StaTuesday: Lynx’s Whalen climbing all-time WNBA leaderboards

Lindsay Whalen isn’t quite an All-Star Game starter midway through her 14th WNBA season, but the Minnesota Lynx’s homegrown star is still piling up milestones.

Originally drafted by the Connecticut Sun in 2004, Whalen’s career spans just over 60 percent of the WNBA’s entire history, and the stats are starting to reflect her longevity, as well as her contributions to the Lynx’s dominance.

The former Minnesota Gopher and native of Hutchinson, Minn., recently moved past Taj McWilliams-Franklin into 10th on the WNBA’s all-time games played list with 441.

Just two members of the top 10 remain active: Whalen and Seattle Storm guard Sue Bird. Assuming that Whalen continues to play major minutes over the next few years she could very well finish her career as one of the WNBA’s most senior players.

Player Games
DeLisha Milton-Jones 499
Tina Thompson 496
Katie Smith 482
Swin Cash 479
Tangela Smith 463
Sue Bird 462
Tamika Catchings 457
Ticha Penicheiro 454
Becky Hammon 450
Lindsay Whalen 441

However, she has them all beat in at least one category: Nearly 70 percent of those games are wins. Whalen has a WNBA-record 300 wins over the course of her career, setting the league mark in yet another Lynx victory last month.

Games played isn’t the only place where Whalen has made a mark on the WNBA leaderboards. She also ranks third on the all-time list in assists with 2,220 behind just Bird (2,513) and Ticha Penicheiro (2,599), eighth in win shares, ninth in free throws, 16th in field goals and 20th in steals (she’ll be tied for 19th with her next theft and needs three to move into 18th place and nine into 17th).

In addition, Whalen continues to climb up the WNBA’s career leaders in points and could potentially reach the top 10 by season’s end (as well as pass teammate Seimone Augustus).

Player Points
Diana Taurasi* 7582
Tina Thompson 7488
Tamika Catchings 7380
Cappie Pondexter* 6492
Katie Smith 6452
Lisa Leslie 6263
Lauren Jackson 6007
Becky Hammon 5841
Sue Bird* 5681
DeLisha Milton-Jones 5571
Katie Douglas 5560
Candice Dupree* 5343
Seimone Augustus* 5308
Lindsay Whalen* 5291
Swin Cash 5119

* — active

And we didn’t even mention the five All-Star selections, three WNBA championships and a spot on the WNBA’s “20@20” list honoring the top 20 players of the league’s first two decades.

It all adds up to Whalen going down as one of the best players in league history … whenever she decides to retire, that is.