Seimone Augustus knew what she wanted to remain a Lynx. So on Tuesday, after one of the shortest negotiating processes imaginable, Augustus signed a four-year contract.
"It was like a no-brainer for me to come back," said Augustus, whose career average of 21.2 points per game is the highest in WNBA history. "It is a great feeling to know that you are with an organization that is about its business but, at the same time, it is a family atmosphere."
The Lynx chose Augustus with the first pick of the 2006 WNBA draft. Later that year, the 6-foot guard/forward was named the league's Rookie of the Year. She has been an All-Star twice and was an Olympian two summers ago. But she missed most of last season after knee surgery.
"I been through the rough times here in Minnesota my first couple seasons here," she said. "And now it's time for the good times.
"You could see the team has progressed from being a team that people didn't take serious to a team now that they expect us to make it to the playoffs, they expect us to contend for a title. Why would I want to miss out on that?"
Augustus said the team's offseason moves, adding guard Lindsay Whalen and 6-3 forward Rebekkah Brunson, have made her feel more comfortable about the future.
"It is just crazy to think about the possibilities of this team and what we can accomplish," Augustus said.
Contract terms were not announced, but it's logical to assume she will be paid the WNBA maximum, $101,500 per year. Roger Griffith, executive vice president of the Lynx, called Augustus a superstar. Griffith said he did not offer her a contract extension at the end of last season because the Lynx wanted to sign her for as many years as possible.
"[It's] a great, great day for the Minnesota Lynx," said Griffith, who said he reached an agreement with Augustus and her agent in about five minutes.
That was three weeks ago, on the first day offers could be made. Free agents could not sign until Feb. 1. The Lynx pushed the signing date back until after the Super Bowl.
Her rehabilitation is going well. She tore an anterior cruciate ligament in her left knee on June 17 against Phoenix and had surgery July 7.
Augustus said she only has 1 1/2 weeks of rehabilitation left. "I will be able to go home and party next week," said Augustus, a Louisiana native who has stayed in Minnesota this offseason.
"The winter has not run me off," Augustus said. "I am actually enjoying it. It's been fun trying to learn how to drive in the snow and on the ice."