1. New York Liberty select Sabrina Ionescu
There’s just no universe in which I can see the New York Liberty taking anyone other than Sabrina Ionescu, a player Jonathan Kolb and Walt Hopkins can build the franchise around, a plug-in point guard who makes threes at an elite level and dramatically improved her finishing around the rim, a culture-builder who will get better shots at every turn for shooters on the roster like Kia Nurse, Asia Durr, Rebecca Allen and Amanda Zahui B. And let’s not lose sight of something that many seem to be ignoring, mostly because Ionescu was so elite as a freshman: she got better every single season. She was dramatically improved as a senior of a year in which she’d led Oregon to the Final Four. Her assist percentage jumped, as did her rebounding percentage. A thing to look at with prospects isn’t just their current talent level, but how much they improve, and how quickly, to estimate a trajectory. Expect that Ionescu, for all her strengths, is anything but a finished product. And now, with the added picks from the Tina Charles trade, the Liberty can place any number of Ionescu-inspired young pieces around her as well, letting them compete against those already signed to be best fits in Hopkins’ system. It’s a good place to be.