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Tuesday will be Natasha Howard’s first game this season against her old team.

Howard is a starting forward for Seattle, which comes to Target Center Tuesday with the WNBA’s second-best record. Howard is averaging a career-high 14.1 points per game, taking advantage of Seattle’s ability to stretch the floor with its three-point shooting.

Some have wondered why Howard, a young, athletic player, got away from the Lynx.

Well, Lynx coach and General Manager Cheryl Reeve knows how talented Howard is. But, after she came off the Lynx bench for two years, the two sides just couldn’t agree on terms for a new contract.

The Lynx couldn’t fit Howard’s salary demands under their salary cap, which is filled with max players. So the team agreed to an offseason sign-and-trade with Seattle that brought the Lynx a second-round pick in the 2018 draft (which was eventually traded), and the right to swap first-round picks next year.

“First of all, we’re happy for Tasha,” Reeve said. “She was a great teammate. This is an opportunity she and her agent saw. They took advantage of it. We had a roster situation. We wanted Tasha to be a part of it. She needed a contract that was difficult for us. We made a decision that was best for the franchise.”

Kent Youngblood