Shock have best chance at No. 1

NEW YORK, September 30, 2010 – In the wake of a thrilling and successful WNBA Finals that saw significant increases in fan attendance and TV viewership, the league announced today the 2011 WNBA Draft Lottery will be held Nov. 2, 2010 in New York City. The draft lottery will help determine the top four picks in the 2011 WNBA Draft and involves teams that did not advance to the playoffs this past season, including the Tulsa Shock, Minnesota Lynx, and Chicago Sky.

The Shock, which posted a regular-season record of 6-28, has the best odds (44.2%) of winning the No.1 overall pick in the 2011 WNBA Draft. After relocating to Tulsa this season, the Shock overhauled its roster to adapt its style of play under new head coach Nolan Richardson.

After equaling the Los Angeles Sparks with a 13-21 record, the Lynx lost the series tie-breaker and the No.4 playoff seed. The team begins another active offseason in which it is guaranteed two of the top four lottery draft selections, resulting from a Draft day deal last year in which the Lynx traded the rights to Kelsey Griffin, Minnesota’s No.3 selection, to Connecticut for first and second-round picks in 2011. The odds of the Lynx winning the top pick (38%) are bolstered by the added combinations received from the trade with Connecticut.

Rounding out the lottery-eligible teams, the Sky has the lowest odds (17.8%) of winning the draft lottery after a regular season record of 14-20 and finishing at the bottom of a competitive Eastern Conference that included five of six teams with winning percentages of .500 or better.

2011 WNBA Draft Lottery
WNBA officials and a representative from the accounting firm, Ernst & Young, will conduct the 2011 WNBA Draft Lottery on November 2, 2010 in New York City. The lottery will establish the first four picks of the draft, with the remainder of the first round, as well as the second and third round, determined by inverse order of the teams’ respective regular season records.

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 2010 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.

Following are the number of chances for teams in the 2011 WNBA Draft Lottery:

2011 WNBA LOTTERY TEAMS
Team Record Chances (out of 1,000)
1. Tulsa 6-28 442
2. Minnesota 13-21 276
3. Chicago 14-20 178
4. Minnesota from Connecticut 17-17 104

Following is the remaining order of the first round, as determined by 2010 regular season records:

REMAINING ORDER FOR FIRST ROUND
Team Record
5. Los Angeles 13-21
6. San Antonio 14-20
7. Tulsa from Phoenix 15-19
8. Atlanta 19-15
9. Indiana 21-13
10. New York 22-12
11. Washington 22-12
12. Seattle 28-6

About the WNBA
The WNBA is a unique global sports property combining competition, sportsmanship, and entertainment value with its status as an icon for social change, achievement, and diversity. The WNBA – which features 12 teams and is the most successful women’s professional team sports league in the world – finished its 14th season with a fourth consecutive year of attendance growth, surging WNBA Finals ratings, and strong increases in traffic to WNBA.com and WNBA Mobile sites.

Through WNBA Cares, the WNBA is deeply committed to creating programs that improve the quality of life for all people, with a special emphasis on programs that promote a healthy lifestyle and positive body image, increase breast and women’s health awareness, support youth and family development, and focus on education. For more information on the WNBA, log on to www.wnba.com.

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Contacts: Ron Howard, (212) 407-8641, rhoward@nba.com
Bryan Lam, (212) 407-8679, blam@nba.com