Bristol, CT -- The Seattle Storm find themselves in a very familiar position after winning the WNBA Draft Lottery for the second year in a row. The Storm edged out the other three non-playoff teams from this season, the San Antonio Stars, the Connecticut Sun, and the Atlanta Dream, who round out the top four picks of the 2016 draft in that order.
The Storm had the best odds to walk away from Thursday Night's Lottery in the pole position for next April's draft, and they became the seventh team to do so. Many of the questions head coach Jenny Boucek answered following the lottery had to do with how expected top-pick Breanna Stewart will fit on this team.
"(Stewart is) kind of the future in terms of her versatility," Boucek said. "We're trying to put in a system that is more positionless, so she would be a good fit. Coming from a program like UConn, a quarter of our team could possibly be UConn players, and we'd like that.
"We've had good success with UConn players in the past, and if we decided to go that direction we'd be really pleased to have her."
Seattle will be looking to pair their top pick in the upcoming draft with their No. 1 pick from last year, Rookie of the Year Jewell Lloyd. Boucek says if they take Stewart, she would compliment Lloyd very well.
"They both come from winning programs, which is important to us in terms of our culture," Boucek said. "Jewell had a really steep learning curve this year, and really started to hit her stride late so we're really really excited about her development and potential."
The potential pairing of Lloyd and Stewart may remind fans of another pairing of back-to-back top draft picks. Sue Bird and Lauren Jackson, who were selected first overall in 2001 and 2002 respectively, led the Storm to two WNBA Championships and ten straight playoff appearances.
"Young players that can grow together, as we experienced in our franchise with Bird and Jackson, is a chance for something really special to take place before of all of our very eyes," Boucek said.
One of the first texts Boucek got following the lottery was from Sue Bird, and Boucek says they have talked a lot about potentially landing the top pick in the upcoming draft, and how it would escalate the rebuild.
"We are really excited about continuing to lay out the vision for what we want to do with this rebuild and reload that we are in the middle of," Boucek said. "Sue will continue to be one of the best point guards in world. She's playing at really high level, but she's also taken on a role of leadership unlike one I've ever seen.
"She is very invested in our franchise and so I'm excited for her to have this."
While being near the bottom of the standings is something no team wants to do in consecutive years, Seattle has had the right amount of luck to help quickly turn the team around.
The Storm have a bright future as they build around a young nucleus of players that include Lloyd, Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis and Ramu Tokashiki, who was named to the league's all-rookie team. Seattle will get to add yet another piece to their rebuilding puzzle in the upcoming draft.