Janel McCarville Re-Signs With Lynx On Multi-Year Contract
The Minnesota Lynx got their storybook ending last season when they beat the Atlanta Dream in three games top clinch the 2013 WNBA title. For Janel McCarville, however -- who was a clutch player for the lynx in the finals -- the storybook ending led to the beginning of uncertainty and free agency.
Thankfully that story now also has a happy ending -- one where McCarville gets to stay with the Lynx to help defend their 2013 title. The team has announced that they have resigned the center to a new multi-year contract.
"It's like something out of a fairytale movie," McCarville said in a media conference after the announcement."Who would've thought I could be thrust into the situation I was in in a matter of months. This just fell right into place and hopefully we can keep that momentum going."
It's no secret that Minnesota has always been the end goal for McCarville, who is a Wisconsin native and a University of Minnesota alum. "I made it pretty clear I wanted to play in Minneapolis with the Lynx and finish my career here if possible," she said to that regard. But it's also no secret that McCarville's return to the league was a little rusty after a two-season hiatus after her tenure with the New York Liberty.
The Lynx acquired McCarville as part of a three-team trade in order to fill a void left by Taj McWilliams-Franklin's retirement. The move also allowed for McCarville to reunite with her former University of Minnesota teammate, starting Lynx point guard Lindsay Whalen. And despite initial rust, McCarville (whose career is one of many comebacks) successfully gelled with the team, averaging 6.3 points, 4.3 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game (2nd best for centers in the league).
McCarville really stepped up for the Lynx in the finals where she averaged 9.3 points per game and shot 61% from the field. Not to mention 3.7 assists (including the between the legs pass to Rebekkah Brunson embedded above). It's safe to say that with her finals performance in consideration, Minnesota would have been hard pressed not to re-sign her.
"I'm thrilled Janel has decided to remain a Lynx," head coach Cheryl Reeve told lynxbasketball.com. "Her personality and her on-court talent are a perfect match for our team. To have players that teammates love to play with and players that coaches love to coach has been the trademark of our successful teams and Janel embodies this."
In turn, McCarville said that the deal was "comforting... It shows me that they want me, that they have faith in me, and I'm gonna go out there and thank them in my own way."
Comfort, however, should not be mistaken for complacency. McCarville has a game plan for next season and unsurprisingly it centers on getting the ball to her teammates in scoring positions.
"Along with conditioning and consistently trying to get on the boards," she said when asked what she'd be working on for next season, "I want to be opening up the court more than ever for Whalen to get in there and for Maya to get in there."