Having decided the team needed a true backup point guard, the Lynx waived forwards Shae Kelley and Asia Taylor Tuesday. Those moves brought the team’s roster to 12 – a number that includes Anna Cruz, the Spanish point guard who will join the team at the end of the month. It finalized the roster that, barring any further moves, will begin the regular season Friday against Tulsa at Target Center.
That roster includes Jennifer O’Neill, who will help back up starting point guard Lindsay Whalen until Cruz arrives.
Kelley, a star for the University of Minnesota last season, was drafted in the third round (35th overall) by the Lynx in the WNBA draft in April. Taylor, drafted with the 36th overall pick in 2014, appeared in 22 games as a rookie, averaging 2.7 points and 1.4 rebounds per game.
Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve said earlier in the week that she wanted to keep Monica Wright – usually a combo guard who backs Whalen up – in the shooting guard spot until she gets back to the top of her game; Wright had two knee procedures last year and missed the early part of camp this year with a calf injury.
That means O’Neill will earn some minutes at the point. Also, Reeve feels she can play Seimone Augustus some at the point position when she’s on the floor with Wright.
And if the roster leaves the Lynx without a lot of depth at the small forward position, there is flexibility there. Both Wright and Augustus can play the wing at times, spelling starter Maya Moore, as can Devereaux Peters.
The final roster includes two rookies in O’Neill and 6-3 center Reshanda Gray, the team’s second-round draft choice in April. It also includes veteran post Asjha Jones, who is expected to miss at least the first two weeks of the regular season while recovering from a blood deficiency discovered in her pre-camp physical.