Team Reps Reflect on 2014 Draft Position
SECAUCUS, N.J., Dec. 10, 2013 -- Mitchell Etess, CEO of the Connecticut Sun, appeared positively shocked when WNBA President Laurel Richie announced that the Sun would have the first pick in the upcoming 2014 WNBA Draft despite Connecticut’s almost 45 percent chance of winning. “We’re in the casino business,” he told ESPN’s Kevin Negandhi, “We know the odds don’t always work for you, but I’m really glad they worked for us today.”
Who wouldn’t be, of course. Top prospects for 2014 include Stanford powerhouse Chiney Ogwumike (sister of current Los Angeles Sparks center Nneka Ogwumike) and Odyssey Sims, a Baylor guard who played with Brittney Griner.
“There are a lot of great players, it’s a very deep draft. You know I think the key is we can have whoever we want and I think that’s the most exciting thing,” Etess said. “I think we’ll use this pick to fortify what we need in the best way possible and that’s kind of what the plan is.”
With that same plan in mind, Tulsa Shock representative and part-owner Sam Combs was happy with the No. 2 pick:
“We also have a high enough pick that we’ll have the ability to take someone that these other teams might like or need better than us. So it gives us maximum flexibility in terms of retaining players in the pick or maybe trading it for a very good solid veteran.”More Draft Lottery Content: Video | Photo Gallery | Release
The Shock, who also have No. 3 pick from last year Skylar Diggins, are still building up their roster.
“There’s a good workman group of players this year not a flashy group of players [like last year] and we’re still young,” Combs said. “Our best basketball is still out there.”
The third pick overall went to the San Antonio Silver Stars. Though it wasn’t the top pick, Silver Stars’ head coach Dan Hughes seemed happy with the outcome anyway. Hughes, whose pre-game (or in this case pre-lottery) ritual includes going to a concert -- this time it was Rod Stewart at MSG -- was as cool and as calm as ever:
“I think we can go a lot of ways. You know, we were really beat up last year and we’re going to have players returning to health. There aren’t a lot of glaring needs when we’re healthy. We’ll try to take it to where we think is the best place for us in the long term and kind of spin it that way.”
He did note, however, that this year’s class was going to need a lot of observation. “It’s not an easy class to determine who’s going to [get picked] ahead of our pick.”
And, lastly, while Bill Laimbeer -- former NBA great and head coach of the New York Liberty -- does not share Hughes’ laid-back demeanor or thoughtful analysis, he is looking for one thing in particular:
“Players,” he said. “Good players. That’s what we’re looking for.”
Which, I guess, is why we’re all here.
2014 WNBA DRAFT LOTTERY ORDER
|3.||San Antonio Silver Stars||12-22|
|4.||New York Liberty||11-23|
The following is the remaining order for the first round as determined by teams’ regular season records from 2013:
REMAINING ORDER FOR FIRST ROUND
|11.||Los Angeles Sparks||24-10|