The Minnesota Lynx had the No. 6 overall pick in the 2020 WNBA Draft earlier this year, but their most important selection ended up coming in the second round. With the 16th pick, the Lynx selected Crystal Dangerfield, a 5-5 point guard out of UConn, who many had projected to go in the first round.
As it turned out, she probably should have. Dangerfield was terrific for the Lynx, quickly playing her way into the starting lineup, and emerging as one of their best players. For her efforts, Dangerfield was named 2020 WNBA Rookie of the Year. She is the first second-round pick to ever win the award.
Dangerfield ran away with the honor, receiving 44 out of a possible 47 votes. Atlanta Dream guard Chennedy Carter got two votes, while Dallas Wings forward Satou Sabally got one. This is just the second time that a team has had back-to-back Rookie of the Year winners, as Lynx forward Napheesa Collier earned the honor last season.
Averaging 16.2 points and 3.6 assists per game, Dangerfield led the Lynx in both categories, and finished second in scoring and first in assists among rookies. In fact, she managed to finish in the top-15 in the entire league in both scoring and assists, an impressive feat for any rookie, let alone a 5-5 point guard.
Dangerfield's play became even more important for the Lynx after star center Sylvia Fowles went down with a calf injury that limited her to just seven games this season. Without her usual production, the Lynx needed other players to step up, and Dangerfield did so in a major way.
Thanks in large part to Dangerfield, the Lynx didn't fall apart when Fowles got hurt. They went 9-6 without her to finish 14-8, and held off the Phoenix Mercury to claim the No. 4 seed, which was their best finish since 2017, when they won the title.