Lynx head coach Cheryl Reeve, who has won four titles with Moore and coached her for her entire career, issued a statement about her star's decision. She already had taken the fall and winter off from worldwide competition.
She wrote for The Player's Tribune that she measures success in her life by asking "Am I living out my objective?"
Raised by a single mother with strong Christian beliefs, Moore has spoken often about her desire for a well-rounded life steered by biblical principles.
"As she recently shared, Maya has expressed a need to shift her attention more fully to family and ministry dreams in a way that she has been unable to as a professional basketball player", Reeve said.
"I'm sure this year will be hard in ways that I don't even know yet, but it will also be rewarding in ways I've yet to see, too", Moore said Tuesday.
The five-time WNBA All-Star wants to shift her focus from professional basketball to the "whatever", alluded to in the verse. Moore was eighth in the league in minutes and seventh in points in 2018. She averaged 18.4 points, 5.9 rebounds and 3.3 assists during her eight years with the Lynx.
Minnesota gave Moore the core designation - the WNBA's version of the franchise tag that locked her onto the Lynx's roster, either via a max-salary one-year deal or a negotiated long-term contract - last month. All that came despite the pain of an elbow injury, and Fowles' excellence nudged the Lynx (18-16) in the playoffs in an otherwise challenging season. Candace Parker of the Los Angeles Sparks took her place, joining Elena Delle Donne of the Washington Mystics in assembling the sides. She also led the league in player efficiency rating in 2014, the season she was named league MVP, and was routinely in the top five.
For the Lynx, this is a tough blow for this season, especially as they were already set for a period of transition.
They'll go into next season without Moore and retired guard Lindsay Whalen, the new Minnesota Gophers coach.