The Minnesota Lynx have been the gold standard of WNBA franchises since 2011. Since the team drafted Maya Moore, they’ve been a consistent presence in the playoffs, winning four titles and advancing to two more WNBA Finals. Even when Moore stepped away in 2018, Lindsay Whalen and Rebekah Brunson followed suit, and Seimone Augustus left for Los Angeles, the remaining duo of Sylvia Fowles and Napheesa Collier held the fort, keeping the team in the postseason though they haven’t won a playoff series since.
Fowles’ retirement represents a natural inflection point for the franchise, the last piece tying the Lynx to those championship teams. If ever there were a time for a rebuild, it would be now, especially with Minnesota on the fringes of the playoff race and potentially in line for a lottery pick. When head coach and GM Cheryl Reeve was asked about the competing incentives of playing to win versus getting a high draft selection this year, she acknowledged that the Lynx are in a different space than they’ve been in recent seasons.
“At some point, the coach is going to realize that — and that’s probably where we are — we kind of go okay, it might be time to hit a reset button, after Sylvia Fowles,” Reeve said Sunday. “We gave everything we possibly could to Syl, we tried. And now maybe organically, we might be arriving at that time.”
But how does a team that has never really known losing in the last decade arrive at that point? It’s a discussion I wanted to have with Jack Borman, the site manager at Canis Hoopus.
Jack has been in Minnesota for awhile and grew to love basketball watching the Lynx. Success goes hand in hand with this franchise, which is what makes this current season such an aberration. It also informs his view of how Minnesota should approach the future, and whether a plea to the lottery gods is the best course of action.
Jack broke down the complicated set of roster moves Reeve executed at the start of the season to build this team, including providing insight on Reeve’s eternal struggle to find a consistent point guard. He and I debated over whether it would behoove the Lynx to make or miss the playoffs, and what sort of free agents they should target either way.
Finally, Jack and I celebrated the career of Sylvia Fowles, who is just as beloved off the court as she is on. We reminisced over her greatest achievements, and Jack also shared some personal stories of the legend.
You can listen to all that and more in the full episode embedded below, and to make sure you never miss a single show moving forward, subscribe to the Swish Appeal podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, or Google Podcasts.