Draft night 2019 will be a busy one for the Lynx.
The Lynx have five picks this year: numbers 6, 16, 18, 20 and 30, more than any other team in the draft. Everyone’s focus will justifiably be on that No. 6 pick which is the highest selection the Lynx have had since they took Devereaux Peters with the No. 3 overall pick. However, there could be opportunities for the Lynx at their later slots as well in what’s looking like a very deep draft.
While the odds of later-round picks making it in the WNBA are historically low, the Lynx might end up being a good landing spot for young prospects. With Lindsay Whalen retiring and Maya Moore spending the year away from basketball, the Lynx are looking for help at several positions. Even with the additions of Karima Christmas-Kelly and Damiris Dantas, Minnesota will still have a few rotation spots to be fought for. When teams turn the page on an era, as the Lynx are doing now, it can be a massive opportunity for players to cement their place in the league. Training camp will be competitive—nothing will be given away.
Whoever the Lynx end up with at No. 6 will probably be a rotation piece for them. You can read all our draft prospect profiles at the Lynx Draft Central page, but however you slice it there are an abundance of potential future high-level WNBA players who will be available at that slot. There are a lot of directions the Lynx could go—there are scorers at practically every position, a few real impact defenders and several elite rebounders. Minnesota will have options. The history of that pick is a good one as well—players like Betty Lennox, Deanna Dolan, Tamika Williams, Nicole Ohlde, Stephanie Dolson, Jonquel Jones and Danielle Robinson were all taken at No. 6. It’s a spot you can certainly land a team-changing player.
At this point the Lynx have to be focused on building around Sylvia Fowles, and that means getting some shooting. A great place to do that might be in the second round. The top of the draft is stacked with forwards who project to be future WNBA rotation players or even stars, so there’s a chance that a few very talented offensive players at the guard spots will fall into the second round. The nice thing about having three second-round picks is that the Lynx don’t have to nail all of them or have every pick contribute immediately to make the night a success. While you’d obviously like to hit on every pick, the Lynx will have multiple chances at several players. It’s easy to see them taking one or two prospects that fill a specific need for the team and then using a pick or two on high-potential prospects that may not play right away.
It’s going to be extremely interesting to see how Cheryl Reeve and Co. manage this draft. This is certainly the most high-profile draft Reeve has presided over and it’s a chance for her to really put her mark on the team from a personnel standpoint. There’s a major opportunity here for Minnesota and the team knows it—the youth movement is beginning.