WNBA to Hold Draft Lottery October 23

-- Los Angeles, Minnesota Have Best Opportunity of Receiving No. 1 Pick --
-- Atlanta Franchise to Pick Fourth --

Which teams get the top picks in the 2008 WNBA Draft will again come down to how the ping pong balls bounce.

Jennifer Pottheiser/NBAE/Getty Images
NEW YORK, Oct. 18, 2007 The lottery to determine the top six picks in the 2008 WNBA Draft will be held on Tuesday, October 23, the league announced today. The five teams who did not advance to the playoffs this past season will be eligible for lottery positions 1, 2, 3, 5 and 6. The Atlanta franchise, announced this week as the league's 14th team, will be assigned the fourth pick in the 2008 WNBA Draft.

The Los Angeles Sparks, who posted a regular season record of 10-24 this past year, have the best opportunity to secure one of the top three picks in the draft. With a roster already boasting the two most recent No. 1 picks in Seimone Augustus and Lindsey Harding, the Minnesota Lynx have the second best chance after also finishing 10-24 and narrowly edging the Sparks in the standings.

The Houston Comets (13-21) and Chicago Sky (14-20) have the next best chances, respectively, of landing one of the top three picks, while the Washington Mystics (16-18) round out the lottery-eligible teams.

Phoenix, who beat the odds to win last year's lottery, traded the top pick (Harding) to the Lynx on draft day for veteran forward Tangela Smith and eventually defeated the Detroit Shock to win the 2007 WNBA Championship.

WNBA officials and a representative from the accounting firm of Ernst & Young will conduct the Draft Lottery in New York City, which will include the five teams that did not qualify for the 2007 WNBA Playoffs. The lottery will establish the order of selection for the first six picks of the draft. The order of selection for the remainder of the first round -- as well as the second and third rounds -- is based on each team's finish during the 2007 regular season.

Fourteen balls numbered 1-14 will be placed in a lottery machine and mixed. 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 five non-playoff teams based on their order of finish in the 2007 regular season. The remaining combination will be unassigned.

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. 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.

The first-round order of selection for the teams that do not receive one of the top six picks, as well as the order of selection for the second and third round is determined by inverse order of their respective regular-season records.

Following are the chances -- out of a possible 1,000 -- for teams in the WNBA Draft Lottery:

Chances (out of 1,000)
1. Los Angeles
2. Minnesota
3. Houston
4. Atlanta
*Atlanta will be assigned the fourth pick in the 2008 WNBA Draft
5. Chicago
6. Washington

Following is the remaining order for the first round as determined by overall records from 2007:

Team Record
7. New York 16-18
8. Seattle 17-17
9. Connecticut 18-16
10. Sacramento 19-15
11. Detroit *From San Antonio (20-14), Riley/Feenstra trade on 2/22/07
12. Indiana 21-13
13. Phoenix 23-11
14. New York *From Detroit (24-10) via San Antonio, Hammon/ Davenport trade on 4/4/07