BEST LYNX PLAYER - 2006
Last season marked the end of an era for the Minnesota Lynx—but it's not one that many will look back on with any degree of affection. With the trade of all-time-leading scorer Katie Smith to Detroit at mid-season, the Lynx severed the final tie with its inaugural 1999 squad. While Smith was undoubtedly the best player on the team during that stretch, she was never capable of boosting the Lynx above mediocrity. The franchise compiled an anemic 102-128 record during its first six seasons and made the playoffs just twice—in a league where seemingly every squad gets a pass to the postseason. All eyes this season will be on rookie phenom Seimone Augustus, whom the Lynx drafted with the first overall pick in this month's college draft. But if the Lynx are finally going to contend for a WNBA title, Nicole Ohlde will have to continue elevating her game. In 2005, the second-year center/forward shot a solid 46 percent from the floor, while averaging 11.2 points per game and dishing out a respectable 2.3 assists per game. She finished among the top 20 in a slew of statistical categories, including rebounding, free throws made, and double-doubles. Paired with Augustus, Ohlde and the Lynx have the chance to start erasing memories of the franchise's first six years of mediocrity.