Chicago, Phoenix, Tulsa, Washington to Vie for Top Pick in WNBA Draft Lottery on Sept. 26

-- Lottery to Take Place Live on ESPN’s “SportsCenter” --

NEW YORK, Sept. 24, 2012 – The Chicago Sky, Phoenix Mercury, Tulsa Shock, and Washington Mystics will participate in the 2013 WNBA Draft Lottery on Wednesday, Sept. 26. The winner of the league’s twelfth annual Lottery will secure the top pick in the 2013 Draft, which will be conducted next April.

ESPN will present the 2013 WNBA Draft Lottery – to be held for the first time at ESPN’s studios in Bristol, Conn. – live during the 6 p.m. ET edition of SportsCenter.

Washington, which posted a record of 5-29 this season and missed the playoffs for the second consecutive year, has the best opportunity (44.2 percent) to win the top pick in the 2013 Draft. A year ago, despite coming off a 6-28 campaign, Washington did not participate in the Lottery, having traded its top pick in the 2012 Draft to the Minnesota Lynx in exchange for forward/center Nicky Anosike in April of 2011.

Phoenix, which finished this season 7-27, has the next best odds of winning the Draft Lottery (27.6 percent). Tulsa, which posted a 9-25 record this past season, and Chicago (14-20) round out the Lottery-eligible teams. The Shock has a 17.8 percent chance of landing the top pick; the Sky has a 10.4 percent chance.

WNBA officials and a representative from the accounting firm of Ernst & Young will conduct the Draft Lottery. The Lottery will establish the first four picks of the draft. The order of selection for the remainder of the first round as well as the second and third round is determined by inverse order of the teams’ respective regular-season records from 2012.

Fourteen balls numbered 1-14 will be placed in a lottery machine and mixed. Four balls will then be drawn to the top to determine a four-digit combination. The team that has been assigned that four-ball combination will receive the No. 1 pick. The four balls will then be placed back into the machine and the process will be repeated to determine the second and third picks. The team that does not win one of the top three picks will be slotted fourth.

There are 1,001 possible combinations when four balls are drawn out of 14, without regard to their order of selection. One thousand of those combinations will be assigned to the four non-playoff teams based on their order of finish in the 2012 regular season. The remaining combination will be unassigned. If the one unassigned combination is drawn, the balls will be placed back into the machine and the process will be repeated until an assigned combination is drawn.

Only once in history as the WNBA Draft Lottery, instituted prior to the 2002 draft, gone exactly according to the odds. The Atlanta Dream, Washington and Chicago, respectively, entered the eight annual Lottery with the most chances to earn the top pick in the 2009 Draft, and came away with, in order, the first, second and third selections.

On two occasions the team with the fewest chances of earning the top pick has come out on top. Phoenix was the first to do so, winning the Lottery for the 2007 Draft. The Los Angeles Sparks also overcame the longest odds and earned the No. 1 pick in the 2012 Draft.

With the WNBA playoffs set to tip off on Thursday, Sept. 27, the winners of the last five WNBA lotteries – and the players whom they selected with the No. 1 overall pick – will all be participating in post-season play. Minnesota, which won the Lottery that preceded the 2011 Draft and selected Maya Moore, looks to defend their WNBA title when they open play against the Seattle Storm. The Sparks, who won the lotteries in advance of the 2008 and 2012 drafts and tabbed Candace Parker and Nneka Ogwumike, respectively, will face the San Antonio Silver Stars. The Connecticut Sun, which selected Tina Charles after winning the 2010 Draft Lottery, will meet the New York Liberty, and the Atlanta Dream, which won the Lottery prior to the 2009 Draft and used the pick on Angel McCoughtry, will meet the Indiana Fever.

The following are the number of chances for teams in the 2013 WNBA Draft Lottery:

TeamRecordChances (out of 1,000)
1. Washington 5-29442
2. Phoenix 7-27276
3. Tulsa 9-25178
4. Chicago 14-20104

Following is the remaining order of the first round, as determined by 2012 regular season records:

5. New York15-19
6. Seattle16-18
7. Atlanta19-15
8. San Antonio21-13
9. Indiana22-12
10. Los Angeles24-10
11. Connecticut 25-9
12. Minnesota27-7