December 19, 2021 

The Washington Mystics win WNBA Draft Lottery, will pick first overall in the 2022 WNBA Draft

Thibault said that while he’s excited about the talent at the top of this draft, he’s 'not afraid' to trade the top pick 'for the right offer'

The Washington Mystics won the WNBA Draft Lottery and will select first overall in the 2022 WNBA Draft. The Indiana Fever will select second, the Atlanta Dream will select third overall. And the Dallas Wings will select fourth overall. 

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Four teams were eligible to win the first overall pick in the WNBA Draft Lottery: the Indiana Fever, the Atlanta Dream, the Washington Mystics, and the Dallas Wings.

The Indiana Fever had the best odds of winning the first overall pick, at 44.2 percent. The Atlanta Dream had the second-best odds, at 27.6 percent, and the Washington Mystics had the third-best odds at 17.8 percent. The Dallas Wings, who won the first overall pick last season, had the fourth-best odds at 10.4 percent.

The Mystics won the 2019 WNBA Championship but have a 21-33 record over the 2020 and 2021 seasons. Washington has never won the draft lottery and is just the second team with the third-best odds to ever win the draft lottery, after the Minnesota Lynx in 2006.

“After the last two years, with the bubble, the absences, the injuries and illnesses… it felt like we needed a break to jumpstart us… It puts so many things on the table that you don’t have otherwise,” said Mystics head coach and general manager Mike Thibault of winning the lottery.

Thibault said that while he’s excited about the talent at the top of this draft, he’s “not afraid” to trade the top pick “for the right offer.”

​​“Do we trade for a veteran player who’s gonna help us win now? I’m not gonna coach for the next 10 years, I do want to win now,” Thibault said.

The projected number one overall pick is Kentucky guard Rhyne Howard, the 2020 SEC Player of the Year and a 2020 First Team All-American. Baylor forward NaLyssa Smith, the 2021 Big 12 Player of the Year, has been challenging her for that number one position but is currently projected mostly as the second pick. 

“This makes some of the suffering more tolerable, knowing we have a piece for our future that’s significant,” Thibault said.

Written by Gabriela Carroll

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