Roman Augustoviz spends Minnesota's winters covering college hockey, specifically the Gophers, and other University of Minnesota sports. During the summer, he writes about the WNBA's Minnesota Lynx, with a dose of U sports sprinkled in. Follow him on Twitter @RomanStrib.

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Lynx coach: WNBA's financial picture getting better

Posted by: Roman Augustoviz under Lynx Updated: April 9, 2013 - 8:56 AM

The WNBA draft is coming up Monday. And Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve was on KFAN on Tuesday morning to talk about it.

"I enjoy drafts ... a lot of preprations go into it," Reeve said.

This year is different, though, the Lynx don't have a No. 1 pick or even a high pick. They have the last pick in the first round, No. 12, because they had the best regular-season record in the WNBA.

"It is what you want as a franchise," Reeve said. "Not to have high draft picks."

The Lynx have four picks in the three-round WNBA draft. After No. 12, they also have the No. 14 pick -- the second pick of the second round -- Nos. 24 and 36.

The one big change in the Lynx lineup for this season will be in the post. Former Gopher Janel McCarville replaces Taj McWilliams-Franklin, now a coach with the New York Liberty. Mama Taj, at 42, retired.

"Janel has been on our radar for a couple of years ... and we have an opening," Reeve said. "She brings toughness, rebounding and she is a tremendous passer."

The bigger change, though, will be in the league. Every team besides Phoenix will have to figure out how to scheme for 6-8 center Brittney Griner of Baylor. The Mercury has the No. 1 pick in next week's draft and will take her.

"She will change the way we have to play," Reeve said. "It is her shot-blocking that is really disruptive."

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has said his NBA team might draft Griner. Reeve's response to that is, "If Mark really wants to help us, he would put a [WNBA] franchise in Dallas."

The league recently announced a long-term TV deal with ESPN, which Reeve calls a big shot in the arm for the WNBA.

"We go from two, three teams in the black," Reeve said, "to, with TV and the sponsorship deals, to more than half the teams in the league profitable."

About half the teams have major jersey sponsorship deals, which are worth on average about $1 million per season. The Lynx don't but, with their recent success -- a WNBA title in 2011 and a a runner-up finish in 2012 -- are one of the more profitable WNBA teams of late.

 

 

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