As the start of the regular season approaches this weekend and final roster cuts are required to be made by Thursday, the Minnesota Lynx announced a few last-minute roster moves on Tuesday afternoon.
The organization announced that it made a pair of trades and cut a few players on its training camp roster to make room for them.
Two Separate Trades
The first trade of the day announced by the Lynx was the acquisition of center Alaina Coates from the Chicago Sky. In exchange for Coates, Minnesota sent its third-round pick in the 2020 WNBA Draft to Chicago.
Coates, who is 24 years old and spent her rookie campaign with the Sky in 2018, averaged 3.4 points, 3.2 rebounds and 0.4 assists in 11.4 minutes per game a year ago.
Originally a second overall pick in the 2017 WNBA Draft, Coates played collegiately at South Carolina, where she is the program leader in field-goal percentage and is second in double-doubles, blocks and rebounds.
Coates could provide the Lynx with a nice post presence in the absence of Rebekkah Brunson and behind Sylvia Fowles. She could also prove to be a solid young pairing next to Temi Fagbenle among the second unit.
The addition of Coates could likely mean that Minnesota will move on from Erlana Larkins before the final roster cut deadline approaches. The appealing thing about Coates is that her contract is on the lower end and would make it easier to part ways with her if Brunson does come back during the 2019 season.
The second trade of the day announced by the Lynx on Tuesday was the acquisition of forward Stephanie Talbot from the Phoenix Mercury. In exchange for Talbot, Minnesota shipped off its second-round pick in the 2020 WNBA Draft.
Talbot, who is also 24 years old like Coates, is entering her third season in the WNBA in 2019. Having spent the last two years in Phoenix, Talbot averaged 3.7 points, 1.9 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 0.4 steals in 14.6 minutes per game in 2018.
The Australia native was picked by the Mercury in the third round of the 2014 WNBA Draft and became the 11th rookie in team history to earn at least 20 starts during her rookie year.
Two Players Cut
In the announcement that the team traded for Talbot, Minnesota also announced that it has cut forward Jillian Alleyne and guard Kenisha Bell.
Alleyne, who played in the two preseason games – not including the preseason scrimmage against the Chinese National Team – for the Lynx. During that span, she averaged 2.5 points, 1.5 rebounds and one assist in 6.5 minutes per contest.
Alleyne was originally drafted by Phoenix in the second round of the 2016 WNBA Draft and was signed by the Lynx prior to the start of training camp.
Bell, who the team drafted out of the University of Minnesota with the 30th pick in this year’s WNBA Draft, also played in two games for the Lynx during the preseason. During that stretch, she averaged one point per game.
Under head coach and former Lynx point guard Lindsay Whalen, Bell concluded her final season with the Gophers ranking fifth in program history in scoring (18.1 points per game) and seventh in assists (371).
With the pair of trades and the pair of cuts, Minnesota’s roster remains at 15 players and will need to be narrowed down to at least 12 prior to Thursday’s deadline.
We will hear more in the next day or two how the final roster will shape up and how the Lynx will look ahead of their regular season opener at 7 p.m. Saturday against Chicago at Target Center.