Lynx’s Talbot emerges as full-time contributor

The Minnesota Lynx look a bit different this season. Gone are longtime franchise cornerstones Lindsay Whalen (retired) and Maya Moore (taking a year off), so general manager Cheryl Reeve rolled up her sleeves and got busy in the offseason, adding much-needed youth to the roster through trades and the WNBA draft.

Over the course of the season, we’ll periodically check in with the team and give updates on how the young players are performing on the court. From first-round pick Napheesa Collier to Lexie Brown and others, it’ll be exciting to watch these players develop and help continue the dynasty into the next decade.

This is the 6th edition of the 2019 Young Lynx Tracker.

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Forward Stephanie Talbot

It was a sign of the times.

The Lynx, who built a dynasty around a veteran core that has been largely absent this season, were still remixing the roster just days before the season opener.

Cheryl Reeve and co. added a few more players to the mix just three days before the season opener and two days before final 12-player rosters were due, shipping a second-rounder to Phoenix for Talbot and a third to Chicago for center Alaina Coates.

But while the Lynx waived Coates back in July, Talbot has emerged as a vital piece of their new-look offense.

Talbot played sparingly for the first month of the season, before emerging as a full-time contributor with the Lynx shorthanded in late June.

She played 33 minutes in a loss to Dallas on June 30, her first appearance of more than 14 minutes since joining the Lynx.

And while she went just 4-for-12 from the field, Talbot went off in her next game, scoring a career-high 24 points with five made 3s in a win over Atlanta and kicking off a three-game Lynx winning streak.

Talbot leads the Lynx with 78 3-point tries this season despite starting just eight games, and is shooting 40% from deep since June 30, 12th in the league.

She’s been heating up recently, and is 10-for-23 from deep over the Lynx’s last five games.

Talbot, 25 and in her third WNBA season, is setting career highs on the other end of the court as well with 25 steals in just 24 games.

A third-round pick of the Phoenix Mercury in 2014, Talbot made her WNBA debut in 2017, averaging 4.4 points, 2.7 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game and shooting 41.5% from the field in 17.9 minutes through 34 games (24 starts).

She started just eight games the following season, averaging 3.7 points, 1.9 rebounds and 1.3 assists while shooting 46.4% in 14.6 minutes through 31 games.


— Rookie Napheesa Collier’s spectacular rookie season continues. She’s reached double-digits in scoring in six straight games, and leads all rookies with 1.9 steals per game. Second-place Arike Ogunbowale is averaging 1.0 steals per game.

— The Lynx host first-place Washington on Friday, less than a week after falling 101-78 to the Mystics on the road.