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2021 WNBA Draft Lottery: New York Liberty get No. 1 pick

The New York Liberty have the No. 1 pick in the WNBA Draft for the second year in a row. In the 2020 draft, the Liberty drafted Sabrina Ionescu out of the University of Oregon.

Dallas Wings v New York Liberty
Walt Hopkins and the New York Liberty saw their fortunes improve by securing the No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 WNBA Draft.
Photo by Stephen Gosling/NBAE via Getty Images

The WNBA Draft Lottery was held on Friday and the New York Liberty won for the No. 1 overall selection for the second year in a row. The will pick first in the 2021 WNBA Draft, in April.

In the 2020 WNBA Draft, the Liberty selected Sabrina Ionescu of the Oregon Ducks after she became the first Division I player (men’s or women’s) to reach 2,000 points, 1,000 rebounds and 1,000 assists in college. Ionescu injured her ankle in her third WNBA game and missed the rest of the 2020 season. With her returning next season and the Liberty picking another incredibly talented player at No. 1, the future could be bright for Brooklyn.

The Dallas Wings will pick second in the 2021 draft followed by Atlanta Dream and Indiana Fever, who will be picking third and fourth, respectively.

New York entered the lottery with a 44.2-percent chance of getting the top pick. Dallas leapfrogged Atlanta in spite of having a lesser chance of securing the No. 2 pick.

About the lottery

What are the odds of any specific team winning the draft lottery?

The teams’ records over the past two seasons were taken into account and the team with the worst record over that span, the Liberty, had the highest chance (44.2 percent) of getting the No. 1 pick.

The Dream had a 27.6 percent chance to get the No. 1 pick, while the chances for the Wings and Fever stood at 17.8 percent and 10.4 percent, respectively, entering Friday.

How does the draft lottery work?

14 balls were placed in the lottery machine, numbered one through 14.

Four balls were drawn and the combination that was formed matched a combination that was given to the Liberty. The process was repeated and the Wings got the second pick.

The third pick was based solely on which of the remaining teams had the worst record over the past two seasons, which was the Dream.