Joe Tsai got lucky. That’s a good thing for an owner.
The New York Liberty won the WNBA’s draft lottery, earning the top pick in next April’s 2020 WNBA Draft, the league announced following a random drawing on Tuesday during the WNBA playoffs. The Wings got the second pick, while the Fever and Dream received the third and fourth spots.
Tsai’s team had the best shot at the top pick, with 44.2 percent chance. The WNBA Draft assigns Lottery positions on the worst won-lost record over the previous two years. The Liberty finished 10-24 this season after a 7-27 record in 2018, second worst and worst records those years.
“Well this is huge,” Liberty GM Jonathan Kolb, Tsai’s first hire, said on ESPN. “It’s a really good night to be a Liberty fan. And I feel like this really solidifies our path.”
That path may lead them to Oregon point guard Sabrina Ionescu, who unlike the Liberty point guards this season, is stingy with turnovers. The 5’11” Ionescu is the NCAA all-time leader in career triple-doubles and is projected as the overall No. 1 pick. Last season, Ionescu averaged a career-high 19.9 points, 8.2 assists and 7.4 rebounds per game.
Indeed, for most of the year, the Liberty had a healthy lead in points lost to turnovers.
For her part, Ionescu tweeted that she still has another season at Oregon, which is her top priority.
We still have some Unfinished Business‼️ https://t.co/dsDWEhj4Jg— Sabrina Ionescu (@sabrina_i20) September 18, 2019
- New York Liberty win 2020 WNBA Draft Lottery - Howard Megdal - High Post Hoops
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- Liberty win top pick in WNBA draft for first time - Michelle Voepel - ESPN