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WNBA Draft Preview: Will the Minnesota Lynx repeat as champions?

With or without draft day, Head Coach Cheryl Reeve and the Minnesota Lynx will be a force in 2018.

WNBA: Finals-Los Angeles Sparks at Minnesota Lynx Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Lynx, after finishing 27-7 last year and securing its fourth championship in six years, have been a model of consistency for the WNBA.

There is no reason to believe it won’t be the same in 2018. After an epic WNBA Finals in 2017, and a battle for first with Los Angeles, we could very well see another Lynx-Sparks finals this season.

Team Stats

Offensive Rating: 108.3 (1st)

Defensive Rating: 94.1 (12th)

Pace: 78.8 (6th)

The good - Minnesota led the league, or was near the top, in nearly every offensive statistical category in 2017. They finished first in field goals made (32.4), second in field goal percentage (47.8), second in 3-point field goal percentage (37.0), second in assists (20.5) and third in points per game (85.3).

The bad - Maybe Cheryl Reeve would disagree, but not many things to turn your nose up at for the Lynx. There is room for growth from the free throw line and in the offensive rebounding column.

What have the Lynx done in the offseason?

Key Departures: Renee Montgomery was traded to the Atlanta Dream in free agency, Natasha Howard was traded to Seattle and Jia Perkins retired.

Key Additions: The Lynx added free-agent guard and WNBA veteran Tanisha Wright after a year-long break, as well as free agents Lynetta Kizer and Indy Miyem. They also signed three-time All-Star Danielle Robinson.

Re-signings: Forwards Cecilia Zandalasini and Rebekkah Brunson; Cheryl Reeve multi-year extension.

The Lynx draft picks

The Lynx will get the 12th pick in the second and third rounds - No. 24 and No. 36 overall - and the No. 17 overall pick.

The Lynx received the No. 17 pick in this year’s draft when they acquired Robinson and traded Howard. The Lynx also acquired the 2019 second round pick from Phoenix, the 2018 No. 17 overall pick mentioned above and right to a first round pick swap in 2019 from Seattle.

What do the Lynx need?

With Minnesota’s starting lineup still fully intact, they’ll need key players off the bench to step up on the inevitable off nights of its veteran-infused roster. The Lynx seem to have an unshakeable trend going, too. That is, winning championships every other year (2011, 2013, 2015, 2017). As one of the oldest teams in the WNBA, they’ll have to find ways to stay fresh and hope that younger talent also starts to emerge.