As she does with most major decisions, Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve talked to her captains when it came to hiring an assistant coach to replace Jim Petersen, who stepped down in late January.
When the name James Wade came up, she got some good reactions. Rebekkah Brunson and Seimone Augustus had crossed paths with Wade while playing in Europe over the years.
So that made Thursday's hiring of Wade an easy one.
"It will be an easy transition for him," Reeve said. "And for our players. I think that's what we were looking for."
Wade emerged as a top candidate early. The 41-year-old Memphis native graduated from Kennesaw State in 1998; he played professionally overseas in the United Kingdom, France, Russia, Spain, the Czech Republic and Belgium from 2001-13. He joined the San Antonio Stars as a coaching intern in 2012. A year later he began a four-year run with the Stars as assistant coach, where he coordinated the Stars defense and was responsible for leading individual player development. With the Lynx he will be involved in scouting, talent evaluation and player development.
"He has to learn us, obviously," Reeve said. "But he has the ability to provide the same things Jim did — game stuff, preparation, player development. He's good at all of that. Of course, I don't want him to be Jim. I want James to be James."
Wade is married to former WNBA guard and French national team member Edwige Lawson-Wade — they have a son, James III — and has dual citizenship in France and the United States.
Reeve and her staff are preparing for the April 13 draft and the start of training camp 10 days after that.
As it sits now, it appears the Lynx — who are carrying a number of veterans — will likely carry 11 players this season.
Of those, nine of the spots seem set. That list includes starters Lindsay Whalen, Maya Moore, Sylvia Fowles, Augustus and Brunson. Reserves Natasha Howard, Renee Montgomery, Jia Perkins and free-agent signee Plenette Pierson are also apparent locks. Reeve said that, because of salary cap constraints, the final two spots would have to go to players on entry-level contracts.
That could signal the end of Janel McCarville's time with the team. Another veteran, guard Anna Cruz, has Spanish national team commitments, won't start the season with the team and might not play for the Lynx this summer. Keisha Hampton, a 6-1 forward, is also on the roster.
"We have to figure out what else can we do in the post, with the draft, or signing a free agent that's still out there," Reeve said. "We have to determine that."
• Brunson, who initially did not play overseas, has joined a team in Turkey for the last half of the European season.
• Reeve said Howard, who played mainly power forward last year, will be asked to play more small forward this summer.
• Fowles scored 35 points and had 12 rebounds as Beijing defeated Bayi 96-77 Thursday to win its second consecutive Women's Chinese Basketball Association title. Fowles was named the Finals MVP after averaging 29 points — on 86.4 percent shooting — and 11.8 rebounds in the three games.