Mystics drop to fourth in WNBA draft lottery; Fever draws top pick



The Washington Mystics sent Natasha Cloud to New York with hopes of a magical repeat Friday night for the WNBA draft lottery. Last season’s league assist leader may have had her best delivery last December when she represented the team at the draft lottery, where the Mystics won the No. 1 overall pick.

She wasn’t quite as lucky this time around.

The Mystics had the third-best odds at earning the No. 1 pick but fell to No. 4. The Indiana Fever got the No. 1 pick, followed by the Minnesota Lynx and the Atlanta Dream.

The business of Dawn Staley is booming — to her players’ benefit

The Fever (5-31) had a 44.2 percent chance to get the top overall pick, the Dream (14-22) sat at 27.6 percent and the Lynx (14-22) were at 10.4 percent. The Mystics (22-14), who acquired the Los Angeles Sparks’ top pick in a trade with Atlanta, had a 17.8 percent chance.

“Obviously, we’d have loved to win the lottery, but we knew the odds were stacked with it,” Coach and General Manager Mike Thibault said. “The fact of the matter is that our trade moved us up to the fourth spot, and we’re in good shape.”

The expected No. 1 pick is South Carolina center Aliyah Boston, the reigning national player of the year, defensive player of the year and Final Four most outstanding player. The 6-foot-5 senior averaged 16.8 points, 12.5 rebounds and 2.4 blocks last season for the Gamecocks while shooting 54.2 percent.

“I don’t think there’s a consensus beyond one player this year — who should be two, three, four or five,” Thibault said. “I don’t think there’s a consensus, but I think if you get a pick in the first round, you’re going to get a player that could play in our league.”

The trade with Atlanta led to the Mystics taking Shakira Austin with the No. 3 pick last year. Austin, a former All-Met at Riverdale Baptist, started 32 games and was named to the all-rookie team after averaging 8.7 points and 6.5 rebounds while shooting 54.7 percent.

The ability to infuse upper-echelon young talent onto a veteran roster has been a hallmark of Thibault’s Mystics, allowing the team extend its title window after going to back-to-back Finals in 2018 and 2019, winning it all on the second trip.

The WNBA draft is April 10.


Source link

Leave a Comment