The Lynx will be without forward/guard Cecilia Zandalasini once again.
Zandalasini — ho figured to vie for a starting spot when the season finally gets underway at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. next month — has decided to stay home. The 23-year-old Zandalasini, from Italy, hasn’t played for the team since 2018. That year she played in 29 games, started six and averaged 5.7 points and 1.9 rebounds in 16.5 minutes.
“We have to be naïve to think there wouldn’t be an issue with some of the international players this year,” Lynx general manager and coach Cheryl Reeve said. “It was not a surprise.”
Somewhat surprisingly, Reeve filled that spot not with a guard, but with 6-3 forward Megan Huff, a third-round pick out of Utah by New York in 2019 who has yet to play a WNBA regular season game.
The reason? Depth. “She’s insurance,” Reeve said. “She has played overseas. I like her.”
In two seasons at Utah Huff scored more than 1,000 points and was all-Pac 12 both seasons. She averaged 17.2 points, 8.8 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 59 games at Utah, shooting 49% overall and 37.5% on three-pointers. She played in Latvia for TTT Riga during the 2019-20 season, averaging 11.0 points and 9.2 rebounds in 13 EuroLeague appearances.
She is not the passer that, say Jessica Shepard is. But she is a good three-point shooter and can rebound. Huff would back up starting power forward Damiris Dantas, who will be joining the team in Bradenton.
Meanwhile, the battle for starting guard spots will be perhaps the most interesting thing about training camp. Veteran free agent signee Shenise Johnson appears to have a very good chance of starting, with the likes of Lexie Brown, Rachel Banham and even rookie Crystal Dangerfield vying for time.
Also in the mix: Odyssey Sims, who gave birth to a son in early April. Reeve said Sims is starting to work out. The good news: Reeve said Sims will join the team, at some point, in Bradenton.
Reeve believes Sims — an All-Star last year — will play for the team this summer. The question is when. Sims might not be ready to join the team at the start of camp. “Her body will tell here when it’s time,” Reeve said.