Storm Hopes Lottery Lightning Strikes Twice
To be exact, the Storm has a 2.5% chance of pulling the first pick, a 3.5% chance of pick two and a 5.3% chance of pick three. Complete (unofficial) odds:
|Team||2003 Record||Chances of 1000||1st Pick||2nd Pick||3rd Pick||Total|
To conduct the lottery, WNBA officials and representatives from the accounting firm of Ernst & Young assign 1,000 combinations of four numbers 1-14 to each team according to the distribution listed above. Four ping-pong balls are chosen randomly without regard to order from the 14 (this actually produces 1,001 combinations; one is discarded). The team holding the first combination drawn gets the first pick, and the process is repeated for the other two picks.
The other three lottery teams are then seeded in the draft based on last season’s record. If neither Indiana nor New York wins a top-three pick, the Liberty will get the higher of the two picks after the teams finished tied last season.
This is the third year the WNBA has conducted a lottery. In the first year of the lottery, 2002, the Storm won the top pick and ended up selecting Bird. Last season, with the Storm not involved after making its first playoffs appearance, the Cleveland Rockers won the top pick and selected Mississippi State forward LaToya Thomas.
The final date for the 2004 WNBA Draft has yet to be determined, but it will be held in April. Holding the lottery so long before the draft gives teams a chance to scout potential picks throughout the NCAA season. Like Bird two years ago, another Connecticut point guard, Diana Taurasi, is expected to be the first player taken. Duke’s Alana Beard, Stanford’s Nicole Powell, and Penn State’s Kelly Mazzante are other perimeter players expected to go in the lottery from what is a deep guard class.