As the WNBA offseason and the college basketball seasons continue, it’s time to start looking ahead to one of the biggest events of the WNBA offseason annually — the WNBA Draft.
The 2024 WNBA Draft will take place on April 15, with the Indiana Fever holding the first overall pick in the three-round draft. The Los Angeles Sparks, Phoenix Mercury, Seattle Storm and Dallas Wings round out the top five in the opening round.
After a 19-21 finish and a return to the postseason in 2023, the Minnesota Lynx hold the seventh pick in the upcoming draft, a spot that could result in the selection of a talented prospect to join the up-and-coming Lynx.
As the draft approaches, we want to get you caught up on the college prospects currently listed in mock drafts to come off the board at No. 7 to Minnesota and make you familiar with what they could bring to the Lynx.
Here are who a few media outlets are predicting the Lynx will select:
- ESPN: Alissa Pili, Forward, Utah
- The Athletic: Charlisse Leger-Walker, Guard, Washington State
- Yahoo Sports: Kamilla Cardoso, Center, South Carolina
- USA Today: Charlisse Leger-Walker, Guard, Washington State
- Winsidr: Alissa Pili, Forward, Utah
- Sporting News: Elizabeth Kitley, Center, Virginia Tech
- Tankathon: Rickea Jackson, Forward, Tennessee
- FloHoops: Angel Reese, Forward, LSU
Pili is one of the most talented offensive forwards predicted to go in the first round of the WNBA Draft, sitting near the top 10 in the country in scoring this season. Throughout her college career, she has been able to boost her team from anywhere on the floor, especially from three, which could help Minnesota in improving its deep-ball game. Pili could also be a matchup nightmare for opposing teams while being able to attack defenses from anywhere on the floor.
Pili, who has averaged 21.9 points, 5.7 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.2 steals and 1.2 blocks per game this year along with shooting marks of 62.1% from the field and 43.5% from three*, displays a balanced game but will need some improvement on the defensive end at the next level. She could be someone Minnesota targets at No. 7 depending on who goes in the first six picks.
Heading into the offseason, there is no question the point guard position is still an area of need for the Lynx. They do have Lindsay Allen who could return to resume the starting role in 2024 and could dip into free agency to sign a player to step in as a starter immediately, but Minnesota still needs to address that spot and its depth either this offseason or next.
Leger-Walker is a player who has shown the ability to be a leader and floor general at Washington State, providing the ability to boost her team offensively but also showcasing her skills on the glass. Through 17 games with Washington State, Leger-Walker has averaged 13.5 points, 7.1 rebounds (career high) 4.9 assists (career high) and 1.8 steals while shooting 38.8% from the field and 23.7% from deep*.
Leger-Walker could be a player Minnesota might be interested in trying to develop to either serve in a back-up role or eventually take over the starting point guard spot in the future.
Cardoso is a double-double machine who has anchored South Carolina in the paint throughout her career. She is a lengthy center who has a strong rebounding ability to go along with an average offensive game. The center spot is an interesting position for the Lynx, who have Dorka Juhász and Jessica Shepard — and potentially Maïa Hirsch — at that spot. With that said, health at center has been an area of concern for Minnesota the past few years, which could result in the team looking to take a center in the draft.
Cardoso has averaged 13.1 points, 10.6 rebounds and 2.9 blocks to go along with a 60% field goal percentage through 16 games this season*, which would be valuable on the Lynx. That is if she doesn’t decide to return to South Carolina for another season next year.
Jackson was a player who was predicted to the Lynx in the 2023 WNBA Draft in many mock drafts until she returned to Tennessee rather than taking the next step to the professional level. Jackson is an impressive player who can score and rebound, but her health is a concern which could result in her dropping in the draft. That alone might deter some teams from taking in the early portion of the 2024 draft.
Over eight games this year, Jackson has shown the balance of being able to boost Tennessee offensively while also improving her rebounding abilities, averaging 19.4 points, 9.0 rebounds and 1.9 assists while shooting 45.9% from the field*. The Lynx don’t necessarily need a forward, an area they are relatively deep at, but if Jackson is still available at No. 7, they could consider taking her like they might have a season ago.
Like many collegiate players who could have entered the WNBA Draft a season ago, Kitley decided to forgo joining the WNBA to return to Virginia Tech for another year. The 6-foot-6 center was another player who was projected to be taken by the Lynx in mock drafts last offseason and is a player that could end up landing in the first round of this year’s draft.
Over the last few seasons and again this year, Kitley has done a great job in the paint for Virginia Tech and is a player the team runs through in the paint. She is a double-double machine, averaging 22.1 points, 11.5 rebounds, 2.1 blocks and 2.0 assists while shooting 53.9% from the field through 16 games*. As was mentioned with Cardoso, Kitley could be a valuable depth piece at center that Minnesota could take a chance on, if the Lynx decide what they have on the roster right now isn’t the path they want to go moving forward.
Reese is an intriguing prospect that some might be on the fence about when thinking of drafting her, notably due to the attention she brings with her both on and off the court. There’s no question Reese is a top talent and prospect who can help a WNBA team such as the Lynx, but the headlines and attention she grabs might shy some teams away.
In her second season at LSU this year, Reese continues to put up impressive numbers while being able to score and rebound as well as anyone in the country. Reese currently ranks in the top 10 in the country with 11.5 rebounds per game to go along with 20.1 points, 2.4 assists and 2.0 steals and a shooting percentage of 50% in 14 games*. One area of Reese’s game that could use some work is her ability to shoot from deep, a skill she hasn’t really shown the ability to do at the college level.
Reese could be a player worth taking a chance on, that is if she indeed enters the WNBA and doesn’t return to college for one more year next season.
Other Interesting Prospects
Georgia Amoore, Guard, Virginia Tech
Amoore is exactly the type of player the Lynx need, a shooting point guard who can lead an offense as a floor general. With Virginia Tech, she has built a strong resume of lifting her team from deep while pairing that with a strong ability to distribute.
Based on how the first half of the first round goes and which players are still available, Amoore might be someone who rises up to the Lynx at No. 7 to fill a need at point guard.
Charisma Osborne, Guard, UCLA
Osborne is an experienced guard who has helped lead UCLA with veteran leadership and someone who can swap between both guard positions while being able to score, distribute and rebound well at her height.
Minnesota needs a guard, as mentioned, and if the Lynx can slide her into the point guard spot she could be worth taking a chance on.
*Stats listed are through Jan. 18