WNBA Draft 2019 Lottery Primer: All You Need to Know

While four teams vie to advance to the WNBA Finals, four other teams will be crossing their fingers in hopes of landing a championship building block of their own.

The 2019 WNBA Draft Lottery will air on ESPN2 during halftime of Tuesday’s Game 2 of the Semifinals between Washington and Atlanta. The game tips off at 8 PM ET.

MORE: Full Release on This Year’s Lottery

Tuesday’s drawing features the four teams that did not qualify for the postseason. The odds are based on the cumulative records of the lottery teams over the past two regular seasons.

In the drawing, 14 balls numbered 1-14 will be placed in a lottery machine and mixed. Four balls will be drawn to determine a four-digit combination. The team 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 pick. The two teams whose numerical combinations do not come up in the Lottery will select in the inverse order of their two-year cumulative record.

The order of selection for the remainder of the first round as well as the second and third rounds is determined by inverse order of the teams’ respective regular-season records solely from 2018.

The Odds

Lottery odds are based on the cumulative records of the two most recent regular seasons (2017 and 2018). With a cumulative record of 15-53, the Fever will have the most chances to land the top pick (442 out of 1,000) and is guaranteed at least the third pick.

Las Vegas posted a combined record of 22-46 and will have 276 chances out of 1,000 to win the top pick. Chicago, which registered a two-year record of 25-43, has the third-most chances (178). New York has 104 chances by virtue of its 29-39 record over the past two regular seasons.

2019 WNBA Draft Lottery Odds
Team Two-Year Record Chance of No. 1 Pick
Indiana Fever 15-53 44.2%
Las Vegas Aces 22-46 27.6%
Chicago Sky 25-43 17.8%
New York Liberty 29-39 10.4%


The Top Prospects

This year’s crop of talented seniors includes UConn’s Napheesa Collier (pictured above) and Katie Lou Samuelson, Louisville’s Asia Durr, Baylor’s Kalani Brown and Iowa’s Megan Gustafson.

The History

A’ja Wilson is just the latest in a long line of No. 1 overall picks who change the fortunes of a franchise. In fact, assuming she wins the 2018 award, 12 of the 22 players selected No. 1 will have earned Rookie of the Year honors. Only three players picked outside of the top four have ever won the award.

More No. 1 pick facts:


Team Win Totals Before & After No. 1 Pick
Year Team No. 1 Pick Previous Year’s Record Next Year’s Record Change in Win Total Postseason
2008 Los Angeles Sparks Candace Parker 10-24 20-14 +10 Conference Finals
2009 Atlanta Dream Angel McCoughtry 4-30 18-16 +14 Conference Semifinals
2010 Connecticut Sun Tina Charles 16-18 17-17 +1 Did not qualify
2011 Minnesota Lynx Maya Moore 13-21 27-7 +8 Won Finals
2012 Los Angeles Sparks Nneka Ogwumike 15-19 24-10 +9 Conference Finals
2013 Phoenix Mercury Brittney Griner 7-27 19-15 +12 Conference Finals
2014 Connecticut Sun Chiney Ogwumike 10-24 13-21 +3 Did not qualify
2015 Seattle Storm Jewell Loyd 12-22 10-24 -2 Did not qualify
2016 Seattle Storm Breanna Stewart 10-24 16-18 +6 First Round
2017 Las Vegas Aces Kelsey Plum 7-27 8-26 +1 Did not qualify
2018 Las Vegas Aces A’ja Wilson 8-26 14-20 +6 Did not qualify


The Rest of the First Round

Team Record
5. Dallas Wings 15-19
6. Minnesota Lynx 18-16
7. Los Angeles Sparks 19-15
8. Phoenix Mercury 20-14
9. Connecticut Sun 21-13
10. Washington Mystics 22-12
11. Atlanta Dream 23-11
12. Seattle Storm 26-8