Tulsa, Seattle, and Connecticut to Vie for Top Pick in 2015

WNBA Draft Lottery Presented by State Farm to Take Place Live on ESPN2 Aug. 21

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NEW YORK, August 19, 2014 – The 2015 WNBA Draft Lottery presented by State Farm will be held in Secaucus, N.J., on Thursday, Aug. 21 and televised on ESPN2, the WNBA announced today. The telecast, hosted by Kevin Negandhi, will air during halftime of Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals between the Washington Mystics and the Indiana Fever (tip-off at 7 p.m. ET). The winner of the Lottery will secure the top pick in the 2015 WNBA Draft presented by State Farm, to be conducted in April.

The Tulsa Shock, Seattle Storm, Connecticut Sun, and New York Liberty – all of whom did not qualify for the playoffs this season – qualified for the lottery.

Tulsa and Seattle, which both finished the year at 12-22, will have the most chances to land the top pick (359 chances each). Connecticut, which ended the campaign at 13-21, has 178 chances via its own finish and another 104 from New York (15-19). Connecticut owns New York’s first-round pick in 2015 following a draft day trade last April in which the Sun received the Liberty’s first round pick next year as well as Alyssa Thomas and Kelsey Bone in exchange for Tina Charles.

Tulsa and Seattle, which both finished the year at 12-22, will have the most chances to land the top pick (359 chances each). Connecticut, which ended the campaign at 13-21, has 178 chances via its own finish and another 104 from New York (15-19). Connecticut owns New York’s first-round pick in 2015 following a draft day trade last April in which the Sun received the Liberty’s first round pick next year as well as Alyssa Thomas and Kelsey Bone in exchange for Tina Charles.

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 2014.

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 2014 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 has the WNBA Draft Lottery, instituted prior to the 2002 draft, gone exactly according to the odds. The Atlanta Dream, Washington Mystics, and Chicago Sky, respectively, entered the eighth 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. The Phoenix Mercury 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. Phoenix used its No. 1 overall pick in 2007 to take Lindsey Harding of Duke; Los Angeles used its No. 1 selection in 2012 on Nneka Ogwumike of Stanford.

Connecticut won the most recent WNBA Draft Lottery, conducted on Dec. 10, 2013, and subsequently selected Stanford’s Chiney Ogwumike first overall in the 2014 WNBA Draft presented by State Farm. That pick was followed, in order, by Tulsa (Odyssey Sims), San Antonio (Kayla McBride), and New York (Alyssa Thomas).

The following are the number of chances for teams to land the top pick in the 2015 WNBA Draft Lottery:

LOTTERY TEAMS FOR THE 2015 WNBA DRAFT
Team Record Chances Out of 1,000
1. Tulsa 12-22 359
2. Seattle 12-22 359
3. Connecticut 13-21 178
4. Connecticut from New York 15-19 104

REMAINING ORDER FOR FIRST ROUND
Team Record
5. Chicago 15-19
6. Indiana 16-18
7. Los Angeles 16-18
8. Washington 16-18
9. San Antonio 16-18
10. Atlanta 19-15
11. Minnesota 25-9
12. Phoenix 29-5

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