Napheesa Collier is coming off her best WNBA season in her young career, averaging a career-high in points (21.5), and 8.5 rebounds. After the retirement of Sylvia Fowles, last season was the first of Phee’s WNBA career where she was the first option and the go-to leader on the team. With it also being her first full season back from maternity leave and as a mother, she answered the questions and exceeded expectations in terms of her individual growth. 

She was named to the All-WNBA First Team, All-Defensive Second Team, made her third All-Star game, and finished top-5 in MVP voting. For someone with the spectacular skill set she has and the accolades she’s racked up in just three full seasons, it still seems like she falls under the radar when people talk about the best players in the league. 

Collier is one of the most versatile players in the entire league and on both sides of the basketball. She can score in the low post, mid-post, in isolation, as the roller in the pick and roll, on cuts to the rim, all while being efficient at the free throw line (84%). And I’d be remiss not to mention her patented post-fadeaway jump shot. Last season, she shot 47% on 103 attempts from 10-14 feet, and 37% on 48 attempts from 15-19 feet. She’s an underrated passer at her position and is adept at blocking shots and getting in passing lanes. Last season was her career high in total blocks and she was just a few short of it in steals. That side of her game gets less credit due to her offensive prowess but she’s always been a very consistent defender. 

Just take a look at all the different ways she can score and impact the game defensively. 

One aspect of her game that has been up and down throughout her career is her three-point shot. She shot the three ball over 35% her first two seasons but has shot under 30% her last three seasons. Although her fourth season was just the four games she played at the end of the season so that she could play with Sylvia Fowles (just three months after giving birth might I add) before she retired. It doesn’t feel like an aspect that she can’t improve on, I think she could get back around 35%. 

The Lynx have added new pieces around her like Alanna Smith, Courtney Williams, Natisha Hiedeman, and first-round pick Alissa Pili. An extremely underrated Kayla McBride is still a lethal threat from three any time she’s on the court. Diamond Miller and Dorka Juhasz are entering their second season, after successful rookie seasons.  The duo of Diamond and Phee could be one of the best in the league for years to come. 

She will likely be on Team USA again this summer for the Olympics, vying for her second Gold Medal. She’s a Phee-nomenal talent and I can see another MVP type of season from her this year, and depending on how the Lynx look in the standings. Could this be the year for MVPhee?