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Candace Parker cites ‘family’ in decision to sign with Las Vegas Aces

Candace Parker ranks in the top five in points, rebounds, assists, blocks and steals in WNBA playoff history. (Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

Candace Parker is on her way to Las Vegas, announcing on Saturday that she intends to sign with the Aces.

In an Instagram post, Parker cited her family as the reason for the move.

“My family is my reason and my purpose. They have given me the greatest joys I’ve ever experienced and continue to show me new levels of love and devotion I never knew existed,” she wrote. “As I’ve gone through free agency this time around, of course I’m thinking of where I can compete for my third championship, but the words home and family are what I kept coming back to.

“I need to be there for my daughter, for my son, for my wife. I can’t be without them for parts of the season when Lailaa is in school and I won’t miss her volleyball games or school dances simply because of distance.”

Parker goes on to say that with her daughter starting high school in August, she needs “to be there for her, just as she’s been there for me.”

“After evaluating the landscape together with my family, we’ve decided the Las Vegas Aces are the right organization for us at this point in our lives,” she continued, adding that her “family’s home is on the west coast.”

According to ESPN, Parker’s contract will be for one year, with her salary still being negotiated.

While Parker had spent the last two seasons with her hometown team, the Chicago Sky, her free agency brought a lot of questions. Some had even pointed at a possible return to Los Angeles, where she was drafted in 2008.

ESPN also reported that there was mutual interest in a reunion between Parker and the Los Angeles Sparks, but she instead chose the Aces, with Wilson recruiting her.

“Candace has done so much for our franchise in her time here,” Sky coach and general manager James Wade said in a statement. “I understand her reasons for wanting to be closer with her immediate family. We wish her nothing but the best. She will always be a part of the Sky family. We will celebrate her time here as she deserves.”

But Parker’s move to Las Vegas is also somewhat overshadowed by the organization’s recent trade of two-time All-Star Dearica Hamby. In a statement, Hamby said that the Aces discriminated against her due to her pregnancy and were “unprofessional and unethical” in their treatment of her.

The WNBPA is currently investigating the Aces after a player raised concerns regarding the conduct of the team’s management.

Las Vegas is fresh off of winning a title and are looking to become the first franchise to win consecutive titles since the Sparks in 2001 and 2002.