The New York Liberty earned the second overall pick for the 2019 WNBA Draft as revealed by the league Tuesday night live on ESPN2 during halftime of Game 2 of a Semifinals playoff series between the Atlanta Dream and Washington Mystics.
“This is an exciting day for us,” head coach Katie Smith began. “You go in and we’re expecting fourth pick and ready to draft and go after it. You want to do your homework and add to the crew we already have. Then Chicago gets the fourth pick and then you get greedy! Now, why not continue to shake this up? I was definitely getting anxious getting ready to explode with moving up already that far.”
The Lottery order
Team Combined Chances Selection
2017-2018 Record (out of 1,000)
1. Las Vegas 22-46 276 1st
2. New York 29-39 104 2nd
3. Indiana 15-53 442 3rd
4. Chicago 25-43 178 4th
The Rest of the First Round
Team 2018 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
Liberty players selected top-four
Tina Charles was the 2010 first overall pick selected by the Connecticut Sun following a highly regarded career at Connecticut. The 6’4 Queens native went on to win Rookie of the Year as the unanimous vote getter.
Marissa Coleman was the 2009 second overall pick selected by the Washington Mystics following a standout collegiate career at Maryland.
Epiphanny Prince was a fourth overall pick in the 2010 WNBA draft-the same class as Charles. The Rutgers product was selected by the Chicago Sky.
Amanda Zahui B was a second overall pick by the Tulsa Shock (now Dallas Wings) in 2015. Zahui B was an early entrant out of Minnesota.
The New York Liberty finished its 2018 campaign fifth in the Eastern Conference and 11th league-wide after compiling a franchise low 7-27 final record. The group rounded out its season on a 13-game skid on a .206 win clip. The Liberty earned a 4-13 record at home which included contests at Westchester County Center and Madison Square Garden. It was 3-14 on the road.
Its 2017 team featured 10 of its 2018 roster players-a team that concluded the season third amongst its league competitors with a 22-12 record. The team boasted a .647 win clip and wrapped up its regular season on a 10-game win streak. The team would eventually fall to the Washington Mystics 82-68 in the second round.
With a 29-39 combined record encompassing the Liberty’s two most recent seasons, the program will draw its lottery pick-a pick ranging from first overall to fourth.
Tonight’s WNBA Draft Lottery
The Indiana Fever, Las Vegas Aces, Chicago Sky and New York Liberty qualified for the 18th annual Lottery drawing.
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.
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.
A representative from the accounting firm of Ernst & Young will be in attendance to oversee the
This marks the seventh straight year that ESPN networks will televise the WNBA Draft Lottery.
The “new” format
On August 5, 2015, the WNBA announced rules changes to the Draft Lottery format.
Under the new format, the drawing is held among the four teams that did not make the playoffs (the “Lottery Teams”) in the immediately preceding season. Instead of assigning the odds based solely on the records of the teams in the immediately preceding season, the odds are based on the cumulative records of the Lottery Teams over the two most recent regular seasons.
The odds are unchanged, with the Lottery Team with the worst two-year cumulative record having 442 chances out of 1,000 to win the first pick, the Lottery Team with the second worst two-year cumulative record having 276 chances out of 1,000, the Lottery Team with the third worst two-year cumulative record having 178 chances out of 1,000, and the Lottery Team with the best two-year cumulative record having 104 chances out of 1,000 to win the first pick. Cumulative record tiebreakers will be based solely on the immediately preceding season (e.g., the first tiebreaker would be the worst record in the immediately preceding season).
The format will also guarantee 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.
Previous WNBA Draft Lottery selections (new format only)
1. LAS VEGAS ACES A’ja Wilson SOUTH CAROLINA F
2. INDIANA FEVER Kelsey Mitchell OHIO STATE G
3. CHICAGO SKY (FROM ATL) Diamond Deshields TENNESSEE / CUKOROVA (TURKEY) G
4. CHICAGO SKY Gabby Williams CONNECTICUT F
1. SAN ANTONIO STARS Kelsey Plum WASHINGTON G
2. CHICAGO SKY (FROM WAS) Alaina Coates SOUTH CAROLINA C
3. DALLAS WINGS Evelyn Akhator KENTUCKY F/C
4. DALLAS WINGS (FROM CON VIA LA) Allisha Gray SOUTH CAROLINA G
1. SEATTLE STORM Breanna Stewart CONNECTICUT C
2. SAN ANTONIO STARS Moriah Jefferson CONNECTICUT G
3. CONNECTICUT SUN Morgan Tuck CONNECTICUT F
4. CONNECTICUT SUN (FROM ATL) Rachel Banham MINNESOTA G
1. SEATTLE STORM Jewell Loyd NOTRE DAME G
2. TULSA SHOCK Amanda Zahui B. MINNESOTA C
3. SEATTLE STORM Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis UCONN G
4. CONNECTICUT SUN Elizabeth Williams DUKE F
The Top Prospects
This year’s crop of talented seniors includes UConn’s Napheesa Collier and Katie Lou Samuelson, Louisville’s Asia Durr, Baylor’s Kalani Brown and Iowa’s Megan Gustafson.
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:
No. 1 picks have captured 12 of the 22 MVP awards (including Breanna Stewart this year).
Nine of the 22 have won a title with the team that drafted them.
Over the last 11 seasons, the team with the No. 1 overall pick has improved its record by an average of 6.2 wins.
Team Win Totals Before & After No. 1 Pick
Year Team No. 1 Pick Previous Yr’s Next Yr’s Change in Postseason
Record Record Win Total
2008 Los Angeles Sparks Candace Parker 10-24 20-14 +10 Conf. Finals
2009 Atlanta Dream Angel McCoughtry 4-30 18-16 +14 Conf. Semis
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 Conf. Finals
2013 Phoenix Mercury Brittney Griner 7-27 19-15 +12 Conf. 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
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