Mark Cuban, resident billionaire NBA troll, made headlines and waves recently with his assertion that he would consider drafting Baylor’s Brittney Griner if she was “the best on the board.” The comments were almost universally panned, including by women’s basketball coaches like Geno Auriemma, who said: “The fact that a woman could actually play right now in the NBA and compete successfully against the level of play that they have is absolutely ludicrous.”
And yeah, that’s probably true. It’s not a skill or intelligence issue as much as a strength and size problem, and countless WNBA players, coaches and fans will tell you as much. The physicality of the men’s game would eliminate almost any advantage that a female player could bring to an NBA court.
It’s not an impossible concept, however. And some talents in today’s women’s game are too much to ignore — they beg the question, could these players hack it in the NBA? And if so, how would they do? If the strength disparity wasn’t so wide, a good number of current and soon-to-be WNBA players could potentially make the jump. Here are the five women with the best shot of making it into the league.