Now that the Wolves season is over, one of the things we will turn our attention to is the Minnesota Lynx, who have their first major activity of the upcoming season tonight when they participate in the WNBA draft. The Lynx hold the 11th overall pick in what is considered a very weak draft, so it's unclear how much help will be forthcoming.
And the Lynx could use some help. After winning two titles in three seasons, the Lynx fell in the Western Conference Finals in 2014 to the Phoenix Mercury. It was another strong season for the Lynx, but injuries revealed their relative lack of depth, despite sporting one of the best starting fives (when available) in the league.
The issue going forward is that the Lynx aren't getting any younger. Four of their five starters are over 30, and because they have been so successful in recent years, they have been picking late in the draft and have found limited help available to them to replenish.
Brazilian Damiris Dantas showed some promise filling in for much of the season for Rebekkah Brunson, who underwent knee surgery at the start of the year, and Dev Peters, who was the last Lynx top 5 overall pick (3rd in 2012) has also shown flashes, but neither really looked like pushing for more playing time, and neither have the rebounding chops of the powerful Brunson. Tricia Liston and Asia Taylor, the Lynx's first and third round picks in 2014 respectively, got limited backup minutes on the perimeter, but aren't taking over anytime soon.
Tonight's draft is viewable at 6pm CDT on ESPN2. The top two picks are expected to be underclassmen who declared early, a trend from the men's game that is becoming more common on the women's side: Jewell Lloyd from Notre Dame, and Minnesota's own Amanda Zahui B. Here's the draft order for the first round:
1. Seattle Storm
2. Tulsa Shock
3. Seattle Storm
4. Connecticut Sun
5. Chicago Sky
6. San Antonio Stars
7. Los Angeles Sparks
8. Washington Mystics
9. San Antonio Stars
10. Atlanta Dream
11. Minnesota Lynx
12. Phoenix Mercury
For all your coverage of the WNBA draft, and the WNBA in particular, you should check out Swish Appeal. They have a mock draft up today as well, that predicts the Lynx will take Kiah Stokes from the University of Connecticut.
It's time to get ready for another Lynx season, and hopefully another run at a championship.