While we continue to battle the current pandemic surrounding the Coronavirus outbreak in the United States and around the globe, the sports world continues to be impacted with everything basically put on halt for the time being.
Although the WNBA season hasn’t been impacted to the extent of other leagues just yet, the Minnesota Lynx and the rest of the league continue to monitor the situation in the country and how it might affect the start of the 2020 regular season as well as multiple key dates leading up to that May 15 tip-off date.
While awaiting news surrounding an update on the timing of the upcoming season in the WNBA and in an attempt to fill the void of no sports currently taking place in the country, let’s take a dive into some questions you have surrounding the Lynx and the league in general.
Without further ado, here are some questions you have in advance of the 2020 campaign while the offseason continues to roll on.
The Lynx are in a nice position when it comes to the upcoming 2020 WNBA Draft in less than a month, assuming the April 17 draft goes on as scheduled in April.
Minnesota once again holds the No. 6 overall pick in the annual draft, the same spot it was in a year ago when it drafted Napheesa Collier out of Connecticut. That pick, as you all know, turned out pretty well for the Lynx.
Here in 2020, Minnesota might be looking for a player much like Collier who can come into the organization and make an impact within the rotation right away, something the Lynx haven’t really had to deal with in years past with the exception of the 2019 campaign.
When it comes to looking at the current roster in Minnesota, there is one position that stands out as a need for Cheryl Reeve and company heading into the new year: a guard.
More specifically, the Lynx could be looking for a point guard to take over the starting duties previously held by Danielle Robinson in 2019. Robinson, as you know, left the organization in free agency this offseason to join the Las Vegas Aces.
Point guard is still a need for Minnesota, and it could look to select either a traditional point guard or more of a combo guard that can move around in a few different positions within the rotation.
As far as specific names, there are some intriguing options that will likely still be on the board for the Lynx at No. 6 in the draft, if they do decide to remain in that spot and are indeed looking for a guard.
Just a few names could include:
- Tyasha Harris of South Carolina, a 5-foot-10 guard who displayed the ability to run an offense while being a solid defender.
- Crystal Dangerfield of Connecticut, a 5-5 guard who averaged 14.9 points and 3.9 assists for Connecticut and could be reunited with former teammate Collier in Minnesota.
- Te’a Cooper of Baylor, a 5-8 combo guard who averaged 13.6 points and 4.6 assists while shooting 41.5 percent from 3 for the Lady Bears.
Those are just a few names that jump out to me as far as potential options for Minnesota at No. 6. One thing is for certain though, in that the biggest need right now for the Lynx lies within the guard position and that could heavily persuade their decision on who to select in the upcoming draft.
There are a ton of questions yet to be answered when it comes to sports being able to resume in the United States and around the globe while we deal with the current Coronavirus pandemic throughout the world.
There are leagues such as the NBA, NHL, MLS, MLB, college basketball and multiple others that have either had their seasons put on halt or pushed back right in the middle of their seasons. Then, there are other leagues like the NFL and maybe even the WNBA, among others, who are in the offseason put could also see an impact of the shifting in scheduling moving forward.
When it comes to the WNBA, depending on how long the no-sports mandate takes place, it could also see its season pushed back or maybe even suspended here in 2020.
One of the reasons for that is due to the current unknown state of the NBA and when that league will resume play.
As you might know, a lot of WNBA teams — such as the Lynx and others — share arenas with NBA teams. That reason alone could put a snag in things for the WNBA as you would think that since the NBA is currently in-season and in the latter portion of the regular season schedule, decision makers in this case would likely lean more towards getting in the conclusion of the NBA season over the start of the WNBA year.
One thing that we could see take place is a handful of WNBA teams switching venues to be able to get their games in, much like what we see take place in the playoffs for some WNBA teams and like what took place for the Lynx during the 2017 year when they played games at both Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul and Williams Arena at the University of Minnesota.
The WNBA could also push its season back a bit, especially considering the league has a month or so break in the middle of the year for the Olympics break. But if the Olympics also don’t take place, that could offer the WNBA more flexibility to reschedule games.
Let’s wait things out to see when — or even if — the rest of the sports world is able to resume and conclude their seasons first before we think too far ahead to what the WNBA does. But this all could impact the WNBA and its regular season schedule moving forward this summer.
Katie Langston: Has anyone from the Lynx made any additional substantive comments on the Seimone situation since her Instagram Live video?
One of the biggest news items surrounding Minnesota this offseason was the fact that long-time guard Seimone Augustus decided to leave the organization for the first time in her career.
In February, Augustus left the Lynx at the start of free agency when she officially signed with Minnesota’s biggest rival in the Los Angeles Sparks. That brought her legendary 14-year career with the Lynx to a shocking close.
Although the move in general was surprising to see happen, perhaps Augustus’ comments following the move to Los Angeles was even more surprising and hints at some conflict between her and Minnesota this offseason.
In her Instagram Live video following her announcement to join the Sparks, Augustus mentioned that negotiations between her and the Lynx didn’t go as planned, resulting in the veteran ultimately looking elsewhere to play in 2020.
“Y’all understood I was hoping to go back to the Lynx. Things happen and it really shocked me and confused me. All the feelings that you all have, that was the same feelings that I had,” Augustus said in the video. “The confusion, the frustration, disappointment, everything. I didn’t expect that’s how any of that was going to go. I understand negotiations, but it was just so far left for me that I was like ‘woah’ and was kind of taken aback by it.”
Outside of those comments, there really hasn’t been any other news or comments made by either Augustus or the organization. Reeve did mention before Augustus’ deal with Los Angeles became official that she fully expected the veteran to return to Minnesota this season.
As the year gets closer, it will be interesting to see if this sparks back up again and if more news surrounding what exactly took place during the offseason comes out.
Jeremy Hernandez: Aside from the Cheryl Reeve bobblehead of course, what is the greatest piece of swag you have ever seen a team give out to fans at any level (WNBA, International, College, etc.)
This is a tough one. There are a lot of good options to choose from here from towels given away during championship battles, the Maya Moore “wings” poster, bobbleheads and so much more.
For me, though, when it comes to the my personal favorite item that a team has given away to fans and others, I’m going to stick with the Lynx and a giveaway they handed out a few years ago in Lindsay Whalen’s final home game at Target Center.
For the game in Minneapolis, Minnesota handed out a few different items to fans as they either entered or exited the arena that night, including a poster that included press clippings of top moments throughout her legendary career, as well as a statistics sheet of her career numbers and accomplishments and a post card-type item that featured a picture of Whalen and text reading “I was there for Lindsay Whalen’s last regular season home game Sunday, August 19th, 2018 at 6 p.m. vs. Washington Mystics.”
Maybe I am a bit biased when it comes to this promotional giveaway, given the fact that it was a treat to be able to watch and cover Whalen throughout her time in Minnesota, but these were some really cool giveaway items that the Lynx handed out to people in attendance that night in 2018 in Minneapolis.
That will do it for this edition of the Lynx mailbag. As always, thanks for submitting your questions and for reading, Lynx fans. Here’s to hoping you all stay healthy and are able to enjoy some WNBA basketball — whenever that indeed occurs — in 2020.