Her work in the Eurobasket tournament finished, Temi Fagbenle will be rejoining the Lynx soon, giving coach Cheryl Reeve much needed depth and flexibility in the post. But there is a chance Cecilia Zandalasini, who played for Italy in the same tournament, might not play for the Lynx this summer.
Fagbenle will be coming to Minnesota on a hot streak, having led the tournament in scoring (20.9 per game) and averaging 6.7 rebounds for Great Britain, which made it to the quarterfinal round. This comes on the heels of Fagbenle being named MVP of the Polish League. Zandalasini, meanwhile, is dealing with a sore ankle; she had an MRI recently, and no decision on her will be made until after she reaches full health.
With Jessica Shepard and Karima Christmas-Kelly both out for the season following knee surgeries, and with Damiris Dantas dealing with a calf injury, the Lynx badly need some post players. And in Fagbenle, Reeve would have someone capable of playing both power forward and center.
“They’re traveling from Belgrade [Serbia, site of the Eurobasket tournament] back to England,” Reeve said. “We’re going to connect, get her over here ASAP. She has great momentum. We need her here, especially at that position. We need that position badly.”
Fagbenle has appeared in 51 games for the Lynx in the last two seasons, averaging just 7.3 minutes and 2.3 points per game. But her game continues to grow, and her contributions this season in Minnesota could be greater. Fagbenle’s arrival would allow rookie Napheesa Collier to play more at small forward, which both she and Reeve prefer.
Zandalasini will be allowed to heal before a decision on her joining the team is made. The Lynx are deeper at the wing position this season.
The Lynx will have to make a roster move shortly to bring Fagbenle back, and another would have to be made for Zandalasini, They can’t use either of the exempted positions given them by the league, since they used those to sign Asia Taylor and Kenisha Bell.
At 8-6, the Lynx are in fourth place in the WNBA standings. They return to action Wednesday at Chicago.