Indiana Fever wins first pick in 2023 WNBA Draft for the first time
Indiana Pfeiffer’s interim general manager, Lyn Dunn, said Friday that she will be watching the WNBA 2023 Draft Lottery later that night with bunny feet, crossed toes, and “a few other spells I can’t mention in public.”
Whatever Dunn did to get lucky on his side: For the first time in franchise history, Fever earned the top spot in the upcoming 2023 WNBA Draft, as announced in the lottery Tuesday. The match between No. 1 South Carolina and No. 17 Maryland.
Current National Player of the Year, High Boston From South Carolina, it is the supposed #1 overall pick, which many consider a number that could change the franchise.
The Fever had the best chance of any team (44.2%) of getting first pick. Lottery odds are based on the cumulative record of teams over the past two regular seasons.
The Minnesota Links, a four-time WNBA champion who missed the 2022 playoffs for the first time since 2010, finished second despite only having a 14.5% chance.
“We are excited to receive the second overall pick in the 2023 WNBA Draft,” said Lynx head coach and head of basketball operations Cheryl Reeve. “This choice will certainly be an important part of our future as we shape the next era of basketball at Lynx.”
The Atlanta Dream will pick third place in the overall standings, followed by the Washington Mystics in fourth. The rest of the first round will be Chicago Sky, New York Liberty, Indiana, Atlanta, Seattle Storm, Connecticut Sun, Dallas and Minnesota.
The Mystics made it to the post-season, but through trade they earned the right to trade their first-round pick for the 2023 Los Angeles Sparks that they had acquired from Dream in an earlier deal.
“We beat the odds in the lottery, and unfortunately we didn’t this year,” said Washington coach and general manager Mike Thibault. “However, as a result of the trade, we are four points ahead in the draft. We will be getting a great fourth-choice player and I’m looking forward to continuing to improve our roster this off-season.”
Indiana franchise fan, Kelsey Mitchell – Previously #2 Pick – Was live at ESPN Studios in Bristol, Connecticut, to showcase the draft sweepstakes representing Fever.
Earlier today, the franchise introduced its new head coach, Kristi Sides, ushering in a new era for the storied organization after a long period of underperformance. The Fever made the postseason every season from 2005 to 2016, and took the WNBA title in 2012, but failed to make the playoffs since legend Tamika Catchings retired.
“This is a very robust draft,” Dunn said in a statement. “We will pick a great player in first place.”
The Fever has five players drafted last year who are still on their roster, including the #2 pick overall, Nalissa Smiths Destiny HendersonHeadquartered in Boston, South Carolina. The duo led the Gamecocks to the 2022 National Championship.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.