Maya Moore’s immediate future — at least when it comes to basketball and the Lynx — appears uncertain.
One day after WCCO-TV reported, without attribution, that Moore could sit out the 2019 season or request a trade, Lynx coach and General Manager Cheryl Reeve released a statement Thursday saying, “We have been in close contact with Maya Moore and together are deciding the best way to approach next season.”
That’s a short sentence with enormous implications. It also leaves a lot of lingering questions.
Reeve is not commenting further, and a call to Moore’s representative was not returned. Moore is known for valuing her privacy off the court.
Multiple sources say Moore is not unhappy with the Lynx, which would appear to indicate she doesn’t want a trade. The story bubbled up just days after the Lynx put the franchise tag on Moore, preventing her from negotiating as a free agent with other teams, but all indications are that this is not a factor, either.
The simplest explanation could be that the 29-year-old Moore is contemplating an extended break after an up-and-down 2018 season — one Moore herself often described as a grind. Moore has been playing year-round and been in the spotlight for much of the past decade. She decided not to play overseas this year.
This much is clear: If Moore does not play, it would be difficult news for a Lynx team already in transition with the retirement of Lindsay Whalen and the pending free agency of Seimone Augustus and Rebekkah Brunson.
Moore has been one of the league’s luminaries since the Lynx drafted her with the first overall pick in the 2011 draft. Since then the Lynx have never missed the playoffs, made the finals six times and won four titles, the first in Moore’s rookie year, the fourth on the floor of Williams Arena in the fall of 2017.
Moore was Rookie of the Year in 2011, WNBA Finals MVP in 2013 and league MVP in 2014. She has been an All-Star and first-team all-WNBA five times. With Team USA, Moore has won two world championships and two Olympic gold medals.
The first woman to sign a deal with Nike’s Jordan Brand, Moore is a league icon and a woman willing to use her platform to comment on social issues.
In eight seasons, she has averaged 18.4 points, 5.9 rebounds and 3.3 assists. She has career shooting percentages of 45.3 percent overall, 38.4 on three-pointers.
In 2018, Moore averaged 18.0 points, shooting 42.3 percent overall — the second lowest of her career — and 36.5 percent on three-pointers. She and center Sylvia Fowles were bellwethers of the Lynx attack, with the team’s fortunes largely dependent on their performances.