Eight-time All-Star Seimone Augustus leaves Minnesota Lynx after 14 seasons to sign with Los Angeles Sparks
Augustus helped the Lynx win four titles during her time with the team
The 2020 WNBA offseason has been perhaps the wildest, most exciting winter the league has ever seen, and that only continued on Thursday evening with an absolutely shocking move. After 14 seasons with the Minnesota Lynx, Seimone Augustus is leaving the only franchise she has ever known to sign with the Los Angeles Sparks.
"In Seimone Augustus we're adding another player that has won at every level and understands what it takes to compete for a championship," Sparks managing partner and governor Eric Holoman said when announcing the signing. "Her resume speaks for itself and her leadership and experience will fit seamlessly into our team-first culture."
In over a decade with the Lynx, Augustus was instrumental in turning them from a laughing stock to one of the premier dynasties the sport has ever seen. Before selecting Augustus with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2006 draft, the Lynx had been to the playoffs just twice, and had one measly win to show for it. Since then, they've won four titles, lost in the Finals on two other occasions and made the playoffs in each of the past nine seasons.
Obviously other moves, such as the additions of Maya Moore, Lindsay Whalen and Rebekkah Brunson -- who along with Augustus formed the fabled "Core Four" -- and later Sylvia Fowles were important, but Augustus was the first member of that group to arrive. In her prime she was one of the best scorers the league has ever seen, went to eight All-Star Games and was a six-time All-WNBA player.
Now 35 years old, and set to turn 36 before the season begins, her production has obviously slowed. She only suited up for 13 games last season due to knee surgery, and when she was able to get on the court it was in a bit role; her 3.8 points and 13 minutes per game were obviously career lows. Though she's nowhere near her old self, her veteran experience will help the Sparks locker room, and if she's healthy there's a chance she can contribute off the bench with a little scoring burst here and there.
The Sparks are deep and don't really need Augustus, but her presence definitely isn't going to hurt. Besides, trying to analyze her fit with the team just feels strange, because it's hard to get over the idea that she actually left the Lynx. She played there longer than anyone in franchise history, and it was always assumed she would finish her career there just like Whalen did, and Moore appears to have done.
When she steps on the floor for the first time in a Sparks jersey this season, it's going to be one of the strangest sights in WNBA history.
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