The Washington Mystics have won the WNBA Draft Lottery for the first time in franchise history.
Washington had the third-best chance – 17.8% to get the top pick – and with the presence of star guard Natasha Claude, the Mystics beat the odds on Sunday.
“It’s a huge moment for us,” said Mystics coach and general manager Mike Thibault. “I remember looking at Sheila Johnson’s face 10 years ago and sitting there, when I was still not with the team, when the team had the best chance, and she sat very sad when they got the fourth pick. … So it’s a changer for us.”
Indiana Fever, which had a 44.2% chance of earning the top pick, would make the second draft. Atlanta will be third and Dallas fourth.
Tamika Catchings, Fever’s vice-president, said: “While we didn’t get the first pick, we have two first-round picks and with this deep draft class, I’m confident we’ll be securing a lot of talented players who will be great for our team.” Would be great additions.” President and General Manager of Basketball Operations.
Washington was the first choice in the 1999 draft, but there was no lottery then. Chamik Holdsclaw was the Mystique’s choice.
“We are studying eight to 10 players very carefully and I don’t know who we will pick,” Thibault said. “We’re open to anything right now. I think the biggest thing is that you get to pick the best player.”
Baylor’s NaLyssa Smith could go No. 1. Minutes after its fifth-ranked team lost to Michigan, Smith said she would be thrilled to move to Washington.
“That would be great. I have family in DC too,” she said. “That’s where my dad is from. It just looks great.”
The Mystics already have a full roster that suffered one of the worst injuries in Thibault’s career. Former MVP Elena Dele Donne missed most of the season while recovering from back surgery. There were games when Thibault had barely enough healthy players to field a team.
New York will take fifth place, followed by Dallas, Chicago, Minnesota, Seattle, Indiana, Las Vegas and Connecticut. The Lynx acquired the likes of Phoenix through New York and Seattle. The Fever received Minnesota’s No. 10 pick.
Lottery odds are based on cumulative records for the two most recent regular seasons (2020 and 2021). With a cumulative record of 12–42, Fever had his best shot at No. 1.
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