Mercury eye Griner after winning WNBA’s No. 1 pick

“They all are very different players and can do different things for us,” Cox said.

Phoenix was plagued by injuries most of the season. Star Diana Taurasi played in only eight games and Penny Taylor missed the entire year while recovering from an ACL injury. Candice Dupree also missed 21 games because of a knee injury.

“This was a difficult season with all the injuries we had,” Gaines said. “The players this year tried so hard and now the texts are coming in from them. They are ready to come back and excited.”

The Mercury have had the first pick in the draft two other times, including 2004 when they drafted Taurasi.

This was the first time that the lottery was shown on television. In the past, the lottery had been held later in the calendar year behind closed doors at a league meeting.

“This worked out great,” WNBA President Laurel Richie said. “It creates a buzz and gets people talking now for the next few months until the draft in April.”

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Follow Doug Feinberg on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/dougfeinberg

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