During the next month we will have a team by team analysis on what we think teams will or should do in free agency this offseason. Free agency usually starts sometime after the new year. Last year players were able to sign their new contracts beginning February 1st. There are a few big names in the market both restricted and unrestricted. Unlike the NBA, many big stars usually stay with the team that drafted them for their entire careers but after former Chicago Sky center and new WNBA champion Sylvia Fowles refused to return to the Sky and was eventually traded to the Minnesota Lynx maybe other stars in search of a championship will start to team up with each other.
During free agency teams will be able to re-sign players who have expired contracts. They will also have to convince players who are unrestricted free agents not to leave for other teams if they desire to retain that player’s services. Teams have the option to “core” a player which means that any one player entering free agency (usually saved for unrestricted agents) will receive a max contract for at least one year. The team and player can also negotiate a long-term deal under the core designation. In exchange, this player does not have the option to negotiate with other teams. The core designation in theory is in place so that teams can retain their star player and avoid having to rebuild if their best player decides to leave. This way, they are able to build around that player, keep fans happy and build a core group. It may be disadvantageous to the player because the core designation eliminates their chance to explore other opportunities but at the same time it gives that player stability. There are arguments on both sides about whether or not the core designation should stay or be eliminated. At least for now it is here to stay so don’t count on many star players jumping ship. Teams won’t allow it to happen! First up will be the Atlanta Dream.