By Matt Hallett

The Minnesota Lynx went into draft night having traded away their first-round pick to the Phoenix Mercury for Danielle Robinson. Then on draft night, they traded their two second round picks where they selected Ji-Su Park and Kahlia Lawrence to the Las Vegas Aces. In return, they received third round pick Jill Barta who they selected with pick 32. They also had pick 36.

jill barta.jpg

Pick 32 – Jill Barta

As the Minnesota Lynx did most of their retooling in free agency, they did not appear interested in this draft.  As a result, the first player whose draft rights they hold is pick 32 Jill Barta who they acquired on a draft night trade with the Las Vegas Aces. Last season Barta, a 6’3” forward out of Gonzaga averaged 18.1 points, 8.5 rebounds, 1.8 steals and 1.1 blocks per game.

While Barta was a third-round pick there is something about her which may get her a roster spot in the regular season. Barta was a 35 percent 3-point shooter in her college career. At 6’3” Barta can stretch the floor which is important when playing with Sylvia Fowles. Due to her defender not being able to leave her at the 3-point line stopping the double-team.

Pick 36 – Carlie Wagner

With the last pick of the draft the Lynx took 5’10” local guard Carlie Wagner from the University of Minnesota. Last season Wagner averaged 18.3 points, 4.7 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.5 steals per game. Her shooting was excellent, going 42.6 from the field and 40.8 from 3-point land. 

It will be interesting to see whether she is able to play her way into a spot with the Lynx who value the 3-point shot greatly. Given they lost the 3-point prowess of Renee Montgomery, Wagner may be an option to replace some of this production.

Draft grade: C+

I originally gave the Lynx a D+ for this draft but then I studied the numbers of the two players. They traded back in the draft to get a floor spacing big and selected a local product who is accurate from deep. They would have been better served had they not traded their first-round pick for a veteran who is a liability from deep but they tried to make up for that here.