The Minnesota Lynx had a successful 2021 campaign. They lost in the second round to the eventual champions, the Chicago Sky, and now have a solid team and a handful of draft picks they can use to improve. With a roster that is established and not much salary cap space, let’s break down who the Lynx can go after with their No. 8 pick, No. 13 pick, No. 22 pick, and No. 28 pick in this year’s WNBA draft.
First Round: No. 8 pick
With a first-round pick and the very first pick in the second round, the Lynx will have a couple of opportunities to draft top talent early. According to our WNBA Mock Draft, Elissa Cunane from NC State is a player the Lynx will be aiming for. She has the size and is a dominant scoring option who can learn underneath the WNBA legend Sylvia Fowles. Or perhaps they’ll go for a high-risk, high reward option like Nyara Sabally from Oregon? A player who has been plagued by injuries but has WNBA All-Star caliber talent.
Second Round: No. 13 pick
With the No. 13 pick, the Lynx will be able to go in the opposite direction of their No. 8 pick. So with some great big options in the first round, it makes sense to go for a guard in the second. I like Veronica Burton from Northwestern. She’s an explosive offensive player who plays like a veteran. She also played for a college team that flies a bit under the radar, so I think she’ll be available at 13 if they want her. Nia Clouden from Michigan State is a similar scoring guard the Lynx can pick if Burton is off the board or if they prefer her offensive skillset over Burton’s.
Second Round: No. 22 pick
I like Lexie Hull’s game a lot. Averaging 12.5 points and 5.1 rebounds, she was a leader for Stanford, and adding her to a playoff team with championship aspirations could be a perfect fit. I think she could be a “mature rookie” in the WNBA, and that fits the kind of player the Lynx could use. Kianna Smith from Louisville also matches this description, and her production is very similar to Hull’s. Either guard could be a nice pickup for Minnesota.
Third Round: No. 28 pick
In the third round, you take a chance on the left players and hope you strike gold. Joanne Allen-Taylor could be that gold. The Texas Longhorn guard averaged double-digit points in 2021-22 and consistently performed well against top talent in the NCAA Tournament. To counter the guards, maybe the Lynx go with a big? Queen Egbo of Baylor has a great defensive presence and excellent rebounding ability. Minnesota would be a perfect for Egbo. She could develop while learning and not feel rushed to be ready to play significant minutes on day one.
With four draft picks and not as many roster spots or salary cap space, it’s clear the Lynx will not have four rookies on the roster when the season starts unless they make a lot of moves. So, it’ll be interesting to see who they draft and what future these players will have on the team. Will they be fighting for a spot during training camp? Will moves be made to guarantee their roster spot? And what will be Minnesota’s main focus in the draft? Ready now, players? A player to replace Fowles in a year or maybe an experiment? We have a lot of questions and will begin getting some answers on April 11, when the WNBA draft takes place.