Since the 2022 WNBA season ended, there was little doubt long-time Minnesota Lynx head coach/general manager Cheryl Reeve would return to the team. On Nov. 3, the team announced the three-time Coach of the Year landed an extension and elevated her role to President of Basketball Operations.

There are few things Reeve has yet to accomplished in her storied 12-year stint in Minnesota. She led the Lynx to four championships, has coached the most games by any head coach in WNBA history and has built a culture few teams in the league can rival. Heading into 2023, Reeve is going to face one of her tallest tasks yet: retooling the Lynx’s roster and make them a playoff team again. Here are a few things that could help get Minnesota back at the top of the league.

Find Sylvia Fowles’ “replacement”

There is no such thing as a pure replacement for Fowles, the WNBA’s all-time leader in rebounds and the only player to win Defensive Player of the Year four times. Fowles is one of one but Minnesota still has to fill the hole in their front court. Reeve will have the luxury of getting Napheesa Collier back after she missed most of last season after giving birth. Aerial Powers and Kayla McBride also give the team plenty of wing depth.

According to Her Hoops Stats, the Lynx have $881,122 in cap space. Some of that needs to be allocated to filling in the vacancy at center. There are multiple free agents who are going to look for a bigger role when they sign this offseason. Brionna Jones, who Reeve just coached during the World Cup last month, should be the Lynx’s No. 1 target. She is the reigning Sixth Woman of the Year who could want to take the next step in her career after being behind Jonquel Jones and Alyssa Thomas on the depth chart in Connecticut. Chicago Sky center Azurá Stevens would also bring length and stretchability at the five.

Finding a center through free agency could be a moot point depending on how the draft lottery plays out. Minnesota has a 10.4% chance of landing the No. 1 overall pick. Aliyah Boston is the consensus choice at the top of the 2023 draft and would be ready to play the first day she is officially in the league. Boston’s rookie scale contract would also serve as cap relief for a team that has over $879,000 tied to five players.

Despite Minnesota’s down year in 2022, the team did win 11 of its last 20 games and was bogged down by injuries and inconsistency from its defense. Minnesota has the pieces to contend if they find a center through the draft or free agency.

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Find a point guard who can create for their wings

Minnesota has been looking for consistent point guard play over the last few seasons and thought it had something in veteran guard Layshia Clarendon when they came into the fold in 2021. That season, the Lynx had a cold start before Clarendon stabilized the offense and brought solid defense on the perimeter. However, injuries sidetracked them during training camp and the Lynx were forced to cut them.

Reeve tried out multiple options including signing former Dallas Wings guard Moriah Jefferson, veteran Angel McCoughtry and the Fever’s Lindsay Allen. They experimented with Bridget Carleton at the one which didn’t garner the results they had hoped for. With Powers and McBride in contract years, Minnesota needs to stabilize the offense with a facilitator they can trust.

Chicago’s Courtney Vandersloot could be an option. She is the third all-time leader in career assists and only took meetings with Seattle and Minnesota when she went through the free agency process last year. Depending on what the team does to replace Fowles, the Lynx could be the place where Vandersloot is able to get another ring.

If Vandersloot wants to come to your franchise, a front office would do anything they can to sign her. However, they might not be able to afford her given their tight cap situation. Clarendon didn’t play last season and could revive their career again by signing with the Lynx again. Their options might be limited and Minnesota could slot them in at point guard and get the bang for their buck depending on the price point. After ranking in the bottom half in the league in defensive efficiency, they could benefit from bringing in Jordin Canada, a free agent who is a pest on the perimeter.

Life without Fowles isn’t going to be easy but the transition can be eased by finding a reliable point guard and center. There are plenty of options and, now that she has taken care of her contract situation, Reeve is going to have a couple months to retool the Lynx’s roster.