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Dallas Wings set to make history in WNBA draft Thursday

For the first time in league history, a team will choose both Nos. 1 and 2.
Texas's Charli Collier shoots over Maryland's Angel Reese during an NCAA Tournament game in March at San Antonio. Collier is expected to be one of the top picks in the WNBA draft Thursday night.
Texas's Charli Collier shoots over Maryland's Angel Reese during an NCAA Tournament game in March at San Antonio. Collier is expected to be one of the top picks in the WNBA draft Thursday night. [ MORRY GASH | AP ]
Published Apr. 15
Updated Apr. 15

The Dallas Wings basically control the WNBA draft Thursday night (7, ESPN) with the top two picks and four first-round choices.

It’s the first time in league history that a team will choose both Nos. 1 and 2. The Wings acquired the top pick in a February trade after being awarded the second choice in the draft lottery.

“It has made draft preparation a little bit easier,” Wings president and general manager Greg Bibb said. “Typically, you’re trying to figure out what you want to do and what everyone else wants to do, and that impacts what you want to do. The first two picks, you don’t have to worry about that. It’s a nice luxury to have.”

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The Wings also have the fifth pick, as well as the first pick in the second round. Dallas traded the seventh pick to Los Angeles on Wednesday for the Sparks’ first-round pick next year. Los Angeles also got a 2022 second-round pick from Dallas.

This draft completes the second half of the team’s long-term strategy after it traded Liz Cambage and Skylar Diggins over the past few years.

“We pivoted our roster construct from a few superstar players to one which would be a on-the-fly rebuild,” Bibb said.

Bibb said the Wings are looking at a number of players for the top two picks. He hasn’t been shy about heaping praise on Finnish player Awak Kuier, who has played in her home country. The Wings also could draft Texas’ Charli Collier with one of the top picks.

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Other players expected to go early in the draft include Arizona’s Aari McDonald, Louisville’s Dana Evans, and Rutgers’ Arella Guirantes.

For the second straight season the draft will be held virtually. Commissioner Cathy Engelbert will announce picks from an ESPN studio in New York, and players will be at home.

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