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The Lynx Beat

Updating you year-round on the Lynx

Lynx assistant to become Chicago Sky's head coach

James Wade, an assistant coach with the Minnesota Lynx the past two seasons, is headed to Chicago to become the Sky's head coach.
A league source confirmed to the Star Tribune a report from saying the Sky plan on hiring Wade, with the official press conference scheduled for Tuesday.
Wade, 43, was an assistant coach for the now-relocated San Antonio Stars from 2012-2016 before being hired by the Lynx. He was credited with helping Lynx center Sylvia Fowles earn regular season and WNBA finals MVP during the 2017 season, Minnesota's fourth title in seven years. 
Wade will replace Amber Stocks in Chicago, who compiled a 25-43 over two seasons with the Sky, failing to qualify for the playoffs in either season.
The cupboard is not bare in Chicago. Wade will inherit a strong backcourt that includes Courtney Vandersloot and Diamond DeShields, who was named to the WNBA all-rookie team. 
Wade, who has also served as an assistant coach in Europe for years -- including the Russian Euroleague team UMMC Ekaterinburg the past two seasons -- has strong ties overseas.
It is unclear how the Lynx will replace Wade. One option would be to elevate Walt Hopkins from his current role as the third assistant.

Sylvia Fowles named WNBA defensive player of the year

The Associated Press WNBA awards were announced Tuesday, and there weren’t a lot of surprises. Breanna Stewart was the player of the year, A’ja Wilson the unanimous rookie of the year, Natasha Howard as most improved.

And while the Lynx – who play Los Angeles tonight in a first-round, single-elimination game at Staples Center – didn’t have the season they’d hoped, there were a couple players who were honored.

Center Sylvia Fowles was named defensive player of the year for the fourth time in her career and for the second time with the Lynx. She led the league in rebounding, setting a single-season league record with 404. She was also in the top ten in steals and blocks.Only Tamika Catchings (five) has won the award more times.

Fowles, who led the league in field goal percentage (61.9) and Maya Moore were named to the second-team All-WNBA team.

Here are the other awards:

--Atlanta’s Nicki Collen is coach of the year

--Connecticut’s Jonquel Jones was sixth person of the year

--Phoenix Mercury forward DeWanna Bonner was comeback player of the year

First-team All-WNBA: Stewart, Liz Cambage, Elena Delle Donne, Diana Taurasi, Tiffany Hayes

Second-team: Candace Parker, Maya Moore, Sylvia Fowles, Brittney Griner, Skylar Diggins-Smith

All-rookie team: A’Ja Wilson, Azura Stevens, Kia Nurse, Kelsey Mitchell, Ariel Atkins, Diamond De Shields.