December 11, 2020
Lynx, Dream announce team options
A couple of WNBA teams announced they were exercising team options for third-year players this week
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A couple of WNBA teams announced they were exercising team options for third-year players this week. The Minnesota Lynx exercised the team options of forwards Napheesa Collier and Jessica Shepard, and guard Maite Cazorla and center Kalani Brown both had their team options exercised by the Atlanta Dream.
Collier, the 2019 WNBA Rookie of the Year and sixth overall pick out of UConn, is coming off a 2020 season in which she was named to the All-WNBA Second Team and WNBA All-Defensive Second Team. Collier averaged 16.1 points and nine rebounds per game for the Lynx and could see her 20.7% usage rate jump even higher if she makes a leap similar to the one she made in 2020.
Despite tearing her ACL and missing all of 2020, Shepard’s booming potential earned her a team option. A mid-second round pick in 2019, Shepard averaged nearly six rebounds per game in just 18.7 minutes, and hauled in a 31.2% rebounding rate. She’ll be a boon down low in 2021 for a Lynx squad that hasn’t found itself in the top five in rebounding since 2017.
Similar to Shepard, Cazorla earned a team option despite not playing in 2020, as well. Following a 2019 season in which she scored just three points per game and an 11.7% usage rate, Cazorla sat out the WNBA’s 2020 bubble for personal reasons. Nevertheless, she’ll join the Dream in 2021 for what should be a much-improved season in Atlanta.
Brown had a rough 2020 season, testing positive for the coronavirus inside the WNBA bubble, and never quite finding her groove while on the court. Brown averaged just 6.1 minutes per game in her 10 appearances, but the former first-round pick out of Baylor is fully healthy entering what could be a make-or-break 2021 season.