Roster Review | Karima Christmas-Kelly

Roster Review | Karima Christmas-Kelly

F | 6’0, 209 lbs

2019 season: 6 games, 12.0 MPG, 2.7 PPG, 0.8 RPG, 1.0 APG, 27.8 FG%, 27.3 3P%, 60.0 FT%

Joining the Lynx was supposed to be a fresh start for Karima-Christmas Kelly.

The former Dallas Wing was limited to six games in the 2018 season after having surgery on her right knee and was poised to return to the player she once was when the Lynx signed her in February’s free agency.

“I’m excited for this new journey and fully trusting this organization with the next step in my career,” Christmas-Kelly said in a statement given after the completion of her free-agency deal. “I have been welcomed with open arms and I really appreciate the ‘family’ feeling I got from the beginning of this process. I’m both thankful and hungry for the opportunity to play in a Minnesota Lynx jersey.”

But Christmas-Kelly’s plans came to a halt in July when the Lynx’s forward was shut down for the season due to lingering right knee pain, which had kept her sidelined in eight of the Lynx’s first 14 games. When she was healthy enough to play, her playing time was sporadic and she failed to score in four of the six games she was active for.

Fans never got to see the versatile Christmas-Kelly who could create her own shots by forcing her way into the paint or pulling up for a 3-pointer off the dribble. Her healthy balance of strength and athleticism made her a top candidate for defending teams’ top players. The power forward even had her way with the league’s top centers at times (Sylvia Fowles learned this the hard way).

Christmas-Kelly’s rehabilitation from her 2018 surgery resulted in another season cut short, but her chances of making a full recovery this time around may be boosted now that she’s under the care of Mayo Clinic. If she can handle the physical and mental demands of rehabilitation once again, Christmas-Kelly could be a valuable, two -way player for the 2020 Lynx team that could use some added veteran experience.