Sparks will get top pick in WNBA draft
The Sparks were awarded the top pick in the WNBA draft despite entering Thursday's lottery in New York with only a 10.4% chance of earning the No. 1 spot.
The Sparks were competing against three other teams for the top pick -- the Tulsa Shock, the Minnesota Lynx and the Chicago Sky -- and had the fourth-best odds.
The Shock, who were 3-31 last season, were favored to win the top pick (44.2%). They will draft fourth. The Sky (14-20) will select second and the Lynx (27-7) will choose third.
This is the second time in franchise history that the Sparks drew the top pick. The last time they had the top choice was in 2008, when they drafted Tennessee superstar Candace Parker, who went on to earn the MVP award in her rookie year.
This is an unexpected coup for the Sparks, who were 15-19 last season and missed the playoffs for the fourth time in franchise history.
The draft will be held April 16.
-- Melissa Rohlin
Photo: The Sparks prepare for an exhibition game against Seattle in May. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times