Nicki Collen shares how Damiris Dantas ended up with Lynx.
Remember when Damiris Dantas signed with the Lynx in February, shocking Atlanta Dream fans? It may have come to a surprise to head coach Nicki Collen, too.
Collen, along with assistant coaches Mike Petersen and Darius Taylor, and GM/President Chris Sienko participated in an “Atlanta Dream Town Hall” on Thursday night in Atlanta. The panel last for close to two hours, and topics of discussion ranged from the upcoming draft, fan bases, coverage, etc. You can watch it here.
But the conversation regarding Dantas started at the 1:04:20 mark when a fan asked Collen about Dantas’ playing time early this season. Last season, Dantas played in 19 games, averaged 13.4 minutes, 5.4 points and 2.4 rebounds per game.
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The fan at the town hall said, “apparently you chose not to go after her,” and not only does head coach Nicki Collen say “No, no, no. Very wrong,” Petersen shakes his head also in clear disagreement.
How did Dantas end up with the Lynx? The short answer: Security and more money.
As previously reported, the Lynx offered Dantas a contract with full protection and WNBA teams can only guarantee six contracts with full protection. For the Dream those players are Renee Montgomery, Alex Bentley, Tiffany Hayes, Angel McCoughtry, Jessica Breland, and Elizabeth Williams.
With Collen’s statement, we also get a look at much more money the Lynx offered Dantas, something the Dream couldn’t match, given their salary cap.
Full quote from Collen, which explains her take on Dantas’ signing with the Lynx, which also provides a little background on the business of the game:
"I think she was close to staying here and playing for less. I went to bed on a Saturday night, thinking she was going to re-sign with us on Sunday. Chris called me on my way to church to tell me he’d received the signed contract with Minnesota. That they had overnight increased their offer almost $20,000 to keep her. So we definitely drove up her value and made her, in most people’s mind, probably overpaid based on her career statistics in our league. She was drafted by them originally. So yeah, we would’ve loved to have kept her but it’s the nature of the business. You know, I could only go so far. My personality and how much I loved her could only go so far. The difference: they ultimately offered her $25,000 more than we were capable of even offering and they protected it.For instance, Angel has a protected contract. So, she gets paid this year and is on our roster whether she plays one game or 30 games. That’s the value of protection, that’s what they earn over time with that protected contract. That’s what protection means to those players. That she got a two year protected contract, so if she got injured this year and couldn’t play the next year and came back, she would get her salary. It’s the nature of the business. It doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt.”"
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