February 11, 2017
WNBA Free Agency is well underway and we have seen a ton of action around the league. Making some big changes are the Washington Mystics who signed two major free agents in Elena Delle Donne and Kristi Toliver instantly boosting their chances of bringing their first WNBA championship to D.C. It may be a bit too early to start talking about raising banners but we must admit that Washington should make a lot of noise this summer.
Defending champions LA Sparks took a hit losing Kristi Toliver but they’ve resigned some major players from last season’s championship run. Essence Carson and Alana Beard will be back with the Sparks while Candace Parker signed an extension with the team. Ogwumike, Lavender and Gray are all under contract. Riquna Williams will make her debut for the Sparks after missing last season due to injury. LA will have to figure out who will make up their bench.
The Lynx have been fairly quiet other than the signing of Plenette Pierson, a veteran power forward who will definitely bring great energy and effort to a team who needed to bolster their bench and give their starters some rest.
Phoenix picked up an all-star point guard in Danielle Robinson but had to send away their young post player Isabelle Harrison and the #5 draft pick to the San Antonio Stars. They’ve also signed several free agents but haven’t made any big moves just yet.
San Antonio signed veteran center Erika DeSouza. Jayne Appel retired after last season so DeSouza’s services are much needed inside. Kayla McBride will return to the lineup after missing almost all of last season with a broken foot. The Stars also have the #1 and #5 picks in this years draft.
Seattle picked up Carolyn Swords in a three team trade and re-signed Crystal Langhorne. They also signed Nikki Green and Samantha Whitcomb to training camp contracts. Breanna Stewart and Jewell Loyd will continue to lead this squad as they add pieces to complement these two.
We haven’t heard much from Dallas besides the signing of Tiffany Bias. I’m sure we will hear more from them in the coming weeks.
Atlanta will be an interesting team this season playing without their star Angel McCoughtry who announced that she would sit out this season to rest. Resigning Layshia Clarendon was major as the trade for her paid huge dividends. Look for some of their younger players to step up to fill the shoes of their missing leader.
New York acquired some great talent in Kia Vaughn and Bria Hartley who came from Washington. They also resigned Sugar Rogers who had a breakout season in 2016. Australian guard Rebecca Allen will also return to the team this summer.
Connecticut resigned Camille Little, Alex Bentley and Jasmine Thomas all huge players on the Sun’s roster. A lot of young talent playing in the Mohegan Sun that will continue to improve.
Indiana will miss Tamika Catchings who was everything to that franchise. With a new head coach in Pokey Chatman, she will begin created a new legacy in Indiana. The fever made sure to bring back Erlana Larkins who plays a pivotal role on the team. They’re also bringing back Erica Wheeler. The Fever still have a huge void to fill but the show will go on.
Chicago has been the talk of the town after it was announced that Delle Donne wanted out. The Sky did the best they could do with the hand they were dealt bringing in all-star center Stefanie Dolson and Kahleah Copper. They will also pick second in the WNBA draft. Losing Delle Donne was a huge blow to the Sky but they have a nice core of young talent that new head coach Amber Stocks will love growing with.
Be sure to keep up with 2017 WNBA Free Agency Movement here.