The Minnesota Lynx are #reloaded. Just ask Taj McWilliams-Franklin. And now, Candice Wiggins. The Lynx resigned their Ms. Personality to a contract yesterday, locking up yet another player from the 2011 WNBA championship team. Minnesota has been diligent in being the ‘early birds’ so far this offseason.
On January 23rd, the team re-signed reserved player Jessica Adair. On January 26th, core player Mama Taj re-signed on the dotted line. On February 2nd, restricted free agent Alexis Hornbuckle was involved in a sign and trade with the Phoenix Mercury in exchange for a 2013 2nd round draft pick. And now on February 10th, Ice was inked. Restricted free agent Charde Houston is the last on the winning roster that needs to come to terms with the team to bring back nearly the entire roster to Minnesota.
Last season, the champs added the top pick of the draft, Maya Moore, into the fold. This year, the ping pong balls slated the Lynx into the 3rd pick of the 2012 draft. Despite winning their first league championship, Minnesota will get to capitalize on a 2011 trade with the Mystics to earn a lottery pick yet again. In fact, the Lynx will have been in the top four picks of each of the last seven drafts, dating back to the 2006 No. 1 pick of Seimone Augustus.
So to refresh your memory, the Lynx bring back four 2011 All-Stars. Augustus, Minnesota’s leading scorer from 2011, averaged 16.2 points a game that was upped to 22 a contest in the championship playoff run. Rebekkah Brunson, the Lynx’ rebound machine, averaged 8.9 boards a night in the regular season and a double-double of 10.8 rebounds and 11.9 points in the postseason. Lindsey Whalen, the homegrown hero and captain of the ship, posted 13.6 points and 5.9 assists from her spot at the point. And rookie sensation Moore, who earned ROY honors, chipped in 13.2 points, 4.6 rebounds and a team-leading 1.4 steals a game in her first run through the regular season.
Add to that All-Star roster the services of McWilliams-Franklin, Adair, Wiggins, Monica Wright, Amber Harris and the No. 3 pick in 2012 and all you’re missing is emotional leader of the #LosLynx t-shirt movement, Houston, to complete the bunch of 11.
The 27-7 Lynx outpaced their competition by a country mile with their nearest competitors – Seattle, Indiana, and Connecticut – finishing up the year with marks of 21-13. The West – and the league – is on notice that a repeat just might be in the cards.