The Minnesota Lynx on Wednesday morning announced the team acquired point guard Natisha Hiedeman in a trade that sent Tiffany Mitchell and a second-round pick (No. 19 overall) in the 2024 WNBA Draft to the Connecticut Sun.
Hiedeman, who turns 27 on February 10, was originally drafted by the Lynx in the sixth pick of the second round in the 2019 WNBA Draft (No. 18 overall) before the Sun acquired her on draft night. Her contract runs through the 2024 WNBA season before she becomes an unrestricted free agent this time next year.
She will bring 3-point shooting, needed playmaking and playoff experience to the Lynx back-court. The Green Bay, Wisconsin native played in and started for all 40 games (plus seven playoff games) for the Sun last season, averaging 8.5 points on 39.2/36.6/73.9 shooting splits, 2.7 assists to 1.4 turnovers, 2.1 rebounds and 0.9 steals in 26.7 minutes per game.
The former Marquette standout played in 37 playoff games across her five seasons in Connecticut, where she was a major part of the team’s run to the WNBA Finals in 2022 (in which the Sun lost 3-1 to the Las Vegas Aces) alongside stars Jonquel Jones, Alyssa Thomas, Brionna Jones, DeWanna Bonner and Courtney Williams.
By bringing in Hiedeman, Lynx General Manager Clare Duwelius is giving Head Coach Cheryl Reeve another player that can shoot and help provide more spacing around Napheesa Collier and Diamond Miller, who do most of their damage on the drive and in the post. Hiedeman will also play an important role in organizing the offense in the half-court, something Lindsay Allen did very well for the Lynx last season.
Hiedeman had a down season in terms of her scoring out of pick-and-roll in 2023, but was solid as a playmaker in those situations; if she returns to her 2022 scoring efficiency, she will be an upgrade at the point guard spot as a scorer and shooter — an element that can further unlock the Lynx offense.
Minnesota’s newest member joins forward Alanna Smith as the Lynx’s two external additions so far this offseason. The Lynx also hold the No. 7 pick in the 2024 WNBA Draft, which takes place on April 15. Once Smith officially joins the Lynx, she and Hiedeman will join a roster that includes six other players:
- Napheesa Collier
- Kayla McBride
- Diamond Miller
- Dorka Juhász
- Bridget Carleton, who is set to re-sign with the Lynx on a two-year deal
- Jess Shepard
The Lynx now have four open roster spots and plenty of cap space to continue pursuing acquisitions via free agency and on the trade market. Presuming Carleton re-signs for a figure near the $91,000 she earned in 2023, and that Smith will earn a healthy raise more than the $100,000 she signed for with the Chicago Sky last offseason, the Lynx could have in between $400,000 and $450,000 to fill out their final four roster spots. That is more than enough to make another splash on the market while rounding out the edges of the roster, as well.
Hiedeman and McBride are the only guards on the roster, so Minnesota could look to bring back 1) the sure-handed and well-liked Allen and/or 2) veteran shooter and locker room leader Rachel Banham. Given which players might be available at No. 7, addressing the guard/wing spot in the draft could make sense as well.
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