The Lynx would not be the same without Sylvia Fowles. And instead of four championship rings, they could have just two.
With the imposing presence of the 6’6 Fowles in the middle, the Lynx solidified their status as a WNBA dynasty and one of the least fun teams to play against.
The Lynx traded for Fowles midway through the 2015 season, adding to what was already one of the most dangerous rosters in the league. Fowles wasted no time getting to work—in the 18 games she played with the Lynx in 2015, she averaged 15.3 points and 8.5 rebounds. Oh, and the Lynx won a championship.
“We expect her to step in and be a great leader on and off the court,” Lynx then GM Roger Griffith said after the trade. “She’s been one of the elite centers in the WNBA and will be a key addition to our championship-caliber roster.”
Ding, ding, ding!
That strong start was just a jumping-off point. In her time with the Lynx, Fowles’ rebounding and scoring prowess has only grown. In her 2017 MVP campaign, she averaged 18.9 points, 10.4 rebounds, 1.2 steals and 1.9 blocks.
Fowles has been an integral part of the Lynx in her three-plus seasons in Minnesota. In 2018 at age 32, it’s the same old, same old for Fowles. She’s averaging 17.1 points and a career-high 11.7 rebounds per game. She made her fifth-career All-Star game earlier this season.
You’ll see Fowles’ name in the WNBA record books more than a few times.
- 4th all-time with a 59.1 field-goal percentage.
- 15th in WNBA history with 1,086 free throws made.
- 20th all-time with 1,830 field goals made.
- 6th all-time with 2,918 total rebounds.
- 1st all-time with 9.8 rebounds per game.
- 4th all-time with 561 career blocks.
- 3rd all-time with 142 double-doubles.
She’s been with the Lynx for a relatively short amount of time, but she’s already made a huge impact. She’s fourth all-time in rebounds in team history and seventh all-time in scoring. She’ll continue to climb those charts.
When you look back at the trade, it was an absolute steal for the Lynx. The Lynx also received a 2016 second-round pick while they traded Damiris Dantas, Reshanda Gray and a 2016 first-round pick.
Dantas has been a fine rotational player in her three seasons in Atlanta, while Gray is no longer in the league. The draft pick the Lynx ended up giving Atlanta turned out to be Bria Holmes while the Lynx selected Bashaara Graves. Neither player has played a WNBA game this season.
Her age suggests that she’s near the end of her career, but her play on the court tells us the opposite.
Kyle Ratke also contributed to this piece.