2016 Record: 28-6
Key Offseason Moves:
Signed Plenette Pierson
Last Year’s Draft Picks:
2nd Round/22nd Overall: Bashaara Graves
3rd Round/35th Overall: Temi Fagbenle
This Year’s Draft Picks:
1st Round/12th Overall
2nd Round/24th Overall
3rd Round/36th Overall
It has been a quiet offseason for the Lynx, who were one possession away from winning their third title in four years this past October. If not for Nneka Ogwumike’s desperation shot in the final seconds of Game 5, Minnesota would be entering the 2017 season as champions.
And with their entire core of star players returning, the Lynx boast one of the most complete rosters in the league once again. The starting lineup of Maya Moore, Sylvia Fowles, Seimone Augustus, Lindsay Whalen and Rebekkah Brunson will likely remain the same. Renee Montgomery, Natasha Howard and Jia Perkins form a formidable trio coming off the bench, and the addition of former All-Star Plenette Pierson in free agency only strengthens their frontcourt.
Minnesota finished with the best regular-season record in 2016, and the advanced stats prove there is no glaring weakness on this team. The Lynx had the No. 1-rated offense and defense in terms of points per possession, all while leading the league in rebounding percentage.
If there is an area to nitpick on their roster, it’s scoring production off the bench. That’s a problem most teams have, but the Lynx did finish below average with 24.3 points per game coming from reserves in 2016. They could benefit from drafting a perimeter player to back up Moore and Augustus, someone who can play either wing position and knock down open shots when their star teammates command the defense’s attention.
Some of those star players – such as Whalen and Augustus – have already played more than a decade in the WNBA. Thus, the Lynx could certainly use some younger players to provide depth. Having said that, any player that gets drafted by the Lynx – even a first-rounder – will need to compete and earn a spot on their loaded roster.