HANSEN: Questions The Lynx Will Have To Answer This Offseason

MINNEAPOLIS, MNNotice: Copyright 2016 NBAE (Photo by Jordan Johnson/NBAE via Getty Images)

There’s no denying it, the Minnesota Lynx have been one of the most dominant teams in the WNBA — and perhaps even in the sports world in general — for the past seven years.

The Lynx continued to cement their place in league history during the 2017 season, winning their fourth title in seven seasons. But with the 2017 campaign in the rearview mirror, the offseason is in full swing. And like many teams in the WNBA, Minnesota will have numerous questions to answer before the 2018 season arrives.

Here’s a look into a few of those questions the Lynx will be faced with:

Will Core Lynx Players Once Again Skip Overseas Play?

One of the biggest decisions that multiple Lynx players made prior to the 2017 season was to skip playing overseas during the offseason.

Players like Lindsay Whalen, Seimone Augustus and Maya Moore, among others, decided to rest up and focus on the upcoming WNBA season instead of continuing to play overseas.

The benefits that occurred from those decisions were, for the most part, positive for Minnesota in 2017. Now, it’s a matter of what the Lynx decide to do this offseason.

So far, bench players like Renee Montgomery, Natasha Howard, Alexis Jones and Temi Fagbenle have begun play internationally, with 2017 WNBA MVP Sylvia Fowles slated to play in China at some point this offseason.

But once again, you’ll find Whalen, Augustus, Moore and now Rebekkah Brunson taking the offseason off to gear up for the 2018 season.

And with the window narrowing for the time this core group has together, it’s probably in the best interest for Cheryl Reeve and company to have most of the Lynx players rested up and ready to make another run at a title in 2018.

How Long Can The Lynx Hold Off Father Time?

When you look at the Lynx roster, mainly the starting five, you see more talent than arguably any other team in the WNBA.

Another thing you can’t help but see is that they currently contain the oldest roster in the league. Moore (28) is the lone player in the starting five — which has an average age of 32.6 — under the age of 30.

Talent and skill aside, age has to be something that is on the mind of the Lynx as each season comes and goes.

That faces Minnesota with the question of not only how long can it try and hold off Father Time, but how soon it is willing to start integrating youth into the rotation. And if that’s the case, would building up assets in the draft, or going out and getting youth in free agency, eventually what the Lynx will shift their focus towards?

Who Will Fill Out The Second Unit?

For the Lynx, they have and will continue to roll with the same starting five of Whalen, Augustus, Moore, Brunson and Fowles in 2018. That’s a guarantee.

But it will be interesting to see how they attack adding pieces to the second unit before next season.

Outside of Montgomery, there wasn’t a lot of impactful production from the bench in 2017. And with a few pieces not returning in 2018, most notably Plenette Pierson due to retirement, Minnesota will be faced with having to add some more new faces to next year’s team.

What Will It Take To Make History In 2018? 

It’s weird to look at a team that has won four titles in the last seven years and ask “how can they do more?”

Yet here we are.

Minnesota will look to win its fifth title in franchise history in 2018, which would be the most titles won by a single franchise in WNBA history.

But that’s not going to be an easy task. Even just going back to the questions listed above, you never know how a player being another year older or adding new faces will positively or negatively impact a team.

If the Lynx want to go back-to-back next season — one of the few feats they have yet to accomplish — they’ll have to go through tough competition like Los Angeles Sparks, New York Liberty and Connecticut Sun, all teams who are still relatively young and aiming for that top spot in the league Minnesota has become accustomed to claiming.

It is yet to be seen what we can fully expect for the 2018 season, but before we can even get to that point, the Lynx will have plenty of questions to answer this offseason.

For more Lynx analysis, check out Wolves Wired!

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