After winning their third straight WNBA Draft lottery, the Las Vegas Aces will hold the No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 draft.
Heading into the lottery, the Aces held a 27.6 percent chance of nabbing the top overall selection in the draft next summer after posting a combined record of 22-46 the last two seasons. They leapfrogged the Indiana Fever and now will have the chance to select the next great WNBA star.
The last two summers, Las Vegas has chosen Kelsey Plum and A’ja Wilson to buoy a squad that had to leave San Antonio just last summer and now this year made a push for the playoffs. In addition, the Aces’ forfeiture in an August contest against the Washington Mystics ultimately pushed them out of the playoffs and into the lottery. Las Vegas will now have the opportunity to add another young star to their core.
In addition, the New York Liberty surpassed the Fever and will pick second in 2019.
According to a Fever press release, general manager and head coach Pokey Chatman said after her team fell to No. 3, “Obviously it’s not what we wanted, but it’s a good draft class and we know that each player that sits atop that board will definitely fill a need that we have.”
The Fever finished the year 6-28 after selecting Kelsey Mitchell of Ohio State at No. 3.
To round out the top four, the Chicago Sky will have the final pick in the lottery portion of the 2019 draft. Chicago was beset by injury and inexperience in 2018, but will have a great shot at the playoffs next season.
“The fourth pick in a deep draft holds meaningful value,” said Sky coach and general manager Amber Stocks, according to a press release. “This proved true with our 2018 No. 4 pick and we will work hard to add quality talent to our young roster.”
Chicago selected the University of Connecticut’s Gabby Williams at No. 4 last summer.
The WNBA Draft provides every team the opportunity to add meaningful depth, and with several perennial contenders looking at changes in 2019, next summer’s draft could help change the competitive balance of the whole league.