Las Vegas Aces picked as title favorites by GMs

The Las Vegas Aces' trade to get center Liz Cambage last week definitely impressed several of the WNBA's general managers.

The Aces -- who missed the playoffs last year in their inaugural season in Las Vegas -- were picked to win the WNBA championship in the annual GM preseason survey released Wednesday.

But it wasn't overwhelming: The Aces got 33 percent of the vote. Phoenix was second at 25 percent, with Los Angeles and Washington tied for third at 17 percent. Defending champion Seattle likely would have come in as the favorite, but that all changed with the Achilles tendon injury to league MVP Breanna Stewart in April, which will cause her to miss the season.

Speaking of MVPs, Washington's Elena Delle Donne, who won that award in 2015, was picked to win it this year by the GMs. Delle Donne led the Mystics to the WNBA Finals last year, where they were swept by Seattle.

Phoenix center Brittney Griner was second in MVP balloting with 25 percent of the vote and was the top pick for defensive player of the year (33 percent). She was defensive player of the year in 2014 and '15.

New York's Asia Durr and Dallas' Arike Ogunbowale tied as top vote-getters for rookie of the year at 25 percent each. No. 1 pick Jackie Young of Las Vegas tied Phoenix's Alanna Smith for third at 17 percent.

The WNBA's 23rd season begins Friday.