With a total of five picks leading into the 2023 WNBA Draft, the Minnesota Lynx have an opportunity to find multiple prospects to help the team this summer and beyond after failing to reach the playoffs in 2022.
The biggest opportunity in accomplishing that came at the second overall pick in the three-round draft, a selection many thought started the draft with South Carolina’s Aliyah Boston a lock to go first overall to the Indiana Fever.
On Monday, we finally found out who Minnesota would end up choosing with that second overall pick. The Lynx selected athletic guard Diamond Miller out of Maryland.
Miller, a 6-foot-3 guard, is one of the best overall athletes in the 2023 draft class and a player who could potentially have the highest ceiling of this year’s college prospects when it’s all said and done. That largely lies on her development in the WNBA, as is the case with any prospect.
“She’s a player who appears to be pretty coachable and she has a lot of confidence,” Lynx Head Coach and President of Basketball Operations Cheryl Reeve said before the draft.. “That’s what separates these players (in the draft). The really good ones believe they can do anything, and that’s something that I think is enjoyable to coach. It’s enjoyable to kind of dive into from a player development standpoint. Diamond has the physical gifts we all look at and go ‘wow’. She’s legit 6’3” and has some length, athleticism, real abilities.”
In her fourth season at Maryland, Miller averaged career-highs of 19.7 points, 6.4 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 2.1 steals and 1.3 blocks while shooting 47.6 percent from the field over 28.7 minutes in 34 games, helping the Terrapins to the Elite Eight in the NCAA Tournament in March. Over her career, Miller has showcased the ability to be versatile and utilize her length, offensive ability and overall skill that could be useful in the WNBA with Minnesota.
“It starts with her mentality and relentless. Always being on the attack, a lot of maturity about her game in terms of her approach and her preparation,’’ ESPN’s LaChina Robinson said of Miller ahead of the draft. “She’s got a pro-ready body.’’
Miller, who is just 22 years old, still has some things to work on like finding a consistent three-ball offensively, but she will have the ability to grow alongside and form a formidable wing duo with Napheesa Collier as the Lynx place their eyes on the future of the franchise for years to come.
“We want to make sure we’re giving (Collier) a team she wants to play with,’’ Reeve said before the draft. “That there is a clear direction with our team and who we’re putting around her. We want to make sure it’s a selfless individual who is talented and cares about winning first. That’s what we want.”