NEW YORK – Minnesota Lynx General Manager and Head Coach Cheryl Reeve has been named the 2019 WNBA Basketball Executive of the Year, the WNBA announced today. Reeve, the WNBA Coach of the Year in 2011 and 2016 with Minnesota, earned the honor as the league’s top basketball executive for the first time.
Reeve received four of 11 first-place votes, two second-place votes and two third-place votes (28 points) from a panel composed of one basketball executive from each WNBA team. Las Vegas Aces General Manager of Basketball Operations Dan Padover finished one point behind Reeve in second place, receiving four first-place votes, one second-place vote and four third-place votes for a total of 27 points. Washington Mystics General Manager and Head Coach Mike Thibault was third with 19 points.
Executives were awarded five points for a first-place vote, three points for a second-place vote and one point for a third-place vote. They were not allowed to vote for themselves.
Reeve, who took over as Minnesota’s general manager in December 2017, retooled the Lynx’s roster this year to make up for the loss or absence of Rebekkah Brunson, Maya Moore and Lindsay Whalen. Those three players were instrumental in helping the Lynx win four WNBA championships under Reeve, who was hired as head coach in December 2009.
Minnesota’s moves included selecting Napheesa Collier with the No. 6 overall pick in WNBA Draft 2019 presented by State Farm and trading for Odyssey Sims (from the Los Angeles Sparks), Lexie Brown (Connecticut Sun) and Stephanie Talbot (Phoenix Mercury). All four players helped the Lynx finish with an 18-16 record and reach the WNBA Playoffs as the seventh seed.
Collier was named the 2019 WNBA Rookie of the Year and a WNBA All-Star this season. She became the fourth player in WNBA history to record at least 400 points, 200 rebounds, 75 assists, 50 steals, 25 blocks and 25 three-pointers made in a season, joining Moore, Tamika Catchings and Sheryl Swoopes.
Sims led the Lynx in scoring (14.5 ppg) and assists (career-high 5.4 apg). Brown averaged 7.6 points in 18.3 minutes in her second season, up from 1.7 points in 5.6 minutes as a rookie with the Sun. Talbot averaged a career-high 5.2 points in her third season.
As a head coach, Reeve has a 231-109 regular-season record and a 40-17 playoff record in 10 seasons with the Lynx. In addition to her record-tying four WNBA championships, Reeve has the highest winning percentage in both the regular season (.679) and the postseason (.702) in league history.
Below are the voting results for the 2019 WNBA Basketball Executive of the Year Award and a list of past recipients.