The Minnesota Lynx are expected to announce on Friday afternoon they have signed guard Kayla McBride to a multi-year contract extension. McBride’s new extension is for two years, according to Rachel Galligan of Winsidr and Just Women’s Sports. The contract will be fully protected and pay her $208,000 in 2024 and $205,000 in 2025, according to Howard Megdal of The Next.
thankful for it all! let’s get it https://t.co/mou4lrUMlv— Kayla McBride (@kaymac_2123) September 8, 2023
“I couldn’t be more excited to continue my career with this franchise and elevate the success we’ve seen, especially throughout this season,” McBride said Friday via a team press release. “Minnesota is a special place with some of the greatest fans in the WNBA, so I feel so fortunate to be part of what we’re growing here.”
“Kayla has proven to be such an integral part of the Lynx since her arrival in 2021,” Lynx Head Coach and President of Basketball Operations Cheryl Reeve said in a statement. “Her play this season, coupled with her leadership, has been vital to the Lynx returning to playoff basketball. We look forward to KMac wearing the Lynx uniform for years to come.”
McBuckets is now one of four players the Lynx have signed through the 2025 season, joining Napheesa Collier, Diamond Miller and Dorka Juhász. Jessica Shepard and Tiffany Mitchell are the only others signed through next season.
Since initially signing with the Lynx in 2021, McBride has been an integral part of the team’s core as the team’s best shooter and the player Reeve entrusts to defend opposing teams’ top perimeter threat.
This season, the three-time All-Star joined forces with Collier to lead a reloading Lynx squad coming off a 2022 season in which Minnesota missed the WNBA Playoffs for the first time since 2010. McBride has spoken at length this season about how much she enjoys taking the floor beside Collier and competing with soon-to-be All-Rookie team members Miller and Juhász.
After the Lynx defeated the Indiana Fever back on July 5 for their fourth win in a row, McBride spoke about the team’s journey.
“We’re just chopping wood and carry water. We’re just going along our journey and figuring it out and we’re okay with that. We’re okay being exactly who we are. I think that that’s been a testament and I’ve really enjoyed that,” she said. “You enjoy going to work every day with your teammates, your sisters, and then obviously winning on top of that. But I just think we’re just enjoying the process and we never get down on ourselves.”
Since then, the Lynx have continued to play to who they are, as a team that plays incredibly tough, cohesive basketball that produces results greater than the sum of its parts. After an 0-6 start, the Lynx have gone on a 19-13 run that currently has them fifth in the WNBA standings with two very winnable games left on the schedule.
McBride has had a ton to do with that, averaging 13.9 points per game on 42.7/33.9/86.7 shooting splits in a career-high 36 games played. Collier adores her and Reeve has praised her all season long for her two-way play and leadership with the team’s rookies, as McBride has been a steadying force for a team that needs her more than ever.
The former Notre Dame star’s impact was most felt when Collier went down with an ankle sprain in late July, at a pivotal point in the Lynx season. She scored a team-high 26 points on 11/14 shooting and dished out four assists without a turnover in an 88-83 road win over the No. 2 seed New York Liberty, then followed it up with a team-high 19 points on 7/10 shooting, three assists and a steal in an 87-83 win over the No. 3 seed Connecticut Sun at Mohegan Sun. Minnesota easily could’ve rolled over without Collier and fallen four games below .500 with a pair of losses (and rematches with each team in the following two games), but McBride didn’t let them, leading the Lynx back to a 13-13 record. It felt like a turning point of the team’s season.
Kayla McBride is reminding everyone tonight she's a certified bucket capable of leading an offense when she's feeling it. 24 points on 10/12 FG with the meter still running... Lynx by 13pic.twitter.com/lB8qbH2pwf— Canis Hoopus (@canishoopus) July 29, 2023
During Thursday’s practice, McBride was asked by Lynx beat reporter for the Star Tribune Kent Youngblood if she had thought about next season at all.
“I have. It’s definitely become home,” McBride said. “I just had a really long conversation with my mom this past weekend. I have a big decision to make soon, but hopefully it’ll be a good one.”
It’s safe to say we now know what that decision was, and Lynx fans are surely thrilled that McBride will be in Minnesota for the next couple years as they look to build upon an exciting core and resurgent 2023 WNBA season.