With so much hype surrounding the 2013 WNBA Draft, ESPN announced it will televise the 2013 WNBA Draft Lottery for the first time. The result of the drawing of the dancing ping-pong balls will air live on ESPN’s 6 p.m. edition of SportsCenter on Wednesday, Sept. 26.
The lottery will determine the first four picks in the draft, with the winner receiving the No. 1 pick. Baylor's Brittney Griner is the hands down favorite to be the top choice, but two other elite prospects are Elena Delle Donne of Delaware and Notre Dame star Skylar Diggins. The team that gets the fourth pick will be looking at player considered much less likely to be a WNBA star, so in some ways it's more important who gets the fourth slot than who gets the first.
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 from 2012.
The four teams eliminated from the 2012 WNBA playoffs will participate in the lottery. To date, the Washington Mystics, Phoenix Mercury and Tulsa Shock are in, with the Chicago Sky and New York Liberty "battling" for the final slot.
WNBA officials and a representative from the accounting firm of Ernst & Young will conduct the Draft Lottery. Fourteen balls numbered 1-14 will be placed in a lottery machine and mixed. Four balls will then be drawn to the top to determine a four-digit combination. The team that has been 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 and third picks. The team that does not win one of the top three picks will be slotted fourth.
There are 1,001 possible combinations when four balls are drawn out of 14, without regard to their order of selection. One thousand of those combinations will be assigned to the four non-playoff teams based on their order of finish in the 2012 regular season. The remaining combination will be unassigned. If the one unassigned combination is drawn, the balls will be placed back into the machine and the process will be repeated until an assigned combination is drawn.