Cheryl Reeve was out East, getting ready to watch host Maryland take on No. 1-ranked South Carolina on Friday night.
As the game approached, the Lynx coach and president of basketball operations made her way to Maryland coach Brenda Frese's office at the Xfinity Center in College Park to watch the WNBA draft lottery.
She was not alone. A number of people were there, including Washington Mystics coach Mike Thibault, whose team was also among the four teams in the lottery.
Then, with Napheesa Collier representing the Lynx in Bristol, Conn., it began. When the first envelope was opened, showing the Mystics at No. 4, Reeve celebrated.
"Well, I felt like a bit of a jerk, sitting with the Washington people,'' Reeve joked at halftime of the Maryland-South Carolina game. "I jumped up. I might have done my fist pump. And then I ran over to the other side of the room, stood behind a wall and peered around.''
The final result: The Lynx, which had just a 10.4% chance of finishing first and a 14.5% chance at second, defied the odds. They moved from the fourth spot to second.
Indiana got the first overall pick — and the presumed right to pick consensus top pick Aliyah Boston of South Carolina — for the first time in franchise history. Atlanta finished third, Washington fourth.
The Lynx could not have finished third, and had a better than 75% chance of staying at four. And while she didn't get the top prize, Reeve will settle for second.
"I think any time you're picking No. 2 you have a good chance to get a quality player,'' she said. "There is probably a consensus No. 1 in this draft. But that gives you an opportunity to do your homework. We'll get out there [to college games] a lot. We'll consider a lot of players.''
What the team's top need will be once the draft comes around is yet to be determined. There is a hole in the middle with Sylvia Fowles' retirement. But the Lynx and the league will go through free agency before the draft is done.
But the team will have options. Assuming Indiana stands pat and takes Boston — Reeve joked that Indiana General Manager Lin Dunn will likely put her phone on "do not disturb" from now until the draft — any team looking to move to the top end of the draft will have to talk to the Lynx. There are likely to be trade opportunities.
"Right now everything is on the table,'' Reeve said. "There are three ways to build a team – the draft, free agency and trade. We'll have leverage in each of those areas.''
After Boston there are several highly-regarded players.
Many peg Stanford guard Haley Jones as the potential second pick. A versatile scorer who can play both guard positions, the 6-1 Jones has played at the highest level of college basketball; she has helped lead Stanford to back-to-back Final Four appearances and was the Most Outstanding Player of the 2021 Final Four, where the Cardinal beat South Carolina by a point in the championship game.
Other possibilities include UCLA guard Charisma Osborne, Maryland guard Diamond Miller or Tennessee guard Jordan Horston.