6. Minnesota selected Napheesa Collier, 6’1 F, Connecticut
Look, there’s no getting around the massive night the Lynx had, and it starts with Collier, an absolutely perfect fit who Cheryl Reeve had experience coaching with USA Basketball last year. Collier does everything extremely well except shoot the three, and she knows it, and she’s going to a staff with Walt Hopkins, so that’ll probably change soon as well.
But Collier is only the start of their massive night. Consider that at 16, they got a first-round talent in Jessica Shepard. At 18, they drafted Natasha Hiedeman, but traded her to the Connecticut Sun for Lexie Brown, who is indisputably a first-round talent (was selected in the first round by the Sun) and whose ceiling is an elite two-way point guard who shoots the three and grabs steals in bunches. At 20, they got Cierra Dillard, who can create her own shot and plays relentlessly, an important scorer on Cheryl Reeve’s second unit. And in round three they even got Kenisha Bell, who may struggle to make the roster, but with give the U of M folks something to cheer about in the preseason.
Shepard has a chance to play huge minutes, Collier looks to me like an immediate starter, and the change-of-pace from Danielle Robinson to Lexie Brown will give opponents fits. This was a big, big night for the Lynx, who look to me like they had the best draft of anyone.