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  • Writer's pictureSadahri Lindsey

The Ins and Outs of 2024 WNBA Free Agency

On February 1, 2024, the free agency period started for players who weren't officially signed for the 2024 WNBA season. So far, free agency has been very chaotic. Here is a rundown of what each team has done in free agency so far.

Atlanta Dream

The Atlanta Dream is one of the teams that have made some impactful moves so far during this free agency period. First, they resigned Nia Coffey, and they also signed Jordin Canada and Aerial Powers. One very surprising move is that the Dream decided to sign Tina Charles, who hasn't played in the WNBA since 2022. She last played for the Seattle Storm.

Chicago Sky

The Chicago Sky have had a disappointing free agency period so far. Chicago had conversations with Nneka Ogwumike about coming to play with the Sky, but talks fell through. They also lost their franchise player, Kahleah Copper, to the Phoenix Mercury, even though Copper had signed an extension with the Sky just six months earlier.

Diamond DeShields drives to the basket around Maya Moore in the Minnesota Lynx vs Chicago Sky game on August 14, 2018. Photo by Lorie Shaull / CC BY-SA 4.0 DEED

However, Chicago brought back Diamond DeShields, who missed the 2023 season due to injury. They also signed Lindsay Allen. The Sky acquired Michaela Onyenwere, Brianna Turner, and the number three pick in this year's draft from the Kahleah Copper trade. The Sky signed Kysre Gondrezick and Chennedy Carter to training camp contracts.

Connecticut Sun

Connecticut was able to keep their big three together this off-season. Brionna Jones is coming off of a torn Achilles that kept her out the whole 2023 season. Alyssa Thomas is about to be in the last year of a multi-year contract with the Sun, and DeWanna Bonner resigned during this year's free agency period. Some new additions to the Sun were Tiffany Mitchell, Rachel Banham, and Moriah Jefferson.

Dallas Wings

Dallas did not have that many things that they needed to do during the free agency period. Their main objective was to keep one of their main centerpiece players, Satou Sabally, in Dallas, and they succeeded. The Wings also signed Kalani Brown to a multi-year deal. They also signed their first-round draft pick from 2023, Stephanie Soares. Soares did not play in the 2023 season due to a torn ACL.

Indiana Fever

The Fever are looking to finally make a push to be in the playoffs this season. The last time the Fever were in any postseason play was in 2016. So far, they have signed Katie Lou Samuelson and Damiris Dantas, who haven't played in the league since 2022.

Las Vegas Aces

Las Vegas is coming off of their second WNBA championship in two seasons. The Aces did not have much to do this off-season, because their main core of players, which consists of A'ja Wilson, Chelsea Gray, Kelsey Plum, and Jackie Young, had been signed to contracts in the past year. However, that did not stop them from picking up Megan Gustafson from the Phoenix Mercury. The Aces are sure to be contending for the title once again this season.

Los Angeles Sparks

The Los Angeles Sparks, who are coming off of a lackluster season filled with injuries, have had a pretty good free agency season so far. First, they traded their 2026 first-round pick for Kia Nurse and the number four pick in this year's draft. Los Angeles made another trade to acquire Aari McDonald and the number eight pick in this year's draft. They also picked up free agent Monique Billings. The Sparks also resigned Lexie Brown, Rae Burrell, and Layshia Clarendon.

Minnesota Lynx

The Minnesota Lynx signed multiple free agents this offseason. Courtney Williams and Alanna Smith from the Chicago Sky were both signed to contracts. Shockingly, the Lynx were also able to pick up Natisha Hiedeman. Hiedeman has been with the Connecticut Sun since 2019 when she was traded to the team after being drafted by the Lynx. They also resigned Bridget Carleton.

New York Liberty

The New York Liberty are coming off a historic season for the franchise. The Liberty made a Finals appearance for the first time since 2002. Last season's free agency period was very strong for the Liberty because they were able to create a roster that could contend for the championship. However, this year's free agency period has been pretty quiet in Brooklyn.

Jonquel Jones shoots in game against Las Vegas Aces on August 6, 2023. Photo by Nala Burton for WSX.

The team's main objective this offseason was to resign Breanna Stewart and Jonquel Jones and they were successful in doing so, announcing Jones' resigning on February 16 and Stewart's on February 26. Sabrina Ionescu and Betnijah Laney were both extended through 2025 this past season.

Phoenix Mercury

The Mercury have had an impressive start in free agency so far. First, they signed one of the most sought-after free agents, Natasha Cloud. Many people were surprised when she decided to go to Phoenix. Phoenix also traded Moriah Jefferson to the Sun for Rebecca Allen, which also caught some people off guard. But the most shocking move involving the Mercury was when Kahleah Copper, who signed a contract with the Chicago Sky just six months earlier, requested a trade and was sent to Phoenix. In return, the Mercury sent Michaela Onyenwere and Brianna Turner. Phoenix also received Morgan Bertsch from the Sky.

Seattle Storm

The Seattle Storm have had one of the best free agency periods in the league so far. Towards the end of the season in 2023, the Storm resigned Jewell Loyd. But it did not stop there for the Storm. Seattle signed the top players in free agency. They managed to sign Skylar Diggins-Smith, who was undoubtedly the top free agent this off-season. Diggins-Smith hasn't played in the WNBA since playing for the Mercury in 2022, but she is looking to make a return this season. Seattle also signed another top free agent, Nneka Ogwumike, who averaged 19.1 points and 8.8 rebounds in 2023.

Washington Mystics

The Washington Mystics have had a tough free agency period so far. The day before the free agency period even started, Mystics season-ticket holders received an email from general managed Mike Thibault stating that this season would be the start of a massive rebuild that was needed for the Mystics. In the letter, it was also stated that the Mystics would be saying goodbye to some players "that have contributed significantly to our past successes". The next day, it was announced that Natasha Cloud would be leaving the Mystics to join the Phoenix Mercury. Washington has signed Karlie Samuelson to a contract. The Mystics also signed Didi Richards, Elissa Cunane, and Emily Engstler to training camp contracts.

Elena Delle Donne, who is the Mystics' franchise player, made the astounding decision to sit out the 2024 WNBA season. This move was definitely the signal that the Mystics were officially in full rebuild mode. Due to the rules in the WNBA's Contract Bargaining Agreement

(CBA), Delle Donne cannot resign with another team other than the team she was last a part of, which is the Mystics. The CBA can be renegotiated on November 1, 2024.


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