2023 WNBA Free Agency: Minnesota Lynx need to replace Sylvia Fowles

Sylvia Fowles is among the 2 biggest centers in WNBA history. She was likewise the last member of the Minnesota Lynx dynasty’s huge 5 to leave the franchise, which she did at the end of last season by retiring.

Fowles was still at the top of her video game, so Minnesota is charged with changing a star. But the Lynx are utilized to winning; they don’t wish to invest even one year out of the mix. Luckily for them, they have their finest gamer in Napheesa Collier returning from maternity leave. They likewise have co-stars Aerial Powers and Kayla McBride and the No. 2 choice in the draft. That might be a huge 4 right there.

The Lynx missed out on the playoffs last season for the very first time in 11 years, however were competitive even versus the very best groups in the league. With them losing one star and returning another, you would believe they’re not going to get better or much even worse. But complimentary firm can constantly alter that.

With Collier, Powers and McBride all making limit or near to it, the Lynx need to take care about how they invest the rest of their cash. They likewise need to ask themselves which of their 4 complimentary representatives they desire around.

We understand Cheryl Reeve values an asset guard; has Moriah Jefferson satisfied her sufficient to be kept and paid a huge quantity?

Meanwhile, Damiris Dantas has actually been an essential gamer for the Lynx in the past, however had an off-season in 2015. Rachel Banham is Minnesota’s own and brings scoring pop from range. Bridget Carleton is a young and flexible gamer; it’s tough to inform if she will be a star one day or simply a function gamer. What will end up being of those 3? And exists anybody else the Lynx wish to generate to spice it up like they carried out in 2021 by generating Powers and McBride? Or can they not manage to spice it up this time around?

By the numbers*

Free representatives (type) (2022 typical wage)

  • Damiris Dantas (unlimited) ($129,150)
  • Rachel Banham (unlimited) ($72,141)
  • Bridget Carleton (limited) ($72,141)
  • Moriah Jefferson (unlimited) ($67,141)

Total typical wage of complimentary representatives: $340,573

Total group wage: $881,222

Cap area: $539,278


Replacing Fowles may be a little challenging since the very best gamers offered at No. 2 won’t be centers. Center Aliyah Boston, if she goes into the draft, will go No. 1 and 6-foot-6 Elizabeth Kitley out of Virginia Tech isn’t a bad alleviation at all, however the majority of mocks have the Lynx taking the very best offered gamer (either Diamond Miller of Maryland, Haley Jones of Stanford or Rickea Jackson of Tennessee) with the 2nd choice.

If the Lynx don’t pick to take Kitley at No. 2, they might trade for a center. Natalie Achonwa was thought about a huge get in 2021, however her agreement is expensive ($155,100) for what she’s contributed. They Lynx might trade her to the Fever for center Queen Egbo ($67,634). Achonwa balanced 10.3 points and 6.9 rebounds for Indiana in 2018, however simply 5.3 points and 4.1 rebounds for the Lynx in 2015. The Fever are searching for as much veteran management as they can get, however from Minnesota’s point of view Achonwa hasn’t been an efficient gamer in a while, albeit since of injury.

Egbo made the All-Rookie group in 2015, balancing 7.2 points, 6.3 rebounds and 1.2 blocks. She might just be entering her 2nd season, however she understands what it requires a beginning center in the league.

The other requirement for the Lynx is a point player because today Jefferson is their only one. So they might trade Achonwa for a point player and get a beginning center in complimentary firm. They would desire it to be a low-cost point player and the 2 choices that are both inexpensive and sufficient to be high-impact gamers are Julie Allemand ($69,770) and Aari McDonald ($78,586). Both are a little bit more costly than Egbo, however there may still be cash left over to sign Elizabeth Williams or Han Xu as a beginning center. In Williams, they’d be getting among the very best defensive centers in the league and in Xu they’d be getting an up-and-coming possible star. Free representatives Ezi Magbegor, Azurá Stevens and Amanda Zahui B. are most likely going to be too costly. Megan Gustafson wouldn’t be if, rather of obtaining Williams or Xu, the Lynx wish to bet on a gamer who has actually been tearing it up in EuroLeague Women.

