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Yes, Sabrina Ionescu Will Be The No. 1 Pick. But What Happens Next?
FiveThirtyEight
 

The WNBA draft is coming up on Friday, and one thing we know for sure is that Oregon superstar Sabrina Ionescu is bound for New York. We discuss whether she might be able to help the Liberty end their surprising championship drought, and we look at how other top prospects might change the shape of the Dallas Wings and the Atlanta Dream. Whatever the Wings do with their incredible four first-round and two second-round picks, they’re going to look radically different; and whatever the Dream do, they need to acquire some offensive firepower. We also discuss how the WNBA can maintain the momentum it will generate by being the only show in town for a day — Allie Quigley taking down Chris Paul at HORSE isn’t a bad start.

Next, we turn to men’s basketball and the news of how the NBA may restart for a likely truncated postseason. While we’re not sure there’s going to be any more basketball this year, the idea of a “sprint” to the title — with only those teams that really have a chance to win — seems appealing on a number of levels. We lay out what’s on the line financially for both players and the league, and we look to the only league that’s still able to play. The Taiwanese Super Basketball League offers some helpful hints for how players should maintain good hygiene habits, but the crew agrees that to restart a league as big as the NBA, or any of the major American leagues, it’s going to need to look very different — and probably get very weird.

Finally, special guest Brad Balukjian joins us for the Rabbit Hole of the Week to talk about his new book, “The Wax Pack,” and how opening one pack of 1986 baseball cards led him on a journey to better understand baseball, relationships and how to deal with fear.

What we’re looking at this week:

Sarah Shachat is Hot Takedown’s producer.

Sara Ziegler is the sports editor at FiveThirtyEight.

Neil Paine is a senior writer for FiveThirtyEight.

Geoff Foster is the former sports editor of FiveThirtyEight.

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