The Lynx are seeking a return to dominance
For the first time in a dozen years, the Minnesota Lynx don't have a player who won an WNBA title with the team during its stretch of dominance from 2011 to 2017.
- Gone is Sylvia Fowles, the last remaining member of their dynasty, who retired after last season.
Why it matters: As the Lynx tip off their 2023 season on Friday night against Chicago, they will look to get back into playoff contention with a mix of promising young players and veterans.
Between the lines: Even casual fans will notice the absence of Fowles this year, writes Everett Cook, Axios' WNBA guru.
- The two-time WNBA champion and one-time league MVP was an all-star in five of her eight seasons in Minnesota and was still playing at a high level last year.
Who we're watching: Napheesa Collier
- Collier, a two-time all-star and former Rookie of the Year, is entering her fifth year. If she can make the leap to superstardom, Minnesota might find itself right back at the top of the standings.
- The Lynx have other talented vets — Kayla McBride, Tiffany Mitchell (who came over from Indiana in free agency) and Aerial Powers — but those players have largely hit their ceilings.
Plus, keep an eye out for rookie wing Diamond Miller, the electric No. 2 overall pick.
Nick's thought bubble: This team has some of the feel of the 2010 Lynx. That club was starting to piece together a good roster, bringing in Lindsay Whalen and Rebekkah Brunson to go with Seimone Augustus.
- But it was winning the WNBA draft lottery after that season that changed the fortune of the franchise. They got to select Maya Moore, who came in and immediately led them to their first of four WNBA titles.
The intrigue: Next spring's WNBA draft could be one of the best ever, with Minnesotan Paige Bueckers, Caitlin Clark and Angel Reese all eligible.
- If the Lynx miss the postseason, nabbing one of those players would be a heck of a silver lining.
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