November 6, 2022
Cheryl Reeve inks deal to return to Lynx, now with an even bigger role
Why Reeve took her time before coming back to Minnesota
Cheryl Reeve never really doubted that she would be back in Minnesota. Glen Taylor, the majority owner of the Lynx and Timberwolves, wanted her back. Minority owners Marc Lore and Alex Rodriguez, who are slated to take over as majority owners in 2023, wanted her back. Most importantly, she wanted to be back, and not for just a year or two.
But, in her typical pragmatic fashion, Reeve didn’t want to put pen to paper without first “taking inventory” and seeking clarity.
“I saw a big commitment on the horizon,” Reeve said Thursday morning after it was announced that she would be returning to the franchise as both head coach and President of Basketball Operations. Reeve relayed that her deal was for five years, the longest contract she’s ever signed. “I’m thrilled that I won’t be doing this again for another five years.”
Reeve returns to a Lynx team in flux. Sylvia Fowles is gone. Taylor, who has been perhaps her greatest supporter, will soon be out the door. Oh, and the team is coming off a season in which they failed to qualify for the playoffs for the first time since 2010, Reeve’s first year as head coach.
“The vision for our franchise was certainly top of mind [when deciding to return],” Reeve said. “I was fortunate to be able to have those conversations with all involved. And clearly, I reached a level of comfort and enthusiasm—not just comfort, enthusiasm—for what I think lies ahead in terms of commitment that I think is necessary.”
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This includes the commitment on behalf of Lore and Rodriguez. Reeve acknowledged that she would like if the future majority owners would be around the team more frequently—”I think they would acknowledge that and that’s something that they’re eager to do”—but recognizes that the dynamic is fluid until the duo officially takes over. But the conversations that Reeve has had with Lore in particular helped solidify her decision to return.
“I’ve had phone conversations with [Lore] that led me to believe that he was going to be somebody that was interested in moving the league forward in a significant way…He’s somebody that has supported women in his own venture capitalism. He understands it when he’s got a lot of women around him.”
The support from ownership will allow Reeve the President of Basketball Operations to be aggressive this offseason in rebuilding the Lynx to a championship contender. They’ll have nearly $540,000 in available cap space and figure to be players for the premier free agents on the board.
“I’m energized by a team that we could put together to be back in contention. I want that to be clear. This isn’t about, maybe we can feel a decent team, that sort of thing. That’s just not going to be the way that we’re going to do things. The expectations are high for the Minnesota Lynx. We’ve been the gold standard this league and we’re on a mission to get back to that.”
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Written by Lucas Seehafer
Lucas Seehafer is a general reporter for The Next. He is also a physical therapist and professor at the undergraduate level. His work has previously appeared at Baseball Prospectus, Forbes, FanSided, and various other websites.