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WNBA Free Agency Tracker and Analysis

SEATTLE, WA – AUGUST 19: Skylar Diggins-Smith #4 of the Dallas Wings handles the ball against the Seattle Storm on August 19, 2018 at KeyArena in Seattle, Washington. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Joshua Huston/NBAE via Getty Images)

It’s been an unbelievably hectic start to WNBA free agency. Thanks to the groundbreaking new CBA signed in January, player movement is more fluid than ever before. Increased cap space, a reduction in the number of times a team can core a player, and improved max contracts give both teams and players greater flexibility in moving contracts and picks. 

Below, we break down the biggest deals of the offseason so far:

  • Phoenix has a new Big Three: The Mercury traded all-star DeWanna Bonner to the Connecticut Sun for three first-round picks, which they then used to land Skylar Diggins-Smith in a subsequent deal with Dallas. Diggins-Smith will team up with Diana Taurasi and a recently resigned Brittney Griner to make the Mercury immediate title contenders.

  • Washington keeps two of three: the defending champions were able to resign both reigning league MVP Elena Delle Donne and reigning finals MVP Emma Meeseman, but all-star guard Kristi Toliver bolted west to return to LA, whom she played for from 2010-2016, winning a title in 2016.

  • Sparks may be the new favorites: Tolliver will join former MVPs Candace Parker and Nneka Ogwumike, as well as all-star Chelsea Gray in headlining a loaded Sparks squad. Throw in Brittney Sykes (acquired from Atlanta in exchange for Kalani Brown) and the most disappointing team of 2019 now looks like the team to beat heading into 2020.

  • Las Vegas rolls the dice: The Aces pulled off one of the splashiest signings of free agency when they inked two-time scoring champion Angel McCoughtry to a two-year deal. A lineup of McCoughtry, A’ja Wilson, Liz Cambage, Kelsey Plum and Kayla McBride is scary on paper, but McCoughtry’s health is a real concern: she missed the end of the 2018 season and all of the 2019 season with a torn ACL.

  • Seattle resigns Stewart: The Storm re-signed 2018 MVP Breanna Stewart, who missed all of last season after rupturing her Achilles tendon while playing abroad. Stewart returned to the court with Team USA in an exhibition game against UConn last month, where she looked eager to reclaim her title as best player in the league.

FULL 2020 FREE AGENCY TRACKER (BY TEAM):

Updated February 17th. UFA: unrestricted free agent; RFA: restricted free agent; CO: club option.

Atlanta Dream:
  • Alex Bentley, UFA

  • Kalani Brown (via trade with Sparks)

  • Alaina Coates, UFA

  • Glory Johnson (contract signed, previously with Wings)

  • Sun Mengran, UFA

  • Shekinna Stricklen (contract signed, previously with Sun)

Chicago Sky:

  • Kayla Alexander, UFA

  • Sydney Colson (contract signed, previously with Aces)

  • Kahleah Copper, UFA

  • Stefanie Dolson, UFA

  • Jamierra Faulkner, UFA

  • Allie Quigley, UFA

  • Courtney Vandersloot, UFA

Connecticut Sun:

  • Rachel Banham, RFA

  • DeWanna Bonner (via sign and trade with Mercury)

  • Natisha Hiedeman (contract signed)

  • Bria Holmes (contract signed)

  • Jonquel Jones, UFA

  • Courtney Williams, UFA

Dallas Wings:

  • Morgan Bertsch (contract signed)

  • Kaela Davis, CO

  • Allisha Gray, CO

  • Megan Gustafson (contract signed)

  • Isabelle Harrison (contract signed)

  • Moriah Jefferson (contract signed)

  • Brooke McCarty-Williams, UFA

  • Imani McGee-Stafford (contract signed)

  • Astou Ndour (via trade with Sky)

  • Karlie Samuelson (contract signed, previously with Sparks)

Indiana Fever:

  • Betnijah Laney, UFA

  • Erica McCall, CO

  • Tiffany Mitchell, UFA

Las Vegas Aces

  • Liz Cambage, UFA

  • Angel McCoughtry (contract signed, previously with Dream)

  • Danielle Robinson (contract signed, previously with Lynx)

  • Sugar Rodgers, UFA

  • Carolyn Swords, UFA

  • Tamera Young, UFA

Los Angeles Sparks

  • Alana Beard, UFA

  • Chelsea Gray, UFA

  • Marie Gulich (via trade with Dream)

  • Tierra Ruffin-Pratt (contract signed)

  • Brittney Sykes (via trade with Dream)

  • Kristi Toliver (contract signed, previously with Mystics)

Minnesota Lynx

  • Seimone Augustus, UFA

  • Temi Fagbenle, UFA

New York Liberty

  • Tina Charles, UFA

  • Layshia Clarendon (contract signed, previously with Sun)

  • Reshanda Gray, UFA

  • Marine Johannès, UFA

  • Nayo Raincock-Ekunwe, RFA

  • Kiah Stokes, UFA

  • Tanisha Wright, UFA

Phoenix Mercury

  • Essence Carson, UFA

  • Skylar Diggins-Smith (via trade with Wings)

  • Brittney Griner (contract signed)

  • Bria Hartley (contract signed, previously with Liberty)

  • Yvonne Turner, UFA

u2B50uFE0F4x WNBA All-Star
u2B50uFE0F3x All-WNBA
u2B50uFE0F2014 Most Improved Player
u2B50uFE0F2013 No. 3 Overall Pick


Coming to a Madhouse near you. pic.twitter.com/496A2eKL2B

— Phoenix Mercury (@PhoenixMercury) February 12, 2020

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Seattle Storm

  • Sue Bird, UFA

  • Blake Dietrick, RFA

  • Courtney Paris, UFA

  • Breanna Stewart (contract signed)

  • Morgan Tuck (via trade with Sun)

  • Shavonte Zellous, UFA

Washington Mystics

  • Elena Delle Donne (contract signed)

  • Tianna Hawkins, UFA

  • Emma Meesseman, UFA

  • Kim Mestdagh, UFA

  • Leilani Mitchell (contract signed, previously with Mercury)

  • Aerial Powers, UFA

Sofia Huerta signs contract extension with Seattle through 2027

(Daniel Bartel-USA TODAY Sports)

Former Oregon soccer players detail instances of verbal abuse from former USWNT assistant

(Chris Pietsch/The Register-Guard via Imagn Content Services)

Members of the Oregon women’s soccer team are saying they received harsh treatment and even verbal abuse from head coach and former USWNT assistant Graeme Abel. 

During the 2023 season, the team had zero wins, and upon its conclusion a total of 12 of the team’s 29 players departed the team. Former players told The Oregonian that Abel would verbally attack them, threaten to kick them off the team and at times would even throw objects.

"When I’d make a mistake at practice, it felt like he made it a job to embarrass you to the point where you just wanted to walk off the field,” one player said. “He’d stop the practice – and I know it’s college soccer, