All eyes are on the Seattle Storm and head coach/GM Lin Dunn as the team holds the No. 1 overall pick in the 2002 WNBA Draft. Will Dunn keep it, or trade for some veteran leadership? She answered that and more when she spoke with WNBA.com.
Since you again have the No. 1 overall pick this year, what did you learn from your experience last year that you're taking into this draft?
Dunn: After having the first pick last year, I was better prepared for the many phone calls that I'm receiving from other teams about possible trades. Last year I think I was surprised in the interest in the first pick and this year I'm not. I'm more prepared to deal with the constant discussions about trading for that first pick.
Are you seriously considering any of those trades offers?
Dunn: Well, yes. To be honest, I am seriously considering -- more so than last year -- the possibility of trading the first pick. I'd say there are at least three serious offers on the table.
How did Lauren Jackson pay off for the Storm after selecting her No. 1 in 2001?
Dunn: We were thrilled, first of all, that we were able to secure Lauren and then have her come in and have such a great rookie season. In all honesty, I thought she was the rookie of the year. She's young, she's talented and is only going to be turning 21 this year. She has had an enormous impact on our team.
How have your draft tactics changed this year and what are you doing differently compared to last year?
"I'm either going to pick Sue Bird, Stacey Dales, Swin Cash, Nikki Teasley or Sheila Lambert. I'm going to pick one of those five ..."
-- Lin Dunn
Dunn: We can approach the draft a little differently because we're a bit deeper than we were say the first or second year. We now have a good core so we cannot only address securing the best player in the draft, but we can also look at specific needs that we need to address.
Speaking of those needs, what are your primary motivations in making draft-day decisions?
Dunn: We feel strongly that we're a very good defensive team. In order for us to go to the next level and seriously challenge for the playoffs, we need to score five more points and we need to get five more rebounds per game. In all the positions, we're looking to improve so if you can score and if you can rebound, then you are on my chart.
We know you have the very first pick, but what is your strategy for the rest of the draft?
Dunn: In the very first round, we're either going to pick the very best player available or trade for more than one player. In the other rounds, we'll do more of addressing specific needs ... if we need help at the small forward, if we need help at the power forward. So the other rounds we look at positions and where we need the most help.
So, now everyone wants to know ... who are you going to pick?
Dunn: Well, I'll tell you this: I'm either going to pick Sue Bird, Stacey Dales, Swin Cash, Nikki Teasley or Sheila Lambert. I'm going to pick one of those five, or I'll trade the pick. And I really don't know yet for sure. The trade deadline is 5 p.m. Thursday (April 18).
Who would the Lin Dunn bobblehead select?
Dunn: Who would the bobblehead select? (laughs) Thank goodness the bobblehead can't talk!