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December 9, 2008 at 12:57 PM

WNBA draft order set

DreamJersey.jpgGuess Oklahoma star Courtney Paris can prepare to pack her WNBA bags for Atlanta. The Dream expectedly won the draft lottery today, earning the No. 1 overall choice. Although Atlanta has some promising bigs in Katie Feenstra, who’s a 6-foot-8 fourth-year veteran, and Sancho Lyttle, the 6-4 pickup from Houston via Monday’s dispersal draft, Brazilian C Erika De Souza told me last season that she doesn’t expect to return to the WNBA.
De Souza averaged 9.3 points and 6.3 rebounds for the 4-30 expansion team. But Paris, one of the top college players in the country who’s averaging 15.5 points and 13.8 boards for the 6-2 Sooners (or the pick in general) could be used as trade bait for the Dream, who are hopeful for a better season in their second year of existence. Atlanta has two unrestricted free agents in former Storm star Betty Lennox and All-Star Nikki Teasley, who’s returning to league after giving birth to her first child.
Washington (10-24), Chicago (12-22), Minnesota (16-18), and Phoenix (16-18) follow Atlanta in lottery picks. The Storm has the 12th overall pick and what happens during the free agent period will most likely dictate what they do with the selection.
Here’s the press release from the league:
— Washington Mystics, Chicago Sky Round Out Top Three Picks —
NEW YORK, Dec. 9, 2008 — The Atlanta Dream won the eighth annual WNBA Draft Lottery and earned the top pick in the 2009 WNBA Draft, the league announced today.
The winning team had 420 chances out of 1,000 to receive the first overall selection. The lottery went exactly according to odds for the first time in WNBA history. The Washington Mystics will have the second pick in the draft followed by the Chicago Sky.
WNBA officials conducted the Draft Lottery in New York City, which included the five teams that did not qualify for the 2008 Playoffs and established the order of selection for the first five picks of the 2009 Draft. Additionally, the order of selection for the remainder of the first round as well as the entire second and third rounds is based on each team’s finish during the 2008 regular season.
Following are results of the 2009 WNBA Draft Lottery:
Team/2008 Record/Chances/1000
1. Atlanta Dream 4-30 420
2. Washington Mystics 10-24 261
3. Chicago Sky 12-22 167
4. Minnesota Lynx 16-18 76
5. Phoenix Mercury 16-18 76
Following is the remaining order for the first round as determined by overall records from 2008:
Team/2008 Record
6. Indiana Fever 17-17
7. Sacramento Monarchs 18-16
8. New York Liberty 19-15
9. Washington Mystics
(from Los Angeles (20-14), McWilliams-Franklin/Milton-Jones trade on 4/22/08)
10. Connecticut Sun 21-13
11. Detroit Shock 22-12
12. Seattle Storm 22-12
13. Atlanta Dream
(from San Antonio Silver Stars (24-10), Wauters/Little trade on 4/9/08)
The WNBA will feature 13 teams in 2009, with the Eastern Conference comprised of seven teams: the Atlanta Dream, Chicago Sky, Connecticut Sun, Detroit Shock, Indiana Fever, New York Liberty and Washington Mystics. Six teams will compete in the Western Conference: the Los Angeles Sparks, Minnesota Lynx, Phoenix Mercury, Sacramento Monarchs, San Antonio Silver Stars and Seattle Storm.



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