With last year's WNBA Championship Phoenix Mercury team dismantled, the Minnesota Lynx seemed the obvious choice to replace them in the dominating spot.
In an offseason that saw numerous trades and a year so far that features many key player absences due to overseas committments, the Lynx are one of the few squads where all but one on the roster is present. They are arguably the deepest team in the league, and their core starters have played together for years, collecting two league titles in the last four seasons.
*Eliminated in Western Conference Finals by Phoenix
The Minnesota Lynx have emerged as the preseason favorite to win the 2015 WNBA championship, if only because they have managed to avoid the melodrama enveloping other teams during a highly tumultuous off-season period. The Lynx acted quickly when they learned Janel McCarville would sit out for the season, making a trade with the Sun to bring Asjha Jones on board.
The Minnesota Lynx ended their 2014 campaign with a 25-9 record, becoming the first WNBA team to post 25 wins or better for four consecutive years. Reaching that threshold this year was a remarkable achievement, with Minnesota enduring several injuries that could have compromised their overall chemistry.
"For us to do it this season, with the amount of adversity that we've faced, I told them I'm very impressed and blessed to share it with them," said Lynx head coach Cheryl Reeve.
The Minnesota Lynx answered the two biggest questions on their roster on the first day of the free agent signing period, re-signing Janel McCarville to a multi-year deal and securing restricted free agent Monica Wright by matching an offer made by the Seattle Storm.
Both transactions were virtual formalities for Minnesota. In McCarville's case, there was no question about where she wanted to renew her contract.
Oklahoma City Thunder star Kevin Durant and the Minnesota Lynx’ Monica Wright are now engaged to be married. Wright confirmed the engagement to a writer for the Minneapolis Star-Tribune following the Lynx’ 91-59 rout of the Phoenix Mercury in Minneapolis on Sunday.
As most have predicted since before the season even began, the Minnesota Lynx are back in the WNBA Finals, bringing with them the best record in the league and poised to defend their 2011 title. If they succeed, they will be the first team to accomplish that feat since the Los Angeles Sparks took home back-to-back titles in 2001 and 2002.
Connecticut finally made official today the speculation that has been circulating for the past week: The Sun will send Lindsay Whalen and their No. 2 pick in the 2010 draft to Minnesota in a deal that brings former UConn star Rene Montgomery to Connecticut. Also part of the package was Minnesota's No. 1 WNBA draft pick in 2010, which most believe the Sun will use to grab Husky center Tina Charles.
to So Lindsays coming home right where many Minnesota fans thought she should have been all along.
Of course, shell be 28 when the season starts, and shes been worn down more than a little by the 12-month-a-year grind of the womens basketball pro, but shes still a premier player. Shes also a perfect fit for a young team that has scorers everywhere but has never quite reached its potential.
If Whalen ignites the Lynx for the next few summers, Tuesdays trade for Renee Montgomery (plus the swap of the top two draft picks) will be counted a success even if Montgomery takes full advantage of being four-and-a-half years younger and plays for the Sun long after Whalen is happily retired.