Teams Qualifying for Lottery Will Vie for Top Pick in 2016
The 2016 WNBA Draft Lottery presented by State Farm will be televised live on ESPN2 on Thursday, September 24, the WNBA announced Thursday. The telecast, hosted by Matt Barrie, will air during halftime of Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals. The winner of the Lottery will secure the top pick in the 2016 WNBA Draft to be conducted in April.
Under the new format announced on August 5, the 15th annual drawing will still be held among the four teams that do 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 will be based on the cumulative records of the Lottery teams over the two most recent regular seasons (2014 and 2015).
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 current season (e.g., the first tiebreaker would be the worst record in the 2015 regular season).
The new format also 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.
This marks the fourth straight year that ESPN will televise the lottery. In September 2012, the Phoenix Mercury won the WNBA’s first Lottery televised live on ESPN, capturing the No.1 overall pick in the 2013 WNBA Draft the following April. Phoenix selected Baylor’s Brittney Griner with the first pick. One year later, the Connecticut 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 Seattle Storm landed the top pick, which the team used to select Notre Dame’s Jewell Loyd.