The Tulsa Shock had the best chance to win the first pick in the 2011 WNBA draft, but the odds played out in favor of the Minnesota Lynx at the WNBA draft lottery in New York on Tuesday. The Shock finished their inaugural 2010 season with a record of 6-28, which gave them 442 chances out of 1,000 to nab the top pick. Instead, the Shock will select second in the draft and team officials are still excited about their position.
"I am excited to bring a top-two caliber player to Tulsa," said General Manager and Head Coach Nolan Richardson. "The upcoming women’s college basketball season is sure to be a great one and I look forward to watching film and seeing many college prospects in person in order to get the best possible player for Tulsa."
"This is a great day for our organization and the Tulsa community," Shock President Steve Swetoha added. "We are extremely excited to use our selection to invite a top talent to the Shock family who will help grow women’s basketball in this community," he said.
Thanks to a mid-season trade with the Phoenix Mercury, Tulsa will also select seventh overall. Minnesota is the only other team with two first round selections, as they will also pick fourth to complete a trade made with the Connecticut Sun. Chicago will select third while Los Angeles received the fifth pick.
Richardson can now move forward with his plans to build the Shock into a winner and he seems to be excited about the talent pool that this season’s draft class provides. "We feel like we are in a great position to add some valuable pieces that will improve our performance from last year by leaps and bounds," he said.
The consensus number one pick for April’s draft is Connecticut forward Maya Moore. Other players projected to be high first round selections include Oklahoma guard Danielle Robinson and center Jantel Lavender from Ohio State.
The full first round order is as follows:
1. Minnesota (13-21)
2. Tulsa (6-28)
3. Chicago (14-20)
4. Minnesota (from Connecticut)
5. Los Angeles (13-21)
6. San Antonio (14-20)
7. Tulsa (from Phoenix)
8. Atlanta (19-15)
9. Indiana (21-13)
10. New York (22-12)
11. Washington (22-12)
12. Seattle (28-6)