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There will be a WNBA draft, as scheduled, on April 17. It will be carried live on ESPN. And there will be the customary player interviews and analysis.

But it will look very different. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the league will do the draft in virtual fashion. No players, guests or media will meet in New York City. WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert will announce the draft picks live on ESPN, with coverage beginning at 7 p.m. Top prospects will take part remotely.

“The WNBA draft is a time to celebrate the exceptional athletes whose hard work and dreams are realized with their selection in the draft,” Engelbert said Thursday. “Safeguarding the health and well-being of our prospects, players, employees and everyone connected to our game as well as the general public is paramount. With that in mind, we will work diligently with our broadcaster partner, ESPN, to create a memorable but virtual event that appropriately honors those accomplished athletes.”

The Lynx have the sixth pick in the first round and the 16th overall pick, which will come in the second round,

The league is still, as the release put it, “conducting ongoing scenario planning” with regards to the pandemic’s effect on the upcoming schedule. WNBA teams are scheduled to begin training camp on April 26 and to start the season May 15.

Kent Youngblood