The fan favorite is sticking around in Minneapolis for the remainder of the 2022 WNBA season.
The Minnesota Lynx announced Tuesday morning that the team has signed forward Nina Milić to a contract for the remainder of the season after her third (and final allowed) seven-day contract expired following Sunday’s 70-57 loss to the Washington Mystics.
Given that Sylvia Fowles is set to retire at the end of this season, it would make a good deal of sense that the Lynx fill some of that void in the front-court by bringing Milić back to a standard, full-time WNBA contract next season, too.
NINA IS HERE FOR THE REST OF THE SEASON! pic.twitter.com/42B0LjSHc1— Minnesota Lynx (@minnesotalynx) July 19, 2022
She first joined the Lynx on a hardship exception contract back on May 6 and has essentially been with the team for the entire season to this point. The Serbian National Team player and EuroLeague veteran may be a WNBA rookie this season, but has proved that she belongs in the W long-term.
The 6-foot-3 forward exploded onto the WNBA scene in a loss to the Indiana Fever back on June 12, when she scored a career-high 23 points off the bench, grabbed six rebounds, and dished out three assists in 30 minutes of action, in place of the injured Fowles. Two nights later, she registered 11 points, brought down seven rebounds, and dropped four dimes against the Seattle Storm in a career-high 33 minutes played.
Milić has played in 25 contests this year, including three starts, and has been very productive in her minutes. She holds averages of 5.4 points on 49.1/30.0/74.3 shooting splits, 2.9 rebounds, 0.9 assists, 0.3 steals and 0.3 blocks across 11.3 minutes per game. The 28-year-old is second in the league in offensive rebound percentage (14.6%), and her free throw rate of 0.33 is rather impressive, as well.
If you extrapolate that production out to a more standard 17-minute bench role — a reasonable expectation for next season — her numbers look even better: 8.1 points, 4.4 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 0.5 steals, and 0.5 blocks.
There’s no doubt that Milić will receive a well-earned warm reception back at Target Center on Friday night when her signing is announced to the fans in the arena prior to a 7 PM CT tip against the Connecticut Sun. Fans can also watch the game on Bally Sports North or NBA TV.