Kate Martin of the Las Vegas Aces

YouTube | Las Vegas Aces
With the first month of the WNBA season here and gone, ESPN shared their ranking of the top 9 rookies. For anyone following along with the WNBA since the Draft, you just might smile when you see who ranked No. 3.

Kate Martin, who was surprised to be drafted, has ranked higher than her friend and former college teammate, Caitlin Clark, who she went to the Draft to support.

ESPN Ranked The Top WNBA Rookies After First Month Of The Season

Kate Martin of the Las Vegas Aces

YouTube | Las Vegas Aces
Now that the first month of the WNBA season is done, ESPN has released its ranking of the top 9 rookies, and you might be surprised where some of the most talked about rookies fall on the list.

While many might expect Caitlin Clark of the Indiana Fever to be at the top of the list, that’s not the case. The ranking is as follows:

      1. Cameron Brink, Los Angeles Sparks


      2. Angel Reese, Chicago Sky


      3. Kate Martin, Las Vegas Aces


      4. Rickea Jackson, Los Angeles Sparks


      5. Julie Vanloo, Washington Mystics


      6. Caitlin Clark, Indiana Fever


      7. Aaliyah Edwards, Washington Mystics


      8. Sevgi Uzun, Dallas Wings


              9. Leonie Fiebich, New York Liberty

According to Sports Illustrated, ESPN WNBA writer Neil Paine said that various statistics and metrics are used to create the list. The primary three metrics used were: Win Shares, Estimated Wins Added, and Player Efficiency Rating.

“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),” Paine explained.

“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.”

Kate Martin Is A Real-Life Cinderella Story!

Kate Martin of the Las Vegas Aces

YouTube | Las Vegas Aces
Martin, Aces rookie, wasn’t even sure she would be drafted. In fact, she said that she wasn’t invited to the draft and went to support her former teammate and friend, Clark. She was even seated in the audience when her name was called.

“After the first round, the lady who worked for the event came up to me and was like, ‘You need to move seats right now,'” Martin said in “Unbreakable, Aces All-Access Episode 4 shared on YouTube.

Martin was selected with the No. 18 overall pick in the 2024 Draft, and has impressed the organization and fans.

“Leading up to Draft night, I was just looking at the mock drafts online and just seeing if my name was in the conversation at all. I didn’t have an agent at the time, so I was kind of in the dark,” she said. “I was just talking to my coaches at Iowa and asking, have you heard anything, what’s going on?”

In mock drafts, Martin was in the third round so she wasn’t expecting what happened when she heard her name as one of the Aces picks.

Since being drafted to the Aces, videos on social media share the story of the team embracing her and helping her adjust to being a WNBA star. Coach Becky Hammon said she thinks Martin is “a pro right now.”

Las Vegas Aces Have Welcomed Kate Martin To The Team With Open Arms

Martin appears to be fitting in perfectly with the Aces organization based on social media posts. With videos being shared online showing Martin dancing and laughing with her teammates and coaches, it appears that she has quickly become an important part of the team.

Martin recently celebrated her birthday and the Aces shared a video of how star player A’ja Wilson and the rest of the team surprised her. Fans took note of how heartwarming the experience was.

“Every rookie is fighting for their lives meanwhile Kate Martin,” one fan wrote in the comments of the video on Instagram. Another fan shared, “Kate was the steal of the draft AND she hit the jackpot on teams. Love seeing so much support among the team!”

And that vibe seemed to take up the entire comment section.

“It’s amazing to see the Franchise player and best in the league to be so thoughtful to show love to the rook. This team chemistry is special,” one person wrote.

Another pointed out, “I can’t express enough how the Aces franchise just reminds you of a family reunion every time we see them. Kate Martin literally looks like she’s been there 3yrs already. You gotta love the atmosphere there.”

NBA Commissioner Shared His Thoughts On Caitlin Clark’s First Month In The WNBA

Caitlin Clark

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver shared his thoughts on the first few weeks of Clark’s WNBA career. He feels that headlines involving Clark are “generating tremendous additional interest” for the WNBA.

When asked to weigh in on the recent situation between Clark and Chicago Sky player Chennedy Carter, in which a flagrant foul from Carter had people talking for days, Silver said “It’s nothing new in basketball.”

“Other than as a fan, obviously, it’s nothing new in basketball that there’s sort of ‘welcome to the league’ moments, especially for heralded rookies, but, of course, I want to see Caitlin treated fairly and appropriately in the league,” Silver told reporters before the first game of the NBA Finals on Thursday.

Silver also called Clark a “tough player” and said “she can take care of herself” on the court.

“I think it may be lost on some people that are new to basketball, in terms of a little bit of controversy in the WNBA, what an incredible talent she is: two Final Fours, leading scorer in the history of basketball,” he said. “I look forward to watching her ongoing development in the league.”

Caitlin Clark Isn’t Focused On The Drama

Caitlin Clark

TikTok | Caitlin Clark
While there’s been some drama during Clark’s first month in the league, she’s not focusing on that. Her focus is on the game.

When asked about the recent controversy, Clark told reporters her thoughts.

“I’m not on social media, so I don’t see a lot of it, but you would be surprised like I still have my TV on in my house and I’m watching sports like you’re still aware of it and you still see it,” she said.

“But other than that, my focus is basketball. It sometimes stinks how much the conversation is outside of basketball and not the product on the floor and the amazing players that are on the floor and how good they are for their teams and how great this season has been for women’s basketball.”