Fever Set Sights on Dec. 1 Draft Lottery

NEW YORK – The WNBA Draft Lottery to determine the top three picks in the 2005 WNBA Draft will be held Wednesday, Dec. 1, and the Indiana Fever, who moved up two draft selections during last year’s draft lottery, hope to move closer to the No. 1 pick again. Last season, Indiana entered the lottery with the fifth-best chance among lottery participants, and wound up earning the No. 3 selection in the 2004 WNBA Draft.

This year’s results will be announced live on NBA TV during halftime of the Philadelphia 76ers at San Antonio Spurs game at 8:30 p.m. ET.

The San Antonio Silver Stars, with a 2004 regular season record of 9-25, have the best opportunity to gain one of the top three picks in the draft. The Houston Comets, who finished with a 13-21 record, and the Fever, who posted a won-lost record of 15-19, have the second and third best chances, respectively, of landing one of the top three picks.

The Draft Lottery will be conducted by WNBA officials and representatives from the accounting firm of Ernst & Young at the NBA Entertainment studios in Secaucus, N.J., and will include the five teams that did not qualify for the 2004 WNBA Playoffs. The lottery is weighted to favor the teams with the poorer records. The lottery will establish the order of selection for the first round of the draft, with the order of selection for the second and third rounds based on each team’s finish during the 2004 regular season.

Fourteen balls numbered 1 through 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 2004 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 win one of the top three picks will be determined by inverse order of their respective regular-season records.

Following are the chances, out of 1,000, for teams in the WNBA Draft Lottery:
2005 WNBA LOTTERY TEAMS (Lottery Chances out of 1,000)
1. San Antonio (420)
2. Houston (261)
3. Indiana (167)
4. Charlotte (97)
5. Phoenix (55)

In 2004, for the sixth consecutive season, more than 2 million fans attended WNBA games. As the preeminent women's sports league, the WNBA is the destination for the best women's basketball players in the world. For more information, visit wnba.com.