Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the 2020 WNBA season has been postponed indefinitely. But despite the fact that no one is sure when the next game will be played, the 2020 WNBA Draft is going on as scheduled. And with the sports world on pause, it gets to take center stage in a unique way.
Early on Friday evening, there will still be a live draft broadcast, and commissioner Cathy Engelbert will read the picks on air. Players, family members, friends and media will not be in attendance however, and top draft picks will join the proceedings remotely. It remains to be seen how well that will all work in real time, but it's sure to be a memorable evening.
The New York Liberty have the No. 1 pick for the first time in franchise history, and it would be a shock if they take anyone but Oregon guard Sabrina Ionescu. Satou Sabally, who played with Ionescu at Oregon, is also expected to be a lottery pick, along with Baylor forward Lauren Cox and Texas A&M guard Chennedy Carter.
Here's everything you need to know about Friday night:
2020 WNBA Draft
- When: Friday, April 17, 7 p.m. ET
- TV: ESPN | Live Stream: ESPN app
1. New York Liberty
2. Dallas Wings
3. Indiana Fever
4. Atlanta Dream
5. Dallas Wings*
6. Minnesota Lynx
7. Dallas Wings*
8. Chicago Sky
9. New York Liberty*
10. Phoenix Mercury*
11. Seattle Storm*
12. New York Liberty*
*acquired via trade
Ionescu the clear choice at No. 1
Some years when the draft rolls around, it's not clear who's going to go No. 1, and everything hinges on the decision that team ends up making. That is definitely not the case this time. Sabrina Ionescu is going to be the first pick, and in fact she would have been last year too if she was in it. Shooting, playmaking, leadership, she has it all. At Oregon, she became the NCAA's all-time leader in triple-doubles, and the only player ever to record 2,000 career points, 1,000 rebounds and 1,000 assists.
Liberty and Wings control the board
The Liberty obviously have a big influence on the draft as they control the No. 1 pick for the first time in franchise history. But after theyinvolving the Washington Mystics and Dallas Wings on Wednesday, they now have three first-round picks. Speaking of the Wings, they actually had four first-round picks until their involvement in the Charles trade, and are now down to three. So if you're keeping track, that means the Liberty and Wings will make half of the first-round picks on Friday night.
League sends players draft kit
During a normal draft, players in attendance would be called up on stage and get a jersey of the team that picked them. From there they would have interviews and photo shoots and enjoy a night of celebration. Unfortunately, this year's class won't get that experience. While nothing can replicate that experience, the league tried their best to make sure players are prepared. As some of the top prospects showed on social media, they were sent a big draft kit that includes hats for every team. That way, no matter which team picks them, they'll be prepared.