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Breanna Stewart will return to New York Liberty in 2024

Breanna Stewart will receive a core designation, which will keep her with the New York Liberty for another year. (Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

The New York Liberty have no intention of letting go of Breanna Stewart anytime soon.

Ahead of the WNBA Finals, Stewart said that she hadn’t thought about free agency after signing a one-year deal with the Liberty. But she knew what her future likely held.

“I can pretty much almost guarantee that I’ll be cored, since I’ve never been cored,” she told The Athletic. “I’m happy in New York.”

On Friday, Liberty general manager Jonathan Kolb confirmed Stewart’s hunch. New York will be placing the core designation on the the 2023 WNBA MVP. With the designation, Stewart will return to the Liberty on a one-year supermax deal.

“Stewie will 100% be cored,” he said. “She will not be an unrestricted free agent.”

Of course, that leaves open the question of other impending free agents, including Jonquel Jones. While Jones is an unrestricted free agent after joining New York via trade ahead of the 2023 season, bringing her back is a priority for the team – and Jones said Friday that she’s “definitely trending towards coming back” to New York.

“With JJ, it was a situation of trying to feel out this season,” Kolb said. “In the postseason, she was arguably our best player. … For us, it’s a player we definitely want to retain.”