Liberty win high choose in WNBA draft for first time

7:49 PM ET


CloseMechelle Voepel covers the WNBA, girls’s faculty basketball, and different faculty sports activities for espnW. Voepel started protecting girls’s basketball in 1984, and has been with ESPN since 1996.

The New York Liberty could have the highest choose within the 2020 WNBA draft after the percentages went their manner in Tuesday evening’s lottery.

It marks the primary time in franchise historical past that the Liberty will get to choose first. New York is without doubt one of the authentic eight groups that shaped the league in 1997. The Liberty secured the No. 2 choose this yr and chosen Louisville guard Asia Durr.

“That is an thrilling time for our group and our followers,” Liberty normal manger Jonathan Kolb stated. “As soon as once more, we have now the chance to usher in among the greatest basketball expertise accessible as we proceed working to construct towards a WNBA championship.”

Lottery odds are based mostly on the cumulative information of the 2 most up-to-date WNBA common seasons. The Liberty’s cumulative file was 17-51, giving them essentially the most probabilities to land the highest choose (442 out of 1,00zero).

Oregon guard Sabrina Ionescu is anticipated to be the highest choice in subsequent April’s draft.

“It is superior to have the ability to have that choose,” Liberty coach Katie Smith stated. “We’re going to have the ability to add a very elite piece to what we have already got. It is a silver lining to a yr the place we battled and got here up brief. It is one thing we are able to look in direction of the long run and add a bit that may assist us compete for a championship.”

Dallas will choose second, Indiana third and Atlanta fourth.

The Fever had the second greatest odds of getting the No.1 choose with a 27.6% probability.

“We’re excited concerning the consequence of tonight’s draft lottery and are assured that we are going to proceed to construct a championship franchise,” stated Tamika Catchings, vp of basketball operations for Indiana. “We look ahead to including a high expertise to an already promising core group of gamers.”

Dallas had a 17.eight% probability of selecting first and Atlanta 10.four%.

“We’re open to serving to our staff in quite a lot of methods,” Dallas coach Brian Agler stated. “There’s some depth we’re taking a look at, and it will likely be even be fascinating to see who will come into the draft as an underclassmen. We’re open to serving to our staff in quite a lot of methods by deciding on a participant within the lottery or buying and selling the choose.”

The Wings have had the No. 2, three and four picks just a few instances when the franchise was in Detroit and Tulsa in addition to Dallas, however they nonetheless have by no means gained the draft lottery.

Of the 4 lottery groups, solely Atlanta has ever had the No. 1 choose; the Dream drafted high-scoring ahead Angel McCoughtry first general in 2009.

The remainder of the draft will probably be in reverse order of the standings for this season with Phoenix selecting fifth. Minnesota, Seattle and Chicago comply with the Mercury. Las Vegas traded the No. 9 choose to Dallas as a part of the Liz Cambage deal within the preseason. Los Angeles despatched its first-round choose to Connecticut as a part of the Chiney Ogwumike commerce. The Solar additionally will choose 11th, with Washington will get the ultimate collection of the primary spherical.

The Related Press contributed to this report.

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