December 2, 2021 

WNBA announces 2022 draft lottery for Dec. 19

The 30-minute lottery is sandwiched between a day of epic college basketball

Missing the WNBA? Look no further! On Sunday, Dec. 19, at 3 p.m. ET ESPN will air the 2022 WNBA Draft Lottery.

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The 30-minute lottery is sandwiched directly between a day of great women’s basketball. Baylor vs. Michigan will air before the draft, and Louisville vs. Connecticut will occur directly afterward.

As per league rules, all teams who missed the playoffs automatically enter the lottery with varying odds of being drawn depending on their record from the previous two seasons. 

The Indiana Fever, Atlanta Dream, Washington Mystics and Dallas Wings will all be part of this year’s lottery. Note that the Wings made the playoffs as the seventh seed, but due to an early 2021 trade with the Los Angeles Sparks, will retain a spot in the lottery.

Indiana, who finished the 2021 season 6-26, has 442 chances out of 1,000; Atlanta, who finished in September with just two more wins than Indiana, has 276. Washington and Dallas have 178 and 104 chances, respectively.

According to a WNBA press release from Dec. 2, “​​In the drawing, 14 balls numbered 1-14 will be placed in a lottery machine and mixed. Four balls will be drawn to determine a four-digit combination. The team assigned that four-ball combination will receive the No. 1 pick.”

To determine the second pick, they place the balls back in the machine and repeat the process. Then the team with the lowest two-year record of the remaining teams is granted the third pick, and the last team selects fourth.

The remaining order is determined based on playoff seeding. From low to high, the order will go New York Liberty, Dallas again, Chicago Sky, Minnesota Lynx (via three consecutive trades between the Phoenix Mercury, New York and Seattle Storm), Storm, Indiana again (via Minnesota), Las Vegas Aces and finally the Connecticut Sun.

This lottery will prove varying levels of importance for the teams participating. A high draft pick could be a game-changer for Indiana, who has seen scarce success over the past two years. Atlanta, who is set for a complete rebuild, is also in need of productive young talent, especially since their 2019 pick, Chennedy Carter, remains in roster limbo.

Although Indiana and Atlanta may be in the direst need, a fruitful 2022 draft pick is vital for all teams.

After the Dec. 19 Draft Lottery, WNBA free agency will open up on Jan. 1. This free-agency season is bound to glean serious movement with various MVPs and league leaders up for free agency. The 2022 WNBA Draft is set to take place in April 2022.

Written by Gabriella Lewis

Gabriella is The Next's Atlanta Dream and SEC beat reporter. She is a Bay Area native currently studying at Emory University.

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