The WNBA announced Tuesday morning that the 2021 draft lottery will take place on Friday, Dec. 4. The lottery will be televised during halftime of the DePaul vs. Louisville women's college basketball game, which tips off at 6:30 p.m. ET. WNBA head of league operations Bethany Donaphin will announce the results of the lottery.
Four teams are eligible for the lottery -- the New York Liberty, Atlanta Dream, Dallas Wings and Indiana Fever. All four finished with the worst records last season. The Liberty will have the highest odds of landing the No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 WNBA Draft, as the odds are based on the cumulative records from the last two seasons. New York has posted a 12-44 record over the last two seasons, and drafted No. 1 overall in the 2020 draft, in which it chose college standout Sabrina Ionescu with the pick.
Ionescu only played in three games during the 2020 season after suffering a Grade 3 ankle sprain in just the third game of her professional career. Without Ionescu, the Liberty struggled mightily last season, winning just two games. They will have the opportunity to continue to build around their star point guard if they land the top pick in the upcoming draft, which is slated to take place in April 2021.
Atlanta has the second-best odds to land the No. 1 pick, followed by Dallas and Indiana. The rest of the draft order is determined by inverse order of the remaining teams' records from the 2020 season.
The WNBA successfully completed the 2020 season inside a bubble environment in Bradenton, Florida, with zero COVID-19 cases as the Seattle Storm were crowned champions for the second time in three years. The league hasn't officially announced any plans for the 2021 season, but given that the NBA is planning on conducting its next season in each team's home market, the WNBA could look to do something similar. The WNBA season typically starts in mid-to-late May and runs through September or October, so the league may look to get back on its traditional schedule with the upcoming season.