The New York Liberty were the big winners of the WNBA Draft Lottery presented by State Farm for the second consecutive year. The franchise drafted Sabrina Ionescu out of Oregon No. 1 overall in the 2020 WNBA Draft and will look to add another foundational piece with the top pick this upcoming April.
Congratulations to the @NYLiberty on securing the No. 1 pick in the 2021 #WNBADraft! pic.twitter.com/r4vY4ogqzv
— WNBA (@WNBA) December 5, 2020
“We draft for fit when it comes to character. We’re looking for like-minded individuals that are going to come in and have that insatiable taste for winning,” Liberty GM Jonathan Kolb said when asked about who the franchise is looking to draft as the next top pick. “When you bring the basketball talent into it, I think probably geared more towards the post.”
“The fans that have been ride or die with this team since 97’ deserve this.” -Liberty GM, Jonathan Kolb
For more info on tonight’s draft lottery or 2021 season tickets, visit https://t.co/0wk4D1OluJ. pic.twitter.com/EfwWv742W4
— New York Liberty (@nyliberty) December 5, 2020
The Dallas Wings received the No. 2 pick, followed by the Atlanta Dream and the Indiana Fever securing No. 3 and 4, respectively. The four franchises were all in the lottery in 2020 as well. Last year, the Wings took Satou Sabally at No. 2, while the Fever took Lauren Cox third overall and the Dream chose Chennedy Carter at No. 4.
The last team to have back-to-back No. 1 picks was the Las Vegas Aces/San Antonio Stars when they actually had three in a row with in 2017 (Kelsey Plum), in 2018 (A’ja Wilson) and 2019 (Jackie Young). The Aces, Lynx, Mercury and Storm all have three total No. 1 picks in the Draft Lottery’s 20-year history; the Liberty join the Sparks as the only franchises to own two.
New York had the highest possibility for a No. 1 pick in the 2021 Draft Lottery with 44.2% (12-44 record over the past two seasons).
Ionescu, who was injured in just her third game with New York this past summer, underwent successful ankle surgery in early November.
The WNBA will have its 25th season in 2021.