Nikolina Milić, 28, is re-signing with the Minnesota Lynx. Last season, her first in the W, Milić quickly became a fan favorite in Minnesota. In 31 games, including four starts, Milić averaged 6.0 points and 3.0 rebounds on 54.8 percent shooting in 11.7 minutes. When granted the opportunities, she’s proven herself a capable scorer, notching double figures on seven separate occasions, including a career-high 23 points in a loss to the Indiana Fever on June 12, 2022.
a new career-high in points for @NikolinaMili3
— Minnesota Lynx (@minnesotalynx) June 13, 2022
Milić has an extensive overseas pro career, playing for a variety of teams since the 2008 season. In 2019, Milić won bronze with the Serbia squad in the Eurobasket tournament. In the WNBA this season, depending on how the rest of the roster shakes out, she could have a heavier lift as one of the frontcourt players who attempts to fill the incredible void left by the legendary Sylvia Fowles.
With the signing of Nikolina Milic (at a one-year salary of $90,000) and of Damiris Dantas (for some amount in excess of the vet minimum of $74,305), it is now clear that the Lynx need to dump salary to have enough room under the cap even to sign the number 2 pick in this year’s draft. Before free agency started, the Lynx already had $881,222 in salary on their books for Napheesa Collier, Natalie Achonwa, KMac, Aerial Powers, and Jess Shephard. To that figure they initially added Tiffany Mitchell, for a year-one salary of $135,000, Bridget Carleton, for a one-year salary of $91,000, and Lindsay Allen, for at least the veteran’s minimum of $74,305. If you add those numbers together, you get $1,181,527. (881,222 plus 135,000 plus 91,000 plus 74,305 equals 1,181,527.)
Most recently, they have also added Nikolina Milic, on what Richard Cohen reports is a one-year contract for $90,000, and Damiris Dantas, who earned $129,100 last year and must have received at least the veteran’s minimum of $74,305 on her new deal. If you add 90,000 and 74,305 to 1,181,527, you get 1,345,832. While that figure is under the league salary cap of $1,420,500, it is not far enough under to allow the Lynx to pay Haley Jones or Diamond Miller the mandatory salary for a number 2 pick of $75,792. We are around a thousand dollars short. The Nikolina Miller signing for $90,000 guarantees that, if the Lynx plan on keeping the number 2 pick, let alone the number 2 pick and anyone else they select with their multiple draft picks, then they are going to need to dump salary.