BRISTOL, Conn., Sept. 24, 2015 – The Seattle Storm won the 15th annual WNBA Draft Lottery presented by State Farm® and earned the top pick in the 2016 WNBA Draft presented by State Farm, the WNBA announced today. The Lottery was conducted in a televised event at ESPN’s headquarters in Bristol during halftime of Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals between the Phoenix Mercury and the Minnesota Lynx on ESPN2.
For Seattle, which had entered the WNBA Draft Lottery presented by State Farm with the most chances to land the top pick (442 out of 1,000), this marks the second consecutive year the Storm has emerged as the winner. Last year, Seattle won the top pick and used it to select Notre Dame guard Jewell Loyd, who earlier today was named the 2015 WNBA Rookie of the Year presented by Samsung. Seattle also won the inaugural Lottery, in advance of the 2002 Draft, and with that pick selected University of Connecticut guard Sue Bird, whose WNBA career includes nine All-Star selections and two WNBA Championships.
San Antonio, which had the next most chances (276), will have the second selection and will be followed by Connecticut, which had the third most opportunities (178). Atlanta, which had the fewest chances (104), will select fourth.
This marks just the third time that the Lottery, instituted prior to the 2002 Draft, has gone according to the odds. It also happened in advance of the 2009 Draft, with Atlanta landing the top spot, and last year when Seattle acquired the No. 1 overall pick in the 2015 Draft.
Under the new format announced on Aug. 5, the drawing was held among the four teams that did not make the playoffs (the “Lottery teams”) during the current season. However, instead of assigning each Lottery team odds based solely on its record this season, the odds were based on the cumulative records of the Lottery teams over the two most recent regular seasons (2014 and 2015).
The new format also guaranteed that the Lottery team with the worst two-year cumulative record would end up with at least the third pick, and the two Lottery teams whose numbers did not come up in the lottery would then select in the inverse order of their two-year cumulative record. Under the previous format, the Lottery team with the worst single-season record was guaranteed to pick no worse than fourth.
A representative from the accounting firm of Ernst & Young was in attendance to oversee the lottery process.
Results: 2016 WNBA Draft Lottery presented by State Farm
1. Seattle (22-46 two-year record, 442 chances out of 1000 for top pick)
2. San Antonio (24-44 two-year record, 276 chances out of 1000 for top pick)
3. Connecticut (28-40 two-year record, 178 chances out of 1000 for top pick)
4. Atlanta (34-34 two-year record, 104 chances out of 1000 for top pick)
Remaining draft order:
5. Los Angeles
11. Atlanta from Minnesota (Trade of Fowles, DeSouza, Dantas, Gray, 7/26/15)
12. New York