2024 WNBA Draft: Indiana Fever secure No. 1 pickSara Jane Gamelli 8 December 13, 2023
Written and edited by:
Sara Jane Gamelli
No. 1 pick: Indiana Fever
The Indiana Fever officially hold the No. 1 pick in the 2024 WNBA Draft, and have the possibility of drafting basketball phenomenon Caitlin Clark. While Clark is eligible for this year's draft, she also has another year of eligibility, with the option of returning to Iowa. In a 30 minute special presented by ESPN in Bristol, Connecticut, the WNBA Draft order is set for Apr. 15.
With a 44 % chance of landing the first pick, Aliyah Boston was present to represent the Indiana Fever organization on Sunday afternoon. The former No.1 pick in the 2023 WNBA Draft, Boston was named WNBA Rookie of the year in her first season with Indiana. She briefly expressed her excitement of possibly adding another rookie star to play along side her at the podium.
"I think it is just going to be another talented player that we can use to help build us to be back to the franchise [Fever] was at, so I am super excited for this upcoming draft," Boston told Carolyn Peck. "Talking to them, I think that's going to be important because I had great vets that talked to me."
Boston also implied the importance of helping her new teammate achieve her goals. Paying it forward, the former South Carolina Gamecock strives to be a leader, and focuses on discipline. While Connecticut Sun Stephanie White was in attendance for the Lottery, the last time the Fever advanced to the playoffs was in 2016. You want to know what's ironic? White was the head coach of Indiana, coaching Tamika Catchings. With one WNBA Championship won by the Fever in 2015, this young team has the chance to compete again.
No. 2 pick: Los Angeles Sparks
With only an 18 % chance of securing the No. 1 Pick, the Los Angeles Sparks secured the No.2 pick in this years upcoming draft. Represented by Head Coach Curt Miller, the Sparks are in an excellent position to add a young star next to Jordin Canada, Zia Cooke, and Nneka Ogwumike. Coming off a 17-23 2023 win/loss record, the Sparks have a 30-46 cumulative record over two seasons. While UConn's Paige Bueckers and Stanford's Cameron Brink have been linked to the No. 2 pick, it's unclear who the Sparks will take. One of the most iconic franchises in WNBA History, Los Angles has three WNBA Championships, although they haven't been to the postseason since the 2020 season.
Coach Miller touched upon what's needed for the Sparks to compete once again in the league. "Dynamic players available in this upcoming draft," said Miller. "But, excited about adding an impactful player in the locker room, as much as on the court. High character, someone that's coachable, and wants to learn from these great veterans in the locker room."
No. 3 pick: Phoenix Mercury
Represented by Mercury and Suns Owner, Mat Ishbia, along with daughter Jaime , Phoenix had a 28 % chance of landing the first overall pick. While they hoped for the first slot, the Mercury will certainly have the opportunity to draft a dynamic player at three. After finishing 9-31, Phoenix will look to bounce back behind Brittney Griner and Diana Taurasi. One of the most successful franchises in WNBA history, they have three total WNBA Championships. With one of the best attendance records in the league, the Mercury reached 10 consecutive playoff appearances before falling short last season.
On Sunday afternoon, Ishbia noted Griner and Taurasi have been vital to the teams success. Phoenix selected Griner as the No. 1 overall pick in 2013, and Taurasi as the first pick in 2004. Together, they won an WNBA title in 2014.
"They're real excited, we are real excited," said Ishbia prior to the Draft Lottery. "BG [Griner] has been a big part of our success, along with Diana [Taurasi]."
Much like the Sparks, the Mercury won't know who will land in their land until certain players will decide they will ultimately declare for the WNBA Draft, or return to their respective collegiate teams.
No.4 pick: Seattle Storm
The Seattle Storm had the lowest odds at 10 % to land the first pick, and secured the No. 4 pick in this years WNBA Draft. Represented by Head Coach Noelle Quinn, the Storm finished 11-29 last season, and are in complete rebuild mode post Sue Bird and Breanna Stewart era. Led by guard Jewell Loyd, Seattle has four WNBA Championships, most recently in 2018 and 2020. While they had 7 consecutive playoff runs, the Storm missed out completely in the 2022-2023 season.
Former No. 1 overall pick selected by the Storm in 2015, Loyd averaged career highs in points (24.7), and rebounds (4.7). Seattle could use a guard to compliment Loyd in the backcourt, as she accounted for 31 % of the total offense. Even at the four slot, the Storm will have several options.
The 2024 WNBA Draft will take place on Apr. 15. The Draft Lottery was based off team's cumulative record over the past two seasons.