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 Connecticuts almost 45 percent chance of winning. Were in the casino business, he told ESPNs Kevin Negandhi, We know the odds dont always work for you, but Im really glad they worked for us today.
Who wouldnt 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, its a very deep draft. You know I think the key is we can have whoever we want and I think thats the most exciting thing, Etess said. I think well use this pick to fortify what we need in the best way possible and thats 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 well 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.
The Shock, who also have No. 3 pick from last year Skylar Diggins, are still building up their roster.
Theres a good workman group of players this year not a flashy group of players [like last year] and were still young, Combs said. Our best basketball is still out there.
The third pick overall went to the San Antonio Silver Stars. Though it wasnt 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 were going to have players returning to health. There arent a lot of glaring needs when were healthy. Well 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 years class was going to need a lot of observation. Its not an easy class to determine whos 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. Thats what were looking for.
Which, I guess, is why were all here.
2014 WNBA DRAFT LOTTERY ORDER
San Antonio Silver Stars
New York Liberty
The following is the remaining order for the first round as determined by teams regular season records from 2013: