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After nine years with the Lynx organization and five as assistant general manager, Clare Duwelius has been promoted to general manager in time to help the team face one of the most important offseasons in team history.

"We have a great opportunity ahead of us to take a big bite out of free agency and excited we landed the No. 2 pick [in the 2023 draft],'' Dewelius said. "We want to be really aggressive and do all we can to take the steps we need to improve our roster this season.''

That will include replacing retired All-Star center Sylvia Fowles and using the draft — where the Lynx have the second and 12th picks — and free agency to do it.

The position opened when coach Cheryl Reeve, previously the GM, signed a new five-year contract to be president of basketball operations for the team.

Because Duwelius and Reeve have worked so well — and so closely — in recent seasons, the change won't be a stark one. But she said she does hope to become more stragically-minded while working with Reeve to improve the roster. "I need to challenge myself in that department,'' Duwelius said. "Hopefully, lean in on more decisionmaking for roster management.''

She said her time watching Team USA play at the recent World Cup impressed upon her the value of having an athletic, up-tempo roster, which could suggest the Lynx might take a look at changing their approach at center with Fowles' retirement.

Duwelius joined the team in 2014 as basketball operations coordinator, moved to operations manager in 2016 and to assistant GM in 2018. The Des Moines native becomes the team's fourth GM, after Brian Agler (1999-2002), Roger Griffith (2003-17) and Reeve (2017-22).

"I have long felt that Clare Duwelius was one of our top free-agent signings,'' Reeve said in a statement. "Since 2014, she has proven to be an invaluable resource in every aspect of the Lynx franchise.''