WNBA Draft Lottery 2024 will be held Sunday, Dec. 10 at 4:30 p.m. ET on ESPN. In anticipation of the event, we’re analyzing what might happen if each of the four lottery teams—the Indiana Fever, Phoenix Mercury, Los Angeles Sparks and Seattle Storm—win the lottery and the No. 1 pick in a potentially-stacked 2024 WNBA Draft. First up, the Fever.
Last year, the Fever received the No. 1 pick in the WNBA Draft for the first time in franchise history, allowing the organization to bring consensus top talent Aliyah Boston to Indiana. This year, the Fever again have the best lottery odds—with 442 of 1,000 chances—of winning the prized pick.
If the basketball gods favor the Fever, who might they select to pair with Boston and, hopefully, propel Indy back to the playoffs for the first time since 2016?
Would Caitlin Clark be the pick for the Fever?
Thus far, no college star has emerged as the consensus top selection, while the ability of athletes to take an extra COVID year, combined with the appeal of NIL deals, creates further uncertainty about who will or will not put their name in the 2024 WNBA Draft.
However, if Caitlin Clark opts to leave Iowa City after four seasons, Fever general manager Lin Dunn has not-so-subtly indicated that she would be eager to have the Hawkeye superstar in Indiana. At the organization’s exit interviews in September, Dunn not only spoke about adding another 3-point shooter to the roster, she also discussed the growth of women’s college basketball, including the popularity of Clark.
.@IndianaFever GM Lin Dunn says women’s basketball has been like the best kept secret in sports. Now that the Big Ten and SEC have great TV deals, it’s bringing more fans to WBB.— Angela Moryan (@SidelineStormer) September 12, 2023
Dunn knows that if she can draft Iowa’s Caitlin Clark, it will be a huge boost - esp. in the stands pic.twitter.com/XMgFojW993
The franchise’s on-court needs and off-court priorities point to Clark being the pick if Indiana selects first. And, it’s hard to argue with this approach. Focusing on the court, Clark has the skill set that would elevate the Fever from a plucky team on the fringes of the playoff race to an offensive force with brighter postseason prospects.
How Clark can elevate and electrify the Indy offense
During Iowa’s run to last season’s national championship game, Clark’s audacious pull-up 3s may have filled the highlight reels, but her two-woman game with Monika Czinano was the skeleton key that unlocked the Hawkeyes’ offense.
That Caitlin Clark ➡️ Monika Czinano connection— espnW (@espnW) January 24, 2023
: ESPN2 pic.twitter.com/sT4cS7Hy6H
Now, let’s imagine Clark and Boston partnering in the pick and roll for the Fever, with Boston, who put up one of the most efficient scoring seasons in WNBA history during her 2023 Rookie of the Year campaign, rolling as Clark threatens as the ball handler, able to thread a pass to Boston or fire off a quick-trigger 3. If Kelsey Mitchell, who once hit 9 3-pointers in a WNBA game, is spacing on the wing, the Fever offense will have opponents on high alert.
Clark also can introduce easier, earlier offense off opponent misses or makes to Indy. Envision her slinging on-the-money hit-ahead passes to a streaking NaLyssa Smith.
Caitlin Clark reb and full court pass pic.twitter.com/CZhLiztGfC— Heavens! (@HeavensFX) February 9, 2023
And when Mitchell or Grace Berger serves as the primary ball handler in the half court, the Fever can leverage the threat of Clark’s shooting, having her occupy the attention of multiple defenders as she skitters around screens.
Iowa has Caitlin Clark UCLA cut here and Monika Czinano turns right around and sets a zipper screen for her.— Evin Gualberto (@evin_gual) March 6, 2022
Clark's gravity + this outstanding steal by Czinano gets her the bucket AND1. pic.twitter.com/EZ9I7dVwZd
Then, on top of all this, add in her high-volume pull-up 3-point shooting from well behind the arc.
Clark’s high-feel and high-level offensive attributes have the potential to turn the Fever into one of the most high-powered—and most fun—offensive outfits in the W. Of course, defense, rather than offense, was a bigger problem for the 2023 Fever. Clark will not be a solution on that end, but she also should not further exacerbate Indiana’s issues, as she has solid size and length for perimeter defender.
So, no, Clark is not the absolutely perfect No. 1 pick for the Indiana, but her tangible on-court talent, combined with her intangible off-court appeal that the organization appears to value, makes her near no-brainer fit for the Fever.