As 2023 WNBA free agency continues to roll, teams around the league are looking to bolster their rosters ahead of the WNBA draft in April and start of the season in May.
The market is stacked with talent this year. And bombshell moves rocked the league early in the free agency period, with Candace Parker joining the Las Vegas Aces and Breanna Stewart headed to the New York Liberty.
Just Women’s Sports is keeping track of the most notable signings and acquisitions as free agency continues.
Diana Taurasi is returning for season 19, signing a two-year deal with the Phoenix Mercury.
A three-time WNBA champion, Taurasi reportedly signed at the supermax of $234,936. She currently is the WNBA’s all-time leader in scoring (9,693) and three-point field goals (1,297). She remains the only player to have more than 9,000 career points in the WNBA.
The fan favorite and restricted free agent accepted the qualifying offer from the Liberty, which will keep her in New York for a third season.
The 23-year-old center had a breakout year in 2022, averaging 8.5 points and 3.6 rebounds across 32 games. She is also a member of the Chinese national team.
The fifth-year guard will re-sign with Phoenix, reported Rachel Galligan of Just Women’s Sports.
Peddy joined the Mercury during the 2020 season. In her first two full seasons in Phoenix, she averaged 7.7 points, 3.1 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game. She scored the 15th-most points in the WNBA in August before rupturing her Achilles tendon in the first game of the playoffs.
Still, she provided an update on her recovery via Twitter on Jan. 19, writing: “For those inquiring, YES I should be ready in time for the start of the season!! One day at a time.”
The Phoenix Mercury signed guard Moriah Jefferson to a reported three-year deal.
Jefferson helped jumpstart the Minnesota Lynx’s offense in 2022 after the team picked her up as a free agent in May. Starting 30 games for the Lynx last season, she averaged 10.8 points, a career-high 4.9 assists and 2.5 rebounds. On June 28, she recorded her first career triple-double against her former team, the Dallas Wings. Prior to the WNBA, Jefferson won four NCAA championships at UConn.
The Sky re-signed guard Rebekah Gardner to a one-year deal worth $100,000, according to Richard Cohen. Instead of accepting her qualifying offer, which was at a $62,285 minimum, Gardner reportedly negotiated the higher salary.
The 32-year-old shined for the Sky in 2022 after going undrafted out of UCLA in 2012 and spending most of her professional basketball career overseas. Gardner was named to the 2022 WNBA All-Rookie Team after finishing second among rookies in steals (1.4 per game) and fifth in scoring (8.4 per game).
Connecticut officially announced the re-signing of 2022 Sixth Player of the Year Brionna Jones. After she was named the WNBA’s Most Improved Player in 2021, Jones followed it up with another stellar season. She averaged 13.8 points, 5.1 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 1.2 steals for the Sun in 2022, earning her second All-Star appearance.
The 6-foot-3 center has spent her entire career with the Sun after she was drafted eighth overall in 2017.
The Dallas Wings acquired All-Star guard Diamond DeShields and the Chicago Sky picked up breakout guard Marina Mabrey in a four-team WNBA trade. As part of the deal, the Phoenix Mercury acquired 2021 Rookie of the Year Michaela Onyenwere from the New York Liberty and the Liberty received the rights to forward Leonie Fiebich.
The Sky gave up six draft picks in the trade, including three first-round picks to Dallas. That includes Chicago’s 2023 and 2024 first-round selections and 2025 first-round swap rights. The 2024 draft class is expected to be especially deep with NCAA stars Paige Bueckers, Caitlin Clark, Cameron and Angel Reese likely entering the draft.
the 4-team WNBA trade is done, per ... all the teamsit's confusing so here is what happened: pic.twitter.com/PIYC2AHsoW— Matt Ellentuck (@mellentuck) February 11, 2023
the 4-team WNBA trade is done, per ... all the teamsit's confusing so here is what happened: pic.twitter.com/PIYC2AHsoW
The Connecticut Sun acquired the rights to veteran shooting guard Tiffany Hayes in a trade with the Atlanta Dream. In exchange, Connecticut sent the No. 6 pick in the 2023 draft to Atlanta.
Hayes has spent her entire 10-year WNBA career with Atlanta. She finishes her tenure as the Dream’s franchise leader in made 3-pointers (325) and is one of only five active WNBA players with over 3,800 points, 900 rebounds, 650 assists and 300 steals in her career.
The Los Angeles Sparks re-signed guard Jordin Canada to a training camp contract. The Los Angeles native signed with her hometown team on a one-year deal last February. In 2022, she averaged 9.2 points, 5.5 assists, 2.3 rebounds and 1.4 steals across 32 games and 25 starts.
Drafted fifth overall by the Seattle Storm in 2018, Canada won two WNBA championships and was named to the WNBA All-Defensive First Team as the league’s steals leader in 2019.
The Las Vegas Aces acquired the negotiating rights to Zahui B. in their trade of Dearica Hamby, then flipped those rights to the Washington Mystics. In return, the Aces receive the Mystics’ second-round draft picks in 2024 and 2025.
Zahui B. did not play in the WNBA last season after she was placed on the suspended list due to her overseas obligations. Through seven WNBA seasons, the center has averaged 6.2 points per game.
Courtney Williams and Elizabeth Williams are joining the Sky as the team looks to reload after a free agency exodus. Harrison also has joined the Sky, who have just one starter in Kahleah Copper left under contract for 2023.
Courtney Williams averaged 11.1 points, 4.6 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game for the Connecticut Sun in 2022. Elizabeth Williams averaged 5.4 points and 3.8 rebounds for the Washington Mystics in 2022, and she is joining the Sky on a two-year deal worth $135,000 annually, Her Hoops Stats’ Richard Cohen reported.
The Storm lost Breanna Stewart to free agency and Sue Bird to retirement, but they are set to add Kia Nurse. Nurse tore her ACL during the 2021 playoffs and missed the entire 2022 season, but she did play for the Canada women’s national team at the FIBA World Cup in September.
The Storm also are expected to sign Arella Guirantes, reported Rachel Galligan of Just Women’s Sports and Winsidr.
The Minnesota Lynx will re-sign both Allen and Carleton. Allen averaged 6.7 points per game in 2022, while Carleton averaged 4.3 points per game.
The Lynx also signed guard Tiffany Mitchell, who spent the first seven years of her career with the Indiana Fever. She averaged 6.5 points and 1.2 assists per game for the Fever last season.
Stevens will sign with the Los Angeles Sparks, reported Rachel Galligan of Just Women’s Sports and Winsidr.
While the 27-year-old forward has played for the Chicago Sky since 2020, she joins the exodus from the team, along with Candace Parker, Courtney Vandersloot and Allie Quigley.
But not all hope was lost for Chicago, as free-agent forward Isabelle Harrison announced on social media that she is signing with the Sky.
In 18 games last season, Harrison averaged 8.7 points and 4.3 rebounds per game. She averaged less than 15 minutes per game in the latter half of the season, and she was vocal about her frustrations with former Wings head coach Vickie Johnson.
The Wings signed Crystal Dangerfield to a multi-year deal after acquiring her negotiating rights from the New York Liberty via trade in January. In addition to the 2020 Rookie of the Year, Dallas also added 2019 first-round pick Kalani Brown.
The 26-year-old restricted free agent agreed to a two-year deal to remain with the Phoenix Mercury, reported Rachel Galligan of Just Women’s Sports and Winsidr.
The 2019 draft pick averaged a career-high 12.6 points per game in the 2022 season. She also has shot 40% or better from 3-point range in each of the last two seasons.
The sisters are both expected to re-sign with the Los Angeles Sparks, ESPN’s Holly Rowe reported Wednesday, confirming what many already expected.
Nneka Ogwumike was drafted by the Sparks with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2012 draft, and she has spent her entire WNBA career with the team. Chiney Ogwumike started her career with the Connecticut Sun in 2014 but joined her older sister in Los Angeles in 2019.
The Sparks also re-signed Lexie Brown. The 28-year-old wing is entering her sixth WNBA season and her second with Los Angeles. The team also signed forward Stephanie Talbot to a two-year deal.
The 31-year-old guard spent the 2022 season with the Atlanta Dream, but she signed a two-year deal to return to the Indiana Fever. She played in Indiana from 2016-19, and in her last season with the team she was named the MVP of the WNBA All-Star Game.
The 26-year-old center was traded to the Dallas Wings from the Indiana Fever ahead of the 2022 season, and now she has agreed to a multi-year deal to stay in Dallas.
The Texas native excelled in the final stretch of the 2022 season, posting four double-doubles and averaging 17.4 points and 11.6 rebounds in August.
The 36-year-old guard spent the last two seasons with the Los Angeles Sparks but won a WNBA title with the Washington Mystics in 2019.
The Mystics also re-signed guard Shatori Walker-Kimbrough, who played for the team from 2017-19 and then returned during the 2021 season. But the team relinquished the rights to Japanese guard Rui Machida, who joined Washington for the 2022 season.
The defending WNBA champions officially inked Parker, reportedly to a one-year, $100,000 deal. The 36-year-old forward had announced her intent to sign with the Las Vegas Aces over the weekend.
The Aces also signed Alysha Clark, in line with a report from earlier in the week, as well as Cayla George, a four-time champion in Australia’s WNBL.
Durr is re-signing with the Atlanta Dream, sources confirmed to Rachel Galligan for Just Women’s Sports.
The 25-year-old guard joined the Dream in June via trade with the New York Liberty, averaging 10.7 points and 1.9 rebounds in 15 appearances before missing the end of the season with a hip injury.
Atlanta also re-signed Nia Coffey. The 27-year-old forward joined the team in 2022.
The 2018 WNBA MVP had narrowed her free agency options to the New York Liberty or the Seattle Storm. On the opening day of the signing period, Stewart revealed her destination.
“I decided to go to New York because I want to continue to be great,” Stewart said.
Wednesday will usher in the start of the free agency signing period, so players officially will be able to sign contracts ahead of the 2023 season.
Dozens of players are on the market, and Just Women’s Sports has the full list.
Brittney Sykes reached a three-year deal with the Washington Mystics, as first reported by The Next Hoops and confirmed by the Washington Post. The 28-year-old guard joins Washington after three seasons with the Los Angeles Sparks.
That move left Alysha Clark without an obvious spot in the Mystics’ lineup, but the 35-year-old wing is headed to the Las Vegas Aces, per a report from The Next Hoops. Clark had met with six different teams in free agency.
Parker plans to sign with the Las Vegas Aces, she announced via Instagram. The two-time WNBA MVP cited her family as the reason behind her decision.
“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 wrote, adding that her “family’s home is on the West Coast.”