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Lynx promote Clare Duwelius to general manager

Duwelius takes over the title previously held by Cheryl Reeve, the team’s head coach who has been elevated to president of basketball operations.

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ST. PAUL -- Since arriving in the Minnesota Lynx organization as a basketball operations coordinator in 2014, Clare Duwelius has been on a constant ascent. Eight years later, she essentially has reached the franchise’s mountaintop.

Duwelius was named the fourth general manager in franchise history Tuesday, taking over the title previously held by Cheryl Reeve, the team’s head coach who was also recently elevated to president of basketball operations.

Not much will change for Duwelius in the macro. Previously serving as the assistant general manager since 2018, she will still essentially be Reeve’s right hand. But in the team release issued Tuesday, Reeve mentioned her and Duwelius “partnering” together, presumably on some fairly big upcoming decisions.

The plan is for Duwelius to carve out an even larger role in terms of strategically crafting Minnesota’s roster, starting this offseason. It’s a pivotal moment for the Lynx, who just missed the playoffs last season for the first time since 2010 and must now compensate for the retirement of Sylvia Fowles.

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Clare Duwelius

The Lynx are armed with a fair amount of cap space and the No. 2 overall pick in the spring WNBA Draft.

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“I’m super excited, looking forward to a busy offseason, as they always are. But I think we have a great opportunity ahead of us to take a big bite out of free agency,” Duwelius said. “Just want to be really aggressive and do all we can to take the steps we need to to improve our roster this year.”

Improve in which ways? With Reeve serving as the head coach of the U.S. Women’s National team, Duwelius has had a front-row seat to that organization. She has appreciated the U.S. team’s commitment to putting together an athletic, fast-paced, up-tempo roster.

“The success that you can have if you kind of put that together can be a really fun basketball product to watch,” Duwelius said. “I thought that was something that could be awesome, just to have a great team on both sides of the ball, offensively and defensively.”

Those haven’t been terms used to describe Lynx teams in a while. Minnesota hasn’t finished in the top five in pace in a WNBA regular season since 2010.

Duwelius mentioned that basketball has shifted toward 3-point shooting and spreading the floor, and believes such a space-based setup is where Napheesa Collier can thrive on the interior. That was the case in the bubble season in 2020 with Damiris Dantas playing a stretch-five for the Lynx. That was Collier’s best season to date.

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Any roster decisions made by Minnesota this offseason will likely be the result of a collaborative approach between Duwelius and Reeve. Duwelius said such collaboration has taken place since her arrival in Minnesota. The open conversations are what has allowed her to gain so much knowledge on the fly.

“I’m forever grateful for this opportunity and excited for what it might bring here in the future,” Duwelius said. “Obviously, Cheryl and I are excited to continue working together, but know we have a lot to improve on and to stay aggressive and continue to strive for everything this franchise has stood on and the legacy that has been built. We obviously want to continue that so we can sustain everything that the Lynx are known for.”

Reeve thinks Duwelius is just the person to help Minnesota achieve that goal.

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“Since 2014, she has proven to be an invaluable resource in every aspect of the Lynx franchise,” Reeve said in a statement. “Clare epitomizes all that the Lynx stand for in her passion, drive, work ethic, commitment, loyalty and attention to detail.”

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This story was written by one of our partner news agencies. Forum Communications Company uses content from agencies such as Reuters, Kaiser Health News, Tribune News Service and others to provide a wider range of news to our readers. Learn more about the news services FCC uses here.

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