Loyd received 11 of the 12 possible votes, Storm forward Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis received the one remaining vote.
WNBA general managers released Thursday their annual predictions for league awards and champions. Storm guard Jewell Loyd was the overwhelming favorite to win the Rookie of the Year award.
Loyd was the No. 1 overall draft pick to Seattle in April. She received 11 of the 12 possible votes, Storm forward Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, who was picked third overall, received the one remaining vote. The latter was the projected No. 1 overall pick prior to Loyd using a league exemption to enter the draft a year early.
Loyd shared the top spot for the newly acquired player who will make the biggest impact in 2015, tying Chicago All-Star Cappie Pondexter (33.3 percent each). The latter was traded by New York to her hometown team.
Seattle point guard Sue Bird continued her reign as “best leader,” chosen as such in six of the past seven seasons. She missed the 2013 WNBA season due to a knee injury.
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The eight-time All-Star dominated the vote for “active player who’d make the best head coach someday” and player with the “best IQ.”
Bird, who’s entering her 13th active season, tied with Minnesota floor leader Lindsay Whalen in the category of best WNBA passers (42 percent each). And Bird tied with Chicago All-Star Elena Delle Donne in voting for the league’s best clutch shooter (25 percent each).
In miscellaneous categories, Loyd received a nod from the GMs as a player they’d pick first to start a franchise. Storm forward Abby Bishop, an Australian Olympian, received votes as an international player due for a breakout season while KeyArena is still considered among the tougher arenas to play in, but the Lynx’s Target Center won the GM vote by 42 percent.
Spokane’s Briann January (Indiana) topped the GM vote for best on-ball defender.
Minnesota was picked to win the WNBA title, which would be the franchise’s third in its past five seasons. Atlanta was picked to win the Eastern Conference. And Seattle was voted the team that made the best offseason moves with 33 percent of the vote.