2020 WNBA Draft: Liberty Get 1st Pick; Full Order Revealed After Lottery

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistSeptember 17, 2019

Oregon guard Sabrina Ionescu gestures toward the bench during the second half of the team's regional semifinal against South Dakota State in the NCAA women's college basketball tournament Friday, March 29, 2019, in Portland, Ore. Oregon won 63-53. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)
Craig Mitchelldyer/Associated Press

The New York Liberty are on the clock after winning the 2020 WNBA draft lottery Tuesday.  

The Dallas Wings, Indiana Fever and Atlanta Dream round out the lottery slots. The Liberty had the best odds (44.2 percent) of landing the No. 1 overall pick as their two-year record of 17-51 was the lowest of the four squads.

         

2020 WNBA Draft Order—First Round

1. New York Liberty

2. Dallas Wings

3. Indiana Fever

4. Atlanta Dream

5. Phoenix Mercury

6. Minnesota Lynx

7. Seattle Storm

8. Chicago Sky

9. Dallas Wings

10. Connecticut Sun

11. Connecticut Sun

12. Washington Mystics

          

Sabrina Ionescu is widely considered one of the best players in the 2020 draft class. She almost certainly would've been the No. 1 pick in 2019 if she hadn't returned to Oregon for her senior season.

Ionescu averaged 19.9 points, 8.2 assists and 7.4 rebounds in 2018-19 as the Ducks reached their first-ever Final Four. She has already set the NCAA record for triple-doubles, notching 18 and counting.

Pairing Ionescu with Asia Durr, who averaged 9.7 points during her rookie year, would give the Liberty a dynamic scoring tandem for the future.

New York could also target Baylor forward Lauren Cox, especially if the team is prepared to move on from Tina Charles, who was designated as a core player. Cox averaged 12.7 points, 8.2 rebounds and 2.5 blocks as a junior.

Beatrice Mompremier, Cox's one-time teammate, excelled in her first season at Miami. The Hurricanes forward averaged 16.7 points and 12.2 rebounds, making her an obvious target for New York, too.

The Liberty are still at least another year from challenging the WNBA's elite, so it would make sense to either trade Charles or let her leave as a free agent if they want to pivot to a younger frontcourt.

Ionescu landing in the Big Apple would be a big boost for the league as a whole. She has already built a national profile in Oregon, making her a natural fit in one of the country's biggest media markets.

Along with Rookie of the Year Napheesa Collier, Arike Ogunbowale, A'ja Wilson, Diamond DeShields and Breanna Stewart, Ionescu is the kind of marketable star who can represent the next generation for the WNBA.

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