The 2011 WNBA Draft will kick off in about three hours on ESPN, and your Minnesota Lynx have the top overall pick in this year's selection meeting. If you surf around this vast interweb of ours, you'll see that the consensus is that Connecticut forward Maya Moore will be Minnesota's pick at the top spot, and she should immediately make the Lynx a contender for the 2011 WNBA Championship.
But the Lynx have four other selections in this year's draft as well. . .what are they going to do with those picks? Let's take a stab at which direction the team will go, shall we?
After the Lynx select Moore, they'll have a bit of a breather before their next selection, the fourth pick overall. There could be a number of options at this pick, as the only player that's projected to definitely be gone before this pick is 6'8" Australian center Liz Cambage. With this pick, I think that the Lynx will look to pair Moore with another dynamic forward, and will grab 6'4" Stanford forward Kayla Pederson with this selection. Pedersen averaged 12.6 points and eight rebounds a game for the Cardinal this year, and was an all Pac-10 selection all four years she played at Stanford.
From there, the Lynx have the top two picks in the second round, the 13th and 14th selections overall. While it would be nice to see Pedersen's Stanford teammate, Jeanette Pohlen, drop to one of those spots, it likely won't happen. So, to give them a spark in the backcourt, I think the Lynx will use one of those picks on Jasmine Thomas, a 5'9" point guard out of Duke. Thomas was the MVP of the 2011 ACC Tournament, and led the Blue Devils in scoring each of the past two years. The other pick will go back to the front court, as I think the Lynx will tab Carolyn Swords, the 6'6" center out of Boston College.
The Lynx will have one more pick in the draft, that being the first pick of the third round (the 25th overall selection). Having drafted 80% of a starting five with our first four predicted picks, the Lynx could look to the shooting guard spot with Baylor's Melissa Jones. Jones suffered a nasty eye injury this past season, but appears to be fully recovered and would make a nice addition to the Lynx.
This assumes that the Lynx will keep all of their selections. . .it's entirely possible that they could trade at least one of those choices for future considerations. But in our scenario, we assume that they make all their selections.
The WNBA Draft will be held at 2:00 PM Central time, and you'll be able to watch it on ESPN. We'll have coverage of all the picks here, and our friends over at Swish Appeal will have coverage of the whole draft.