Lynx weigh options with top overall draft pick

Updated: April 5, 2006, 5:54 AM ET
Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS -- For the Minnesota Lynx, this year's WNBA draft has magnified the familiar debate that comes with every professional sport's amateur selection process.

Cappie Pondexter
Richard Schultz/WireImage PhotoPondexter became the first Rutgers player to earn first-team All-America honors.

Take the best athlete available? Or pick based on greatest need?

That's the dilemma facing Lynx decision-makers, who have narrowed their choices for the top spot in Wednesday's WNBA draft to two: LSU's Seimone Augustus or Rutgers' Cappie Pondexter.

"We are in need of a point guard. It's no secret," coach Suzie McConnell Serio said. "If you go with Cappie, then what scorer do you take at No. 7? If we go with Seimone, then we take a point guard. It's really been the package that we're trying to consider."

By trading All-Star Katie Smith to the Detroit Shock last summer, the Lynx acquired an extra first-round selection, the seventh overall. After winning the league's draft lottery, they gained the No. 1 pick.

With those positions, they're poised to grab both an immediate-impact scorer and get the quality point guard they need to run their offense. The only question: In which order do they take them?

Seimone Augustus
AP Photo/Elise AmendolaAugustus, the AP player of the year for the second straight year, led LSU to its third consecutive Final Four.

Augustus was named The Associated Press player of the year for the second straight season. She led the Lady Tigers to the Final Four for the third straight year, averaging 23 points per game and shooting 57 percent from the field. The 6-foot-1 Augustus is a smooth shooter who's just as active without the ball.

The 5-foot-9 Pondexter can score from the point. The All-American led her team to the regional semifinals after the Scarlet Knights went 16-0 in the Big East -- and averaged 21.5 points and 3.2 assists.

If the Lynx choose Augustus, they'll consider Notre Dame's Megan Duffy, UCLA's Nikki Blue and Utah's Shona Thorburn at No. 7. If they go with Pondexter, there are a number of other possibilities to ponder -- like Baylor's Sophia Young, Duke's Monique Currie and Utah's Kim Smith.

"We obviously want to take the best player at No. 1," said McConnell Serio, who attended a pre-draft camp in Boston over the weekend. "Both players are very special."

Minnesota should be set in the frontcourt, where the last two first-rounders -- Kristen Mann and Nicole Ohlde -- are part of a deep group that includes Tamika Williams, Vanessa Hayden and newcomer Adrian Williams. It's on the perimeter where help is most needed, and that should start coming on Wednesday.


Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press