Elizabeth Williams made the All-Defensive First Team in 2020, made the All-Star Game in 2017 and has actually begun in 186 WNBA video games.
Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE by means of Getty Images

If the Lynx pick to trade for a beginning center, they will require to get the backup point player in complimentary firm and I believe that might be Jordin Canada at around $139,000. That’d be the quantity that they’d have the ability to pay Williams, Xu or Gustafson too. Canada suffices to take on Jefferson for the beginning task, so Minnesota would be ensured to have a killer point player coming off the bench.

I believe Dantas is still a truly great gamer, however I don’t understand that the Lynx will feel the very same method after she shot 26.2 percent from 3 in 2015. Let’s state they don’t attempt to keep her in complimentary firm. Then, let’s state they pay Jefferson $150,000 for her impressive numbers in 2015 (10.8 points and 4.9 helps per video game with the Lynx). I believe they can pay Banham less than they would pay Dantas and will wish to keep the home town woman around. Let’s say Banham gets $100,000 after balancing a career-high 7.9 points per video game in 2015. That leaves Carleton, who I likewise believe will be focused on ahead of Dantas since she is 5 years more youthful and has a sensational skillset. I put Carleton down at $95,000.

Regardless of whether it’s Miller, Jones or Jackson taken at No. 2, the Lynx will desire a backup center at No. 12. Stephanie Soares of Iowa State, Taiyanna Jackson of Kansas and Jessika Carter of Mississippi State are all terrific choices. They too might contend for the beginning task.

So here’s what an 11-player lineup might appear like for the Lynx, approximately in order of significance and with predicted incomes:

  • Napheesa Collier, beginning PF ($202,154)
  • Aerial Powers, beginning SF ($201,984)
  • Kayla McBride, beginning SG ($201,984)
  • No. 2 choice, 2nd SF (Diamond Miller/Haley Jones/Rickea Jackson) ($74,305)
  • Moriah Jefferson, beginning PG ($150,000)
  • Jordin Canada, 2nd PG or Elizabeth Williams, beginning C or Han Xu, beginning C or Megan Gustafson, beginning C (FA finalizing), ($139,144, $137,008 or $128,192 depending upon who they get in Achonwa trade)
  • Jessica Shepard, 2nd PF ($120,000)
  • Queen Egbo, beginning C or 2nd C ($67,634) or Julie Allemand, 2nd PG ($69,770) or Aari McDonald, 2nd PG ($78,586) (gotten in Achonwa trade)
  • Rachel Banham, 2nd SG ($100,000)
  • No. 12 choice (Stephanie Soares/Taiyanna Jackson/Jessika Carter), 2nd C ($68,295)
  • Bridget Carleton, 2nd SF or 3rd SF ($95,000)

If they take Kitley at No. 2, then it releases them as much as try to find the very best possible gamer at any position for either the Achonwa trade or their free-agent finalizing, however not both. One of them still need to be a point player.

Might ADVERTISEMENT or Rebekah Gardner remain in Minnesota’s rate variety if it is searching for complimentary representatives at all positions?

Center Shakira Austin is another choice that the Lynx might trade for rather of Egbo, however I don’t believe the Mystics will wish to part methods with Austin. To be truthful, the Dream most likely aren’t going to wish to part methods with McDonald either. Both she and Austin were No. 3 general choices.

If the Lynx keep Achonwa and whatever else stays the very same, they’d need to lose out on the $139,144, $137,008 or $128,192 complimentary representative. Assuming Banham stays at $100,000 and Carleton stays at $95,000 despite which group they go to, the Lynx would have $89,393 delegated pay their complimentary representative finalizing if they kept Carleton and let Banham go.

I believe the Lynx worth Achonwa, however they have a little bit more cash to deal with if they trade her. However, we can’t simply presume the best trade will occur.

* All wage numbers originated from Her Hoop Stats

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