’s highest-drafted players: Angel Reese of the Chicago Sky (ranked No. 1 overall, drafted No. 7 overall), Caitlin Clark of the Indiana Fever (ranked No. 2, drafted No. 1 overall) and Cameron Brink of the Los Angeles Sparks (raked No. 3 and drafted No. 3 overall).

“The Aces are still without guard Chelsea Gray, who’s recovering from a lower left leg injury, and once Gray returns it’ll be interesting to see how much Martin plays,” Lindsay Schnell of USA Today wrote on June 4, before including this telling little nugget: “But given Martin’s production right now − she’s usually in the right place at the right time − it’s hard to keep her off the floor.”

Aces’ Kate Martin Being in Top 5 of WNBA Rookie Power Rankings Speaks Volumes About Her Future

A five-time All-Star, it would be a complete surprise if Gray didn’t return to the starting lineup when she’s fully healthy. Gray, 31, averaged 15.3 points, 7.3 assists and 4.0 rebounds in 32.2 minutes a game last season. She was the 2022 WNBA Finals MVP and is one of the leaders on the team. The Aces have been relying more on their other two All-Star guards, Jackie Young and Kelsey Plum in her absence.

That said, Martin has been picking up minutes as the Sixth Player for Vegas, and if the rookie can continue to shine offensively and defensively, her minutes should stay right where they are — or maybe even increase a little.

“Through five games one thing has become abundantly clear: Las Vegas did not keep Martin merely to be a practice player,” Schnell added. “The surprise second-round pick of the 2024 draft averages almost 21 minutes per game, and has been on the floor in clutch situations more than once.”

Las Vegas waived its first pick in the draft this year, guard Dyaisha Fair (No. 16 overall), on May 26. Fair only appeared minimally in one game for the Aces before her release. Martin, on the other hand, made an impact early, impressing head coach Becky Hammon throughout camp before coming up with clutch plays in multiple games when she got her opportunities.

Martin Was Ahead of Other Notable Rookies in the Power Rankings

There were some standout rookies listed behind Martin in USA Today’s power rankings, including Rickea Jackson of the Sparks, who was selected at No. 4 overall, the Chicago Sky’s Kamilla Cardoso, who was taken with the third overall pick and Aaliyah Edwards of the Washington Mystics, who was drafted at No. 6 in Round 1.

The 24-year-old Martin isn’t setting the world on fire with her stats — she’s averaging 5.2 points, 4,0 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game — but she’s making key plays at key moments for the two-time reigning world champs, including her viral block of the Sparks’ 6’7″ Li Yueru, which you can see above.

There’s no guarantee Martin’s minutes will stay the same when Gray returns, but if the rook continues to contribute, she should be a fixture for the Aces on the court for the remainder of the season.

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