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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Monday, September 07, 2015

Seattle officially in WNBA Draft lottery

With Seattle's loss to Chicago tonight, three of the four teams who will be in the WNBA Draft lottery are set.

The Storm currently owns the best odds of winning the lottery (and likely selecting UConn's Breanna Stewart) but San Antonio could still earn that distinction.

The WNBA recently announced that the lottery rules have been changed. Rather than merely taking the record from the most recently completed season, the combined record over the last two seasons will be used to determine the lottery odds.

Seattle has three games remaining. With a 9-22 record this season and 12-22 mark a season ago, the Storm leads by two games over San Antonio (7-25 and 16-18) over the last two seasons. Seattle does have to play Minnesota in its next two games and if it were to lose both of those games, the Storm would have the best odds for the No. 1 pick. However. if Seattle were to split those two games and San Antonio loses to Tulsa on Tuesday, the team with the best lottery odds would come down to final game of the WNBA season when Seattle and San Antonio play at 9 p.m. on Sept. 13. If San Antonio loses that game, the Stars would win/lose the tiebreaker which is the worst record in the 2015 season.

If that is how it plays out, the loser of that game would improve their chances of drafting Stewart by 16.6 percent as the team with the best odds would have a 44.2 percent chance at getting the top pick while the second-place team would have a 27.6 percent chance to earning the top pick.

Connecticut is locked into the No. 3 spot in the lottery and has a 17.8 percent probability of getting the No. 1 overall pick. Either Atlanta or Washington would have the worst chance (10.4 percent) at securing the No. 1 overall pick.

The lottery will take play on Sept. 24 during halftime of the Eastern Conference final and will be televised live on ESPN2.

Another new wrinkle is that the team with the best odds for the No. 1 pick can fall no lower than third. With Stewart, UConn's Moriah Jefferson and South Carolina's Tiffany Mitchell likely at the top of the draft board, that puts Seattle or San Antonio in a pretty good situation.

It should be noted that from 2010-13 that the team with the worst record did not get the No. 1 pick. That change in the last two years when Connecticut got the No. 1 overall pick in 2014  when Chiney Ogwumike landed in Connecticut. Last year Seattle and Tulsa were tied for the worst record and ended up picking first and second. In 2010, Sacramento (which won the lottery with the second worst record) folded between the time the lottery was conducted and the draft was held so Minnesota did end up with the No. 1 pick although it was dealt to Connecticut in the Lindsay Whalen/Tina Charles trade.

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