The 2022 WNBA regular season came to a close on Sunday, and after the Las Vegas Aces secured the No. 1 seed and the New York Liberty and Phoenix Mercury grabbed the final two postseason berths,. All the action will tip off on Wednesday night, as the race for the 2022 title begins.
Looking further ahead, the conclusion of the regular season means the odds for the 2023 WNBA Draft Lottery are locked in. As a reminder, the WNBA's lottery odds are calculated using the combined records of the previous two seasons. Another important note is that when the Washington Mystics traded the No. 1 pick in the 2022 draft to the Atlanta Dream, they acquired swap rights to the Los Angeles Sparks' 2023 first-round pick in the deal, and will assuredly be activating that option.
Here's a look at which teams are headed for the lottery and their chances of winning the No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 WNBA Draft.
|Team||Combined 2021 and 2022 record||Odds of winning No. 1 pick|
Washington Mystics (via Los Angeles Sparks)
The Fever have been a disaster for over half a decade now, and they closed this season on an 18-game losing streak that was the longest in franchise history and second-longest in WNBA history. They lost 23 games by double digits (only one other team in the league lost 23 games total) and finished in last place for the second consecutive season at 5-31. As they prepare for a sixth consecutive lottery appearance, they will be hoping to get the No. 1 pick for the first time in franchise history.
After a disastrous 2021 both on and off the court, the Dream did a hard reboot in the winter and were the surprise team over the first few months. But between injuries, youth and a general lack of talent, they collapsed down the stretch and missed out on the playoffs by one game. That was probably for the best long term, though, as they'll head back to the lottery and have a good chance at the No. 1 pick. Regardless, they'll add another talented young player to the mix.
Last year, the Mystics won the lottery in their first appearance since 2016. They didn't actually make that No. 1 pick, though, trading it to the Dream for a blockbuster package that included swap rights for the Sparks' 2023 first-round pick. That aspect of the deal paid off, and they will surely pick those rights up to head back to the lottery on the Sparks' dime. Can they win it again? There has been some history of teams going back-to-back; the Aces franchise did it three times in a row from 2017-19, while the Storm did it in 2015-16.
As for the Lynx, their late-season surge fell short and despite retiring legend Sylvia Fowles' best efforts they are in the lottery for the first time since 2010. That year, they won the No. 1 overall pick and selected Maya Moore, who helped the franchise win four titles and will go down as one of the game's all-time greats. Doing so again will take some real luck, as they have the worst odds of the bunch at just 10.4 percent.
The projected No. 1 overall pick is South Carolina center Aliyah Boston, who was named Naismith College Player of the Year, Naismith Defensive Player of the Year and NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player last season as she led the Gamecocks to the second national championship in school history.