Here are your Minnesota Lynx
Following a flurry of trades and roster moves on Tuesday afternoon, it seemed the Lynx could finalize their roster rather quickly. Sure enough, on Wednesday, the team announced that Temi Fagbenle was placed on the temporary suspension list to cut the roster down to 12 players.
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The Lynx invited 19 players to camp, including seven rookies. Of those seven, only three rookies made the final roster. Cierra Dillard, Kenisha Bell, Taylor Emery, and Jillian Alleyne were the previous first-year players waived by Minnesota.
While it’s no surprise rookies Napheesa Collier and Jessica Shepard made the roster, forward Shao Ting seemed like a likely candidate to waive. Looking back, Ting’s years of professional playing experience overseas and her age (29) make her presence on the roster less surprising.
Veteran forward Erlana Larkins was waived on Tuesday after the acquisitions of Stephanie Talbot from Phoenix and Alaina Coates from Chicago.
Here’s what the Lynx’s final roster looks like:
- Danielle Robinson
- Seimone Augustus
- Odyssey Sims
- Lexie Brown
- Karima Christmas-Kelly
- Shao Ting
- Jessica Shepard
- Napheesa Collier
- Damiris Dantas
- Stephanie Talbot
- Sylvia Fowles
- Alaina Coates
Plenty of new faces
The 2019 Lynx have seemingly struck a solid balance between youth and experience. You’ll notice the most experience in the starting lineup: Fowles, Christmas-Kelly, Robinson, and Augustus. This doesn’t count Maya Moore, Kelsey Griffin, or Fagbenle, all of whom are on the team’s suspended list.
While last year’s Lynx were one of the oldest teams in the league, this season’s team features just four players with six or more years of WNBA experience while carrying just three rookies. That means the roster has significant experience in the core but most of the rest of the roster has at least gotten their feet wet in the league.
In fact, the Lynx are betting that the young players they’ve acquired since draft night will fulfill their potential. Brown was traded on draft night for Natasha Hiedeman, a player they drafted 18th overall earlier that night. The Lynx also traded 2020 draft picks for both Coates and Talbot. It’s clear that the team is already investing in these players and we’ll already begin to see a return on two-thirds of their effective 2020 draft class a year early.
When Cecilia Zandalasini returns from overseas later this summer, they will likely have to asses where the forward rotation stands. As things look in late May, there is already stiff competition for minutes among forwards. Players like Christmas-Kelly, however, can play as either a forward or guard.
For now, these are the 2019 Minnesota Lynx. This isn’t a rebuilding roster aimed at drafting Sabrina Ionescu next spring. It appears to be a retooled roster designed to compete now and get better over time.
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