Current roster certainties and virtual certainties:
PG: Lindsay Whalen/Erin Thorn
SG: Seimone Augustus/Candice Wiggins
SF: Maya Moore/Monica Wright
PF: Rebekkah Brunson/Amber Harris/Devereaux Peters
C: Taj McWilliams-Franklin/Jessica Adair
Fighting it out to try to make some kind of impression in camp: Julie Wojta, Kayla Standish, Queralt Casas, and plenty of filler.
This one’s almost as dull as Connecticut. When you waltz through the regular season 27-7, then drop just one playoff game on your way to the first championship in franchise history, you understandably don’t want to change much. They cored Taj McWilliams-Franklin just in case she might’ve been affected by another bout of wanderlust, allowing them to re-sign their evergreen starting center. Rather more surprisingly, restricted free agent Candice Wiggins was also re-signed, despite widespread expectations that someone would throw a large contract at her that the Lynx wouldn’t want to match. The offer never seemed to materialise, so Wiggins decided to stick around and go for the repeat.
The only players from last year’s squad that are no longer in Minnesota are Alexis Hornbuckle and Charde Houston, and considering they were essentially the 10th and 11th players on the roster it’s no great loss. Both went to Phoenix, technically in sign-and-trade deals, although they might as well have signed as free agents seeing as the Lynx were never going to match an offer sheet for either. Those departures opened up two roster spots that already appear to be spoken for. Veteran shooter Erin Thorn was signed to replace Hornbuckle on the perimeter, and while she isn’t the defender that Hornbuckle is, she can flat out shoot the rock. She also showed an ability to play serviceable minutes at point guard last year in Chicago, which could come in handy. Filling the final spot down low is #3 overall pick Devereaux Peters from Notre Dame, who was something of a surprise to many people when the Lynx took her that high. Minnesota passed on both Shenise Johnson of Miami and Glory Johnson of Tennessee to take Peters, feeling that her mobility and potential to develop made her the best fit for them. With the strength in depth that the Lynx already possess, barring injuries she’ll have plenty of time to learn the ropes.
All of which makes this probably the most predictable final 11 in the league. The Lynx had more draft picks than they knew what to do with, taking Brazilian big Damiris Dantas and Slovenian point guard Nika Baric in the hope that they could join up and help in future years. They also took Julie Wojta and Kayla Standish, two players that some people saw WNBA potential in before the draft. It’s theoretically possible that one of them could excel in camp to such an extent that the Lynx try to find a trade for one of their existing 11 to open up a spot, but it seems very unlikely. Far more probable is that if you see Wojta or Standish on a WNBA floor this year, it’ll be in someone else’s uniform.