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WNBA draft: After Sabrina Ionescu goes No. 1, what happens?

Oregon’s Sabrina Ionescu
Oregon’s Sabrina Ionescu is expected to be the top pick in the WNBA draft Friday.
(John Locher / Associated Press)

After the New York Liberty select Oregon point guard Sabrina Ionescu with the first pick in the 2020 WNBA draft on Friday the big question is who will be the second pick?

The Dallas Wings will have plenty to say about who is selected in the top 10 spots because they have the second, fifth and seventh picks in the first round. The shuffle begins when the Wings are expected to choose between 6-foot-4 power forward Lauren Cox of Baylor, who is considered the safe bet, or Oregon small forward Satou Sabally, a 6-4 wing with the most potential.

The Indiana Fever presumably will take the forward the Wings pass on at No. 3, which leaves the Atlanta Dream at No. 4 choosing between a wing like Connecticut’s 6-1 Megan Walker or points guards such as 5-7 Chennedy Carter of Texas A&M and 5-10 Tyasha Harris of South Carolina.

Oregon likely will have a third player chosen in the top 10, with Dallas possibly pairing 6-4 power forward Ruthy Hebard with Sabally with the fifth or seventh selection. If the Wings select Cox at No. 2, they could end up selecting the best available point guard or Walker at No. 5.

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Baylor power forward Lauren Cox has battled Type 1 Diabetes during a stellar career that will result in possibly being the second pick of the WNBA draft.

Other players expected to go in the first round to early second round include 5-8 shooting guard Te’a Cooper of Baylor, 6-1 shooting guard Kitija Laksa of South Florida, 5-5 point guard Crystal Dangerfield of Connecticut, 6-4 power forward Beatrice Mompremier of Miami, and five small forwards: 6-4 Bella Alarie of Princeton, 6-2 Kiah Gillespie of Florida State, 6-2 Mikiah Herbert-Harrigan of South Carolina, 6-3 Joyner Holmes of Texas and 6-0 Jocelyn Willoughby of Virginia.

Second-round selections are likely to include 5-10 shooting guard Mikayla Pivec of Oregon State, 5-10 point guard Stella Johnson of Rider, 5-11 small forward Tynice Martin of West Virginia and 6-5 center Brittany Brewer of Texas Tech.

The only local player with a chance to be selected is UCLA’s Japreece Dean, a 5-7 point guard on the bubble of the third round.

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UCLA guard Japreece Dean was hoping a strong NCAA tournament would boost her chances of being drafted in the WNBA. She hopes her body of work is enough to convince a team.

The draft, which will be held remotely based out of Commissioner Cathy Engelbert’s home, begins at 4 p.m. PDT Friday. It will be broadcast on ESPN.

WNBA draft order

First round

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1) New York Liberty

2) Dallas Wings

3) Indiana Fever

4) Atlanta Dream

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5) Dallas Wings

6) Minnesota Lynx

7) Dallas Wings

8) Chicago Sky

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9) New York Liberty

10) Phoenix Mercury

11) Seattle Storm

12) New York Liberty

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Second round

13) Atlanta Dream

14) Indiana Fever

15) New York Liberty

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16) Minnesota Lynx

17) Atlanta Dream

18) Phoenix Mercury

19) Seattle Storm

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20) SPARKS

21) Dallas Wings

22) SPARKS

23) Connecticut Sun

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24) Washington Mystics

Third round

25) Atlanta Dream

26) New York Liberty

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27) Atlanta Dream

28) Indiana Fever

29) Phoenix Mercury

30) Chicago Sky

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31) Seattle Storm

32) Chicago Sky

33) Las Vegas Aces

34) SPARKS

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35) Connecticut Sun

36) Washington Mystics

Internet reports and Associated Press contributed to this story.


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