What: 2011 WNBA Draft
When: Monday, April 11 at 3 pm EST.
How to watch: ESPN2 will provide coverage and analysis of the first round beginning at 3 p.m. ET, in addition to ESPN3.com offering a simulcast. ESPNU and NBA TV will broadcast the second and third rounds.
Where: ESPN headquarters in Bristol, Connecticut.
Why that location is cool: UConn's Maya Moore, the consensus number one pick, won't have to travel far to bask in the glow of draft day. But also, this marks the first time that a professional sports league will conduct its draft at ESPN headquarters after being held in luxurious Secaucus, New Jersey for the past two years.
Who's are the top prospects?:
Teams to watch:
- Minnesota Lynx: In addition to holding the rights to the first and fourth picks of the draft, the Lynx hold the first two selections of the second round. This draft is deep enough that those picks could actually produce productive WNBA players. The Lynx figure to finish draft day with the deepest 11-player roster in the league entering training camp and will be in position to package either picks on draft day or players afterward to become more talented.
Tulsa Shock: The Shock have two top seven picks and after trading out of the first round last year, they have an opportunity to be a major player in the first round this year. While Minnesota appears unlikely to trade their #1 pick, the issue is what Tulsa decides to do at #2: 6-foot-8 Australian center Liz Cambage is, right now, the consensus #2 pick behind Moore (and, hypothetically, you have to wonder whether there would be more debate about her being the #1 pick if she had more exposure in the U.S.). However, she hasn't decided a) whether she'll enter the draft or b) if she will come to the U.S. this year if drafted.
There have also been rumors this off-season that she has some reservations about coming to Tulsa and, if so, the Shock are faced with a conundrum: take her anyway and hope she comes to play, trade the pick to the highest bidder, or stay at #2 and just pick someone else. In any event, the decision could impact the course of the rest of the draft, including what they do with that #7 pick.
- Chicago Sky: Not just because they currently have the #3 pick - like the Lynx, the Sky have the #15 and #17 selections overall in the second round. Those picks could well have value this season and put the Sky in very good position to help facilitate a trade.
The 2011 WNBA Draft Order (from the WNBA release):
1) Minnesota (13-21)
2) Tulsa (6-28)
3) Chicago (14-20)
4) Minnesota from Connecticut (17-17) (Kelsey Griffin, 4/8/10)
5) Los Angeles (13-21)
6) San Antonio (14-20)
7) Tulsa from Phoenix (15-19) (Kara Braxton/Nicole Ohlde 7/23/10)
8) Atlanta (19-15)
9) Indiana (21-13)
10) New York (22-12)
11) Washington (22-12)
12) Seattle (28-6)
13) Minnesota from Tulsa (6-28) (Amber Holt, Chante Black 4/7/10) via Connecticut (Kelsey Griffin, 4/8/10)
14) Minnesota (13-21)
15) Chicago (14-20)
16) Connecticut (17-17)
17) Chicago from Los Angeles (13-21) (Kristi Toliver, 5/13/10)
18) Atlanta from San Antonio (14-20) (Michelle Snow/Dalma Ivanyi, 3/11/10)
19) Phoenix (15-19)
20) San Antonio from Atlanta (19-15) (Michelle Snow/Dalma Ivanyi, 3/11/10)
21) Tulsa from Indiana (21-13) (Shavonte Zellous, 5/27/10)
22) New York (22-12)
23) Washington (22-12)
24) Seattle (28-6)
25) Tulsa (6-28)
26) Minnesota (13-21)
27) Chicago (14-20)
28) Connecticut (17-17)
29) Los Angeles (13-21)
30) San Antonio (14-20)
31) Phoenix (15-19)
32) Atlanta (19-15)
33) Indiana (21-13)
34) New York (22-12)
35) Washington (22-12)
36) Seattle (28-6)