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WNBA free agency: Key dates, biggest names and more

SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 09: Breanna Stewart #30 of the Seattle Storm is greeted by fans as she runs back to the locker room after beating the Washington Mystics in Game 2 of the WNBA Finals at KeyArena on September 9, 2018 in Seattle, Washington. The Seattle Storm beat the Washington Mystics 75-73. (Photo by Lindsey Wasson/Getty Images)

WNBA free agency is almost upon us.

With multiple superstars on the market, expect teams to kick into high gear as they try to lure their top targets. To help you prepare, Just Women’s Sports breaks down the key dates and biggest names for the WNBA offseason.

When does free agency start?

Teams can issue qualifying offers and designate core players from Jan. 11-20, and players can accept qualifying offers in that period.

Starting on Jan. 21, players can start to negotiate contracts with any team.

When can players sign contracts?

Players can sign contracts starting on Feb. 1.

Who are some of the top free agents?

Breanna Stewart
2022: 21.8 points, 7.6 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 1.6 steals, 0.9 blocks

After much speculation about her destination last offseason, the unrestricted free agent returned to Seattle on a one-year deal to see off one of the game’s greats, Sue Bird, in her 19th and final season.

This time around, there’s even more talk. While the Storm could look to bring her back, the New York Liberty were in pursuit of Stewart last year.

Candace Parker
13.2 PPG, 8.6 RPG, 4.5 APG, 1.0 SPG, 1.0 BPG

A 15-year WNBA veteran, Parker has said she plans to return for 2023. But where will she play?

While she opted to return home to Chicago two years ago, the Los Angeles Sparks have made it clear that they want to bring her back into the fold.

Nneka Ogwumike
18.1 PPG, 6.6 RPG, 2.0 APG, 1.7 SPG

This will be Ogwumike’s first experience with free agency since negotiating the new CBA as president of the WNBPA. But in her exit interview, Ogwumike indicated that she would “love” to return to the Sparks with the right pieces in place.

Brionna Jones
13.8 PPG, 5.1 RPG, 1.2 APG, 1.2 SPG

The reigning Sixth Player of the Year, Jones led the league in offensive rebound percentage with the Sun in 2022. With the departure of Curt Miller to Los Angeles, Jones could make a move of her own in the offseason.

Emma Meesseman
12.4 PPG, 5.6 RPG, 3.8 APG, 1.4 SPG

Meesseman came up huge for the Sky in 2022, shooting a career-best 57% from the floor. But her status in the WNBA – and with Chicago — remains uncertain as the Belgian national teamer called the WNBA prioritization rule “unfair” to international players in her exit interview.

When is the WNBA draft?

After free agency begins, the next big date on the calendar for the league will be the draft, which is set for April 10. The Indiana Fever hold the No. 1 overall pick, while the Minnesota Lynx will pick second.