Lynx Sign Whalen to Multi-Year Contract Extension

The Minnesota Lynx today announced the team has signed All-Star guard and Hutchinson, Minn., native Lindsay Whalen to a multi-year contract extension. Originally acquired on January 12, 2010 via a trade with the Connecticut Sun, the 5-9 guard is currently in her first season with the Lynx. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

"We're extremely pleased to announce that we've signed Lindsay Whalen to a contract extension," said Roger Griffith, Lynx executive vice president. "This was something both parties wanted to get done, which made it a quick and easy process. Lindsay has provided invaluable leadership to our team and has really solidified the point guard position for our franchise - two things we knew she'd do for us when we acquired her. Lindsay is a player that is at the peak of her career and we expect her to continue to be one of the elite point guards in the WNBA for many years to come. Off the court, in getting to know her, she's such a great person whom we are luck to have representing us in the community day in and day out. We’re very fortunate to have Lindsay and look forward to many great years ahead with her as our point guard.”

"I'm very happy to be able to continue my career with the Lynx,” said Whalen. “It's great being close to so many wonderful people, including my family, friends and all of the fans here in Minnesota. I want to thank Glen Taylor, Roger Griffith and Coach Reeve for the opportunities they’ve given me this season and beyond. I’m just really happy and looking forward to many great years ahead with the Lynx.”

In 2010 with the Lynx, Whalen, a WNBA All-Star reserve this season, is averaging 11.9 points, 4.0 rebounds (tops among WNBA point guards) and 5.6 assists in 27 games. Whalen is currently averaging career highs in assists, free-throw percentage (.902) and minutes played (33.6 mpg). She ranks third in the league in assists and minutes per game, fifth in free-throw shooting, 21st in steals (1.41) and 25th in scoring (fifth among WNBA point guards). Her 151 assists this season is tops on the Lynx single-season chart, and Whalen is on pace to break her single-season career high for assists of 172. Her three point/assist double-doubles are tied for most in the league, and includes her first career - and first in Lynx history - 20-point/10-assist game when she tallied 27 points and 12 assists August 3 vs. Connecticut. This season she has recorded 4+ assists 21 times, and has paced the Lynx in assists in 23 of her 27 games played. Whalen was rewarded for her play by being named the Western Conference Player of the Week last week when she averaged 21.3 points, 7.3 assists and 4.3 rebounds in three games.

For her career Whalen has appeared in 224 games (223 starts) and totaled 2,612 points, 1,115 assists, 940 rebounds and 314 steals, with averages of 11.7 points, 5.0 assists and 4.2 rebounds per game. Earlier this season, Whalen became just the eighth player (third-youngest) in league history to register 1,000+ assists, doing so in her 206th game. Her 1,115 assists rank eighth all-time in WNBA history, and her career average of 5.0 assists ranks fifth all-time and is third among active WNBA players. Furthermore, Whalen is 60 rebounds shy of becoming only the third player in WNBA history with 2,500+ points, 1,000+ rebounds and 1,000+ assists. Whalen is a three-time All-Star selection, a 2008 All-WNBA First Team member and finished runner-up to Candace Parker for the 2008 Most Valuable Player Award.

Winners of four of their last five games, the Lynx enter tonight's contest against the Los Angeles Sparks in third place in the Western Conference with six games remaining on their regular-season schedule. Minnesota is a half-game up on San Antonio for the third position, and a game-and-a-half ahead of Los Angeles for the final playoff spot in the West. The Lynx are looking for the franchise's first playoff birth since the 2004 season. The WNBA playoffs begin on Wednesday, August 25 with the opening games of the respective conference semifinals.