2020 WNBA Draft order: Four things to know with New York Liberty on the clock with No. 1 pick

Coronavirus has ground the sports world mostly to a halt, but there are still some events taking place off of the court. One of the biggest is the upcoming WNBA Draft. While the start of the season itself is in doubt and the college players that will be selected weren’t able to finish their own campaigns, the league’s 12 teams will have the chance to build their rosters for whenever basketball does wind up resuming. 

On the clock at No. 1 is the league’s biggest-market team. The New York Liberty have fallen on hard times in recent years. The WNBA uses cumulative record over the past two seasons for its lottery, and at 17-51, no team had better odds. The lottery balls granted New York the No. 1 pick and the chance to select Oregon superstar Sabrina Ionescu, but there is still plenty of talent to go around in this draft class. 

Below is the 2020 WNBA Draft order. The top four selections are determined by lottery, while the next eight and the second- and third-round orders thereafter are based on record. 

1. New York Liberty
2. Dallas Wings
3. Indiana Fever
4. Atlanta Dream
5. Dallas Wings*
6. Minnesota Lynx
7. Dallas Wings*
8. Chicago Sky
9. Dallas Wings*
10. Phoenix Mercury*
11. Seattle Storm*
12. Washington Mystics

*acquired via trade

Here are a few important things to know with the draft coming up. 

1. How to watch the WNBA Draft

The WNBA Draft will go on as scheduled despite the outbreak of COVID-19, but with some slight alterations. The event will not operate as a typical draft does, with a crowd and selections waiting for their names to be called from a green room. Instead, the draft will be held remotely and it will be available for viewing. ESPN announced Thursday that it would air the draft on its primary network rather than ESPN2. Here’s how you can tune in: 

  • When: Friday, April 17, 8:00 p.m. ET
  • Location: Draft will be held remotely and virtually 
  • TV: ESPN | Stream: WatchESPN
  • 2. Liberty pick first, but Dallas controls first round

    The draft’s top prize is likely headed to the Big Apple, but its greatest overall haul is likely headed to the Lone Star State. Your eyes don’t deceive you, the Dallas Wings have managed to collect a grand total of four first-round picks through a series of trades. That includes their own pick, which falls at No. 2 overall. The rest of their draft capital gives them almost complete control over the rest of the board. They could theoretically trade for almost any selection that they want. That’s significant, because as much as this draft will revolve around one big name, there’s still plenty of talent to go around. 

    3. This is more than a one-player Draft

    Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years, you’ve heard the name Sabrina Ionescu. The star Oregon point guard averaged 18 points, 7.7 assists and 7.3 rebounds per game in college and is one of the best all-around prospects to ever enter the WNBA. That doesn’t make her the only top prospect in this class, though. 

    Ionescu’s college teammates Satou Sabally and Ruthy Hebard, Baylor forward Lauren Cox and UConn forward Megan Cox all figure to be top picks. That treasure trove of picks Dallas is holding onto could give the Wings unparalleled young depth in the coming years. 

    4. First time Liberty have ever picked No. 1

    The Liberty aren’t used to the bottom of the standings. Forget about picking No. 1 overall, prior to 2019, the Liberty had never even picked in the top three outside of dispersal drafts. That puts them in uncharted territory with this selection. While plenty of stars have called New York home, the Liberty will now have a chance to cultivate a legendary career from the start. Putting a talent as transcendent as Ionescu in New York should be a major boost for the quickly growing league. 

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