The first big departure of free agency has occurred for the Minnesota Lynx, and it involved a player who has become a hometown fan favorite and a valued veteran on the team.
First reported by Jackie Powell of The Next and later announced by the team, guard Rachel Banham has agreed to sign a two-year free agent contract with the Connecticut Sun, bringing her four-year tenure with the Lynx to a close.
Banham entered the offseason as an unrestricted free agent, spending the the last four seasons in Minnesota as a key player coming off the bench and a treasured home-grown talent in the locker room and in the community. Over her four-year span with the Lynx, she averaged 6.4 points, 2.0 assists and 1.2 rebounds over 115 games while shooting 41.2% from the field and 39.8% from three.
Banham returns to Connecticut, a team that drafted her when she came out of the University of Minnesota in 2016. Banham played for the Sun from 2016-19, ending that four-year stretch with 4.0 points, 1.0 rebounds and 1.0 assists over 107 games.
Banham, who is also an Assistant Coach with her alma mater at the University of Minnesota, returned home where her basketball career began in her home state in 2021 when she was signed by the Lynx as a free agent.
With the additions of Courtney Williams and Natisha Hiedeman this offseason, the guard group has grown in Minnesota, which could have resulted in Banham looking for an opportunity where she would get more playing time off the bench than the Lynx could offer.
Minnesota will miss the deep-ball threat and offensive production that Banham has provided over her time with the Lynx, and that is likely an area that Minnesota will continue to address this offseason as Banham officially moves on and returns to where her WNBA career began.
For more coverage on the Lynx during WNBA Free Agency, visit our Free Agency Tracker.