WNBA: Lynx draft Graves, Fagbenle, acquire Perkins
MINNEAPOLIS--The Minnesota Lynx selected Bashaara Graves of Tennessee with the 22nd overall pick in the 2016 WNBA Draft Thursday. With the 35th pick, the Lynx selected USC forward Temi Fagbenle with the 35th pick in the 2016 WNBA Draft. In additi...
MINNEAPOLIS-The Minnesota Lynx selected Bashaara Graves of Tennessee with the 22nd overall pick in the 2016 WNBA Draft Thursday.
With the 35th pick, the Lynx selected USC forward Temi Fagbenle with the 35th pick in the 2016 WNBA Draft.
In addition, the Lynx acquired guard Jia Perkins from San Antonio in exchange for the draft rights to Jazmon Gwathmey, a guard from James Madison who was selected with the 14th pick in the 2016 WNBA Draft.
Graves, a 6-foot-2 forward from Clarksville, Tenn., averaged 10.3 points and 8.3 rebounds in 33 contests for the Lady Vols this season. She connected on 54 percent of her attempts from the field and hit 74 percent at the free throw line.
The product of Clarksville High School finished her collegiate career with 1,509 points and 1,044 rebounds, ranking 19th and third, respectively, in those categories at Tennessee. She is one of only five Lady Vols to finish her career with more than 1,500 points and 1,000 rebounds.
Fagbenle, a 6-4 forward, played the 2015-16 season at USC as a graduate student, earning All-Pac-12 honors after averaging a team-best 13.6 points and 8.7 rebounds. She recorded 10 double-doubles and helped the Women of Troy open their season with 12 consecutive wins, their best season start since 1982-83.
Fagbenle began her college career at Harvard, where she was an All-Ivy selection in each of her three seasons while averaging 13.2 points and 9.1 rebounds in 87 career appearances. A 2012 Olympian, Fagbenle represented host Great Britain and averaged 4.8 points, 4.0 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per outing in London, appearing in all five games.
She will not join the Lynx until the 2017 season due to completing her graduate program at USC.
Perkins, a 5-8 guard, averaged 13.3 points, 3.0 rebounds and 1.7 assists last season for San Antonio. A 12-year WNBA veteran, she has spent the last five seasons with the Stars, making three playoff appearances. She has averaged 11.7 points, 3.0 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game in 349 career regular season contests.
Perkins was chosen by Charlotte in the 2004 WNBA Draft and spent two seasons with the Sting before being selected by Chicago in the 2006 Expansion Draft. She played five seasons for the Sky, where she averaged a career-best 17.0 points in 2008 and represented the Eastern Conference in the 2009 All-Star Game. Perkins was dealt to San Antonio prior to the 2001 season in exchange for Michelle Snow.
The first chance fans have to see Minnesota's roster is the team's preseason contest at Mayo Civic Center in Rochester at 4 p.m. May 8 against the Washington Wizards.
The Lynx will kick off their 18th season at home at 6:30 p.m. May 14 against the Phoenix Mercury.