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2024 free agent Kahleah Copper talks Sky future after James Wade exit

(Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images)

Kahleah Copper doesn’t know what her WNBA future will look like.

With Chicago Sky head coach and general manager James Wade departing for the NBA last weekend, Copper is focused on finishing out this season strong before turning her attention to what’s next. The 3-time WNBA All-Star will be a free agent this offseason after seven years with the Sky.

“There’s nothing you can do about it,” Copper told the Chicago Sun-Times after Wade’s decision to leave midseason for an assistant coaching job with the Toronto Raptors. “You can’t stress the [crap] that you can’t really control.”

Copper is leading a revamped Chicago roster in 2023 after all other starters from the Sky’s 2021 WNBA championship team — Courtney Vandersloot, Allie Quigley, Candace Parker and Azurá Stevens — moved away in the offseason. Before leaving, Wade had spearheaded a rebuild, signing 2021 All-Star Courtney Williams and trading away multiple first-round draft picks for guard Marina Mabrey.

“There are no optics to it,” Wade, the 2019 WNBA Coach of the Year, told the Sun-Times. “It is what it is. Yeah, I left and it was the hardest decision I ever had to make in my life, but I felt like it was a good decision for me and my family.”

“It’s definitely tough,” Copper said. “I lose all my teammates and now I lose the head coach. That’s like the last of the band.”

But Copper isn’t dwelling on any negative feelings.

“What does it do for me if I’m pouting about it?” Copper mused. “I have a whole season to finish going into free agency next year. I have to show up and be the best version of myself.”

With the Sky organization valued at $85 million and in the process of looking for a new practice facility, Copper said she will take off-court strides into consideration when deciding whether to re-sign with the team in the offseason.

“I want to see the organization keep up with the Joneses,” Copper said. “We talk about facilities. We talk about moving to the city, maybe. But I want to see it happen, that shift really happen, and really have something in the works.”