Minnesota Lynx sign forward Napheesa Collier to multi-year extension

Minnesota Lynx forward Napheesa Collier (24) in action during a WNBA game between Minnesota Lynx and Connecticut Sun on August 19, 2021, at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT.  ((Photo by M. Anthony Nesmith/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images))

The Minnesota Lynx on Monday announced a multi-year extension for forward Napheesa Collier, one of the team's best players since being drafted three years ago.

Collier will miss most of the 2022 season as she’s expecting her first child, a baby girl, later this month. Minnesota’s final regular season game is scheduled for Sunday. Aug. 14, about three months after she’s due. Collier could be back on the court in time if the Lynx are in the WNBA Playoffs.

"Since 2019 when we drafted her, Phee has been such an integral part of our franchise maintaining its championship aspirations," Lynx coach and GM Cheryl Reeve said in a statement. "I am thrilled that she has elected to extend her contract to remain a Lynx and look forward to the years ahead with Phee as a cornerstone of the franchise."

The No. 6 overall pick for the Lynx in 2019, Collier has had three standout seasons in Minnesota. A 6-1 forward, Collier started all 29 games for the Lynx last season and led the team with 16.2 points, 6.6 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 1.3 steals and 1.3 blocks per game. She led the WNBA in minutes played for the third straight season, at 34.6 minutes per game.

"I’m excited to extend my career in Minnesota and to continue working towards a championship," Collier said in a statement. "I look forward to joining my teammates and coaching staff for years to come."

Collier was named the WNBA Rookie of the Year in 2019 after averaging 13.1 points, 6.6 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game in her first professional season. She was the fifth player in Lynx history to start every game as a rookie and set a franchise record for minutes played.

In 85 regular season games, Collier is averaging 14.9 points, 7.2 rebounds, 3 assists and 1.7 steals per game. She’s a two-time WNBA All-Star and won a gold medal with Team USA at the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.