WNBA Draft Lottery set for Sept. 24 on ESPN2

Seattle, San Antonio, Connecticut, and Atlanta to vie for top pick in 2016

NEW YORK – The 2016 WNBA Draft Lottery presented by State Farm will be televised live on ESPN2 on Thursday, Sept. 24, the WNBA announced today.  The telecast, hosted by anchor Matt Barrie, will air during halftime of Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals featuring the Phoenix Mercury at the Minnesota Lynx, which tips off at 8 p.m. ET.  The winner of the Lottery will secure the top pick in the 2016 WNBA Draft presented by State Farm, to be conducted in April.

The Seattle Storm, San Antonio Stars, Connecticut Sun, and Atlanta Dream will participate in the lottery after missing the playoffs this season.

Under the new format announced on Aug. 5, the 15th annual drawing will still be 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 are based on the cumulative records of the Lottery teams over the two most recent regular seasons (2014 and 2015).

Seattle, which finished the past two regular seasons with a combined record of 22-46, will have the most chances to land the top pick (442).  San Antonio, which went 24-44 over that same period, has the next most chances (276).  Connecticut has 178 chances after posting a combined record of 28-40 in 2014 and 2015, and Atlanta has 104 chances after compiling a 34-34 mark.

A representative from the accounting firm of Ernst & Young will be in attendance to oversee the lottery process.

The lottery will establish the first four picks of the draft.  The new format guarantees that the Lottery team with the worst two-year cumulative record will end up with at least the third pick.  Under the previous format, the Lottery team with the worst single-season record was guaranteed to pick no worse than fourth.  The two Lottery teams that do not come up in the lottery will then 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 round is determined by inverse order of the teams’ respective regular-season records solely from 2015.

The following are the number of chances for teams to land the top pick in the 2016 WNBA Draft Lottery presented by State Farm:


Team                            2014-15 Combined Record          Chances (out of 1,000)
1. Seattle                                        22-46                                               442
2. San Antonio                             24-44                                               276
3. Connecticut                              28-40                                               178
4. Atlanta                                        34-34                                               104

Following is the remaining order of the first round, as determined by 2015 regular-season records:



  1. Los Angeles (14-20 in 2015)
  2. Tulsa (18-16)
  3. Washington (18-16)
  4. Phoenix (20-14)
  5. Indiana (20-14)
  6. Chicago (21-13)
  7. Atlanta from Minnesota (22-12) (Trade of Fowles, DeSouza, Dantas, Gray, 7/26/15)
  8. New York (23-11)

This marks the fourth straight year that ESPN will televise the lottery.  In September 2012, the Phoenix Mercury won the Lottery, capturing the No.1 overall pick in the 2013 WNBA Draft presented by State Farm the following April.  Phoenix selected Baylor’s Brittney Griner with the first pick.  One year later, the Sun won the Lottery and went on to draft Chiney Ogwumike of Stanford at No. 1.  In the most recent Lottery, conducted in August 2014, the Storm landed the top pick, which the team used to select Notre Dame’s Jewell Loyd. 

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