November 12, 2022
Lynx secure the No. 2 pick, further aligning the stars for a monster offseason
The Lynx are in as good a position as any team to see a significant turnaround next season.
The Minnesota Lynx entered Friday afternoon’s draft lottery with the fourth-best odds at landing South Carolina center and generational talent Aliyah Boston…er, the first overall pick in the 2023 WNBA Draft. Unfortunately, “fourth-best,” for those out there with a glass-half-empty mentality, also translates to “worst.”
Minnesota owned a 10.4% chance of landing the first pick and although they came up short—the Indiana Fever, who had a 44.2% chance, were awarded the right to select Boston—they did move up, ultimately landing the second pick.
Unless UConn’s Paige Bueckers (highly unlikely) leaves college early, many draft analysts—including The Next’s own Em Adler—view the 2023 draft as one with a clear-cut No. 1 pick and a fairly obvious No. 2.
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Stanford wing Haley Jones—who has fans in the Lynx front office—is one of the most decorated athletes in college basketball and is robust on both sides of the ball. She’d fit seamlessly on a Lynx team that struggled last season with perimeter defense, consistent play from their ballhandlers, and a competitive edge.
The Lynx moving up from No. 4 to No. 2 also figures to open up more opportunities in the trade market. President of Basketball Operations and head coach Cheryl Reeve has already mentioned many times this offseason that the Lynx will aggressively court the league’s top free agents this winter in an attempt to return to the top of the table. It would surprise no one if they also aggressively attacked the trade market as they have nearly $540,000 in cap space, two first-round picks (No. 2 and No. 12), and many roster holes and roles to fill.
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In some regard, Minnesota couldn’t have asked for a better time to have a lackluster campaign. Sylvia Fowles is gone, but her departure opened up the bulk of the team’s cap space and the free agent class is loaded with high-level bigs. There’s clear WNBA talent at the top of the draft board for the second consecutive season, a big appeal to both the Lynx and other team’s around the league. Reeve re-upped with Minnesota for five years, putting an onus on winning now, not later.
In other words, all the stars have aligned. The Lynx enter the 2023 offseason in an excellent position to make multiple big splashes, which should make the palms of other WNBA front offices at least a little sweaty. Granted, Reeve will have to land the big fish, but no other team in the lottery—or otherwise—is in a better position to pull a complete 180 from their previous season.
Written by Lucas Seehafer
Lucas Seehafer is a general reporter for The Next. He is also a physical therapist and professor at the undergraduate level. His work has previously appeared at Baseball Prospectus, Forbes, FanSided, and various other websites.