INDIANAPOLIS — For the first time in franchise history, the Indiana Fever own top-three WNBA Draft picks in consecutive seasons after claiming the No. 3 selection as part of Tuesday night’s draw in the 2019 WNBA Draft Lottery presented by State Farm.
Indiana now owns a top-four draft pick for just the fourth time in 20 years, hoping to celebrate a return to the WNBA Playoffs when the franchise celebrates its 20th season in 2019.
Although Indiana entered Tuesday’s drawing with the best odds at receiving the top pick, the Las Vegas Aces emerged with the coveted No. 1 selection for the third straight season, ahead of the New York Liberty (2), Indiana (3) and Chicago Sky (4).
“Obviously it’s not the pick that we wanted,” said Fever GM and Head Coach Pokey Chatman, “but it’s a good draft class and we know that each player that sits atop that board will definitely fill a need that we have. The last time this organization drafted No. 3, it turned out extremely well in the form of Tamika Catchings. There is a lot of time between now and April, so we’re looking very forward to evaluating players.”
Catchings, the No. 3 overall selection in the 2001 WNBA Draft who played her entire career in a Fever uniform, retired after the 2016 season as the only No. 3 draft pick in league history to win either the league MVP or Finals MVP award. She won both, in addition to receiving the Rookie of the Year award and five Defensive Player of the Year awards.
After a 6-28 season and its second straight year out of the playoffs, Indiana owns the third overall selection in 2019, following last year’s draft in which the Fever selected Ohio State guard Kelsey Mitchell with the No. 2 pick. Prior to 2018, the Fever had endured a withering stretch of nearly two decades without the benefit of top draft selections and was the only franchise in league history to last more than a decade without a top-four selection.
Top Indiana Draft Picks by Overall Selection
No. 1 – none
No. 2 – Tan White, 2005; Kelsey Mitchell, 2018
No. 3 – Tamika Catchings, 2001; TBD, 2019
No. 4 – none