As the WNBA Finals get underway between the Las Vegas Aces and New York Liberty in a battle of the super teams, the Minnesota Lynx are in full offseason mode looking ahead and preparing for the 2024 campaign.
Part of that preparation includes players heading overseas, which features a total of nine Lynx this offseason. The likes of Napheesa Collier, Kayla McBride, Nina Milić, Tiffany Mitchell, Lindsay Allen, Jessica Shepard, Dorka Juhász, Diamond Miller and Bridget Carleton are playing overseas in Turkey, Italy, Hungary and Spain.
As players get their offseasons underway or prepare to begin play overseas, let’s dive into how they are performing or where they plan to play in our latest Lynx Offseason Update.
Napheesa Coller, Kayla McBride and Nina Milić
A trio of Lynx — Napheesa Collier, Kayla McBride and Nina Milić — debuted for global powerhouse Fenerbahçe over the last week, with McBride and Milić taking the court in a pair of games and Collier playing in one game for their Turkish squad.
Fenerbahçe topped Izmit on Oct. 1 in Turkey-KBSL action, following that up with a 96-66 victory over Valencia in EuroLeague play. Fenerbahçe also took down Hatay on Oct. 6, but none of the Lynx players took the floor in that 114-48 blowout win.
McBride and Milić took the court in the Oct. 1 contest, with McBride posting 14 points, four rebounds, two steals and two assists in 33 minutes and Milić tallying a double-double of 18 points and 11 boards in 31 minutes.
All three Lynx played in the Oct. 4 win, with Collier notching 17 points, six rebounds, four steals and two blocks in 32 minutes, McBride finishing with 16 points, six rebounds, six assists and two steals in 31 minutes, and Milić adding two points, two rebounds and two assists in seven minutes.
With her performance in EuroLeague play over the week, McBride was named EuroLeague Player of the Week.
Fenerbahçe will have a pair of games over the next week, taking on Lyon in EuroLeague play on Oct. 11 and Botas in Turkey-KBSL action on Oct. 14.
Mitchell reported to Galatasaray this week to begin her offseason in the Turkey-KBSL after taking the floor for the Lynx for the first time of her career this summer. Mitchell has yet to appear in a game for Galatasaray, which played in one game over the past week, a 90-88 loss to Botas in Turkey-KBSL action.
In her first season with the Lynx in 2023, Mitchell enters the offseason coming off a year where she averaged 7.3 points, 2.3 rebounds and 2.3 assists over 33 games in her eighth year this summer. Last offseason, she played in Australia for the Melbourne Boomers of the Australian Women’s National Basketball League, averaging a league-best 21 points per game along with 4.8 rebounds, 4.3 assists and two steals a contest.
Galatasaray will have two games over the next week, a battle against Constanta on Oct. 11 play before playing Bursa on Oct. 15.
Allen, who is still recovering from a thumb injury that cut her season short in Minnesota this summer, was set to play in Istanbul, Turkey with Emlak Konut in the Turkey-KBSL this offseason after a strong year with the Lynx, but is no longer with the team.
Allen took over the starting point guard spot in her sixth WNBA year in 2023, finishing with 6.2 points, a career-high 4.5 assists and a career-best 2.4 rebounds in 17 starts and 29 appearances.
Allen has played overseas in Russia, Australia and Poland earlier in her career, taking the court for Russian squad Dynamo Moscow in 2017, Australian squad Melbourne Boomers in 2018 and 2019, Russian team Nika Syktyvkar in 2020 and most recently Polish team Gorzów Wielkopolski in 2022. With Gorzów Wielkopolski, Allen averaged 15.6 points, 6.3 assists, 3.3 rebounds and 1.1 steals over 29 Poland-OBLK games and 12.1 points, 6.8 assists and 2.1 rebounds in 10 EuroCup contests.
Allen was going to fellow WNBA player Alanna Smith of the Chicago Sky and former WNBA player Sydney Wiese, among others, with Emlak Konut, which got its season underway in mid-September. Her next move is to be determined as she continues to get back to full health.
Shepard, coming off a 2023 WNBA season that was filled with injuries or illness while only playing in about half of Minnesota’s regular-season games, has returned to play in Italy’s Serie A1 with Umana Reyer Venezia in Venice, Italy this offseason.
Although Umana Reyer Venezia has played two games so far, including on on Sunday, Shepard has yet to take the floor for her Italian squad.
This offseason is Shepard’s third straight year in Italy and second straight stint with Umana Reyer Venezia, whom she was a double-double machine for last offseason. In 27 Italy Serie A1 games last year, Shepard averaged 19.4 points, 10 rebounds and 2.2 assists in 28.6 minutes, while averaging 16.9 points, 9.6 rebounds and 3.2 assists over 29.8 minutes over 12 EuroCup contests.
Umana Reyer Venezia will take the court in two games this week, a EuroCup game against Ragusa on Oct. 12 and an Italy Serie A1 game against Brescia on Oct. 15.
After a strong rookie season, Juhász is overseas playing with Famila Basket Schio in the EuroLeague this offseason.
Juhász, a Hungary native, took the court in two games over the past week, a EuroLeague game against Lublin on Oct. 4 and an Italy Serie A1 battle against Venezia on Oct. 8.
In a 70-50 win over Lublin, Juhász posted nine points, seven rebounds, two assists and one block in 17, following it up with 11 points, four rebounds and one block over 21 minutes in a 78-68 loss to Venezia.
Famila Basket Schio will have two games this week, a EuroLeague game against Sfantu Gheorghe on Oct. 11 and an Italy Serie A1 contest against Campobasso on Oct. 15.
Coming off her rookie campaign in the WNBA, Diamond Miller is playing with UNI Györ this offseason in Hungary.
Miller made her debut against ELTE BEAC on Oct. 7, finishing with 16 points, five rebounds and three assists over 23 minutes in a 99-75 victory.
UNI Györ will take the floor in a pair of games this week, a contest against Virtus Bologna on Oct. 10 before a game against BKG Prima on Oct. 15.
To Be Determined
Carleton is returning overseas to play this offseason, coming off a WNBA season where she was once again a valued veteran spark off the Lynx bench. According to our Jack Borman, Carleton has not yet signed with a club but is nearing a decision.
The Canadian wing played for Perfumerías Avenida last offseason, joining the team in late November and playing in EuroLeague and Spain-LF Endesa action. In EuroLeague play, Carleton averaged 10.9 points, 5.1 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.6 steals in 30.8 minutes over 12 games, while averaging 10.3 points, 4.3 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.3 steals in 23.6 minutes over 23 Spain-LF Endesa contests.