Lynx executive vice president Roger Griffith has been a very busy man. Starting on draft day, he has been aggressively remolding his team. The latest is acquiring All Star center Syliva Fowles from Chicago in a three-team trade.
It is the third big move Griffith has made. First there was the draft-day trade that brought veteran point guard Anna Cruz here, a move that – given injuries to Lindsay Whalen and Seimone Augustus – proved to be prescient. Then he went out and got Renee Montgomery last week to provide more depth at the guard position.
And now this: The acquisition of Fowles. The 29-year-old, 6-6 Fowles is a huge addition to a Lynx team determined to keep its window of WNBA championship opportunity open a little longer.
In a deal that involved three teams, the Lynx sent two young centers – rookie Reshanda Gray and second-year backup Damiris Dantas – plus their first-round draft pick in 2016 to Atlanta. Atlanta sent center Erika de Souza to Chicago. And the Lynx get a potentially dominant center they have been chasing for months. The Lynx also got Atlanta’s second-round pick next year.
Fowles is a player the Lynx have been interested in for a while. In a Western Conference that includes Phoenix star Brittney Griner, the 6-6 Fowles levels the playing field in the post. Fowles had not played for Chicago this year . After asking for a trade, she had sat out the first half of the season.
“We’re excited to welcome Sylvia to the Minnesota Lynx organization,” Griffith said in a release. “She’s proven, defensive All Star player and we expect her to step in and be a great leader on and off the court. She’s been one of the elite centers in the WNBA and will be a key addition to our championship-caliber roster.’’
Fowles brings an impressive resume. Taken second overall by the Sky in the 2008 draft, she has averaged 15.7 points, 9.8 re bounds and 2.0 blocks in her 186-game career. She was named a all star in 2009, 2011 and 2013, was named WNBA’s defensive player of the year in 2011 and 2013 and a four-time all-WNBA defensive first team selection.
She will be the fourth U.S. Olympian on the Lynx roster, joining Maya Moore, Augustus and Whalen. Fowles won gold medals with the women’s national team at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics. She played at Louisiana State University, where she was a teammate of Augustus for two seasons.
This is a deal that provides a lot of immediate help to both the Lynx and the Sky, which is battling for first place in the Eastern Conference.
The addition of a proven center will make Chicago tough to beat in the East. The Lynx, meanwhile, acquired perhaps the best center in franchise history, one that can defend in the paint and also score.
For more on the trade, click here.