NEW YORK — The Dallas Wings chose Charli Collier of Texas and Finnish player Awak Kuier with the first two picks of the WNBA draft on Thursday night.
It’s the first time in league history that a team had picks No. 1 and 2. The Wings acquired the top pick in a February trade after being awarded the second choice in the draft lottery. The Wings also have the fifth pick and the first pick in the second round.
The 6-foot-5 Collier helped the Longhorns reach the Elite Eight. The junior center finished the season averaging 19.0 points and 11.3 rebounds per game, while shooting 51.1% from the field. The 19-year-old Kuier played professionally in Italy, averaging 8.9 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.5 blocked shots.
For the second straight season, the draft was held virtually because of the coronavirus pandemic. Commissioner Cathy Engelbert announced picks from an ESPN studio in New York and players were at home appearing virtually when they were drafted.
With potentially as few as 144 roster spots in the WNBA and so many players under contract or still on their rookie-scale deals, there are not many spots open for players to make teams. There’s a good chance that less than a dozen draftees will be on opening-day rosters this season.
Training camps open around April 25 and the season starts on May 14.