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Lynx agree to multi-year extension with Napheesa Collier

At just 25 years old, she is already an Olympian and an All-WNBA performer. She has proven herself capable of being the No. 1 piece on a top-four WNBA team.

WNBA: Minnesota Lynx at Seattle Storm
Minnesota Lynx forward Napheesa Collier (24) reacts during the second half Sept. 22, 2020, against the Seattle Storm at IMG Academy.
Douglas DeFelice / USA Today Sports
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The Minnesota Lynx have made it clear that this season is all about Sylvia Fowles, celebrating the all-world center’s career while going all-out to win her one last ring in her final WNBA season.

While Minnesota and Napheesa Collier both hope the 6-foot-1 forward can contribute to both of those endeavors by season’s, it’s unknown if that will be the case. Collier is expecting a child by the end of the month, and this season’s truncated schedule isn’t exactly conducive to aiding in a player’s return to action.

Regardless, whether or not Collier is a part of this season’s title push, she will be leading the charge for years to come. That much was secured Monday, when the Lynx announced their agreement with the forward on a multi-year contract extension to keep one of the league’s best two-way players in Minnesota for the foreseeable future.

“I’m excited to extend my career in Minnesota and to continue working towards a championship,” Collier said in a statement. “I look forward to joining my teammates and coaching staff for years to come.”

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Collier is a — if not the — centerpiece of the Lynx’s post-Fowles plan. At just 25 years old, she is already an Olympian and an All-WNBA performer. She has proven herself capable of being the No. 1 piece on a top-four WNBA team, something she achieved during the bubble season.

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Collier has averaged more than 16 points a game each of the past two seasons. She’s never been below 6.6 rebounds a game in her three-year pro career. And she consistently averages north of a block and a steal per game.

Certainly, there are still areas where the former No. 6 overall draft selection can improve offensively, from her shooting to her on-ball abilities. But she’s an excellent off-ball player who reads the game at a high level and can defend just about anyone on the floor. She has led the league in minutes played per game in every season since entering the league.

Collier does so many of the hard things that make the rest of the game easier for those around her. That makes for an excellent building block as the Lynx aim to remain in title contention long after Fowles’ impending retirement.

“Since 2019 when we drafted her, Phee has been such an integral part of our franchise maintaining its championship aspirations,” Lynx head coach and general manager Cheryl Reeve said in a statement. “I am thrilled that she has elected to extend her contract to remain a Lynx, and look forward to the years ahead with Phee as a cornerstone of the franchise.”

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