In a trade with the rival Los Angeles Sparks on Monday, the Lynx dealt away guard Alexis Jones and received guard Odyssey Sims — a player who should vie for major minutes as the Lynx revamp their roster.
Sims, 27, played in all 34 games for the Sparks last season, starting 24, while averaging 8.2 points in 25.5 minutes per game. She was also a key figure in the Sparks’ clash with the Lynx in the WNBA Finals in 2017, including being on the receiving end of a Lindsay Whalen flagrant foul that helped change momentum in Game 4 of the Lynx’s eventual five-game series win.
Now Sims will help replace the retired Whalen. She averaged 15.9 points in eight playoff games that year and brings a reputation as a scoring threat to the Lynx.
The 5-foot-8 Sims is a five-year WNBA veteran with 156 games played (including 118 starts), during which she has averaged 12.8 points. She was a two-time All-America at Baylor before being chosen with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2014 WNBA draft by Tulsa (since relocated to Dallas).
“We have gotten to know Odyssey Sims up close and personal from a competitive standpoint in our rivalry with the L.A. Sparks over the last few seasons,” Lynx head coach and General Manager Cheryl Reeve said in a statement announcing the move. “Odyssey brings us physical toughness and the ability to score at the guard spots.”
Jones was the Lynx’s first-round pick (No. 12 overall) in the 2017 draft and has appeared in 55 games over the past two seasons while averaging 2.9 points and eight minutes per game.
With Whalen retired, Maya Moore taking the year off and the team bracing for the possibility that Rebekkah Brunson can’t play as she battles the aftereffects of a concussion, the Lynx have been active this offseason. They had five picks in the WNBA draft earlier this month and swapped one of them on draft night for Connecticut Sun guard Lexie Brown. Reeve also signed veteran forward Karima Christmas-Kelly.
The battle for roster spots and playing time should be interesting and more wide open than in past years. Camp opens on May 5.