It is being reported that Italian sensation Cecilia Zandalasini is headed to the U.S. and will play for the Minnesota Lynx during the playoffs.
It has been no secret that the Minnesota Lynx have been struggling since guard Lindsay Whalen went down with a broken bone in her left hand. She underwent surgery to repair the injury in early August, but with no timetable for her return what looked like a guaranteed return to the WNBA Finals has become a bit more murky.
With Renee Montgomery not able to replicate the skills of Whalen, suddenly the Lynx seem a very human and very beatable, more so than they did earlier in the season. To the point where a Chicago Sky or Dallas Wings team who goes into the postseason with a lot of momentum and plays solid basketball could feasibly beat them and end their season early.
For Minnesota, it has been WNBA Finals or bust all season and anything less would be seen as a huge disappointment not just to the players but the fans as well.
Which may be why the Lynx are calling for some help from overseas.
It is being reported by an Italian site that forward Cecilia Zandalasini will be heading to the United States to play for the Lynx during the playoffs. Zandalasini just wrapped up an amazing Eurobasket where she averaged 19 points and 9.6 rebounds per game. During the regular season the 21-year-old averaged 9.1 points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game.
Now, while the Lynx have been dealing with injuries and losing Whalen was huge loss for the team, some are already saying the move is a bit on the shady side.
Yes, the Lynx are pretty banged up with Whalen out and Rebekkah Brunson dealing with a sprained ankle. And with those injures they now have the cap space to sign a player like Zandalasini, who they no doubt would have signed sooner if they could.
But to bring in a player with the skills Zandalasini basically just for a postseason run has more than a few people thinking this just doesn’t seem right.
Injuries happen. They are unavoidable and they can derail even the best laid plans of any franchise in almost any sport. But for the Lynx, or any team in the WNBA, to just be able reach out and sign the one of the best players in Europe for the postseason seems like an unfair advantage.
In the NBA, they created the G-League for just such situations. When a team is dealing with injuries, they go to the G-League and bring up a player up to fill the void. Maybe it’s time for the WNBA to consider creating something similar for situations just like this.
More WNBA: Sparks Playoff Contention: A Look Forward
Because while being able to add one the of the best international players to your roster this late in the season maybe be strictly within the rules, it doesn’t exactly seem all that fair to the rest of the league.
The Lynx next game is Tuesday night against the Phoenix Mercury at Xcel Energy Stadium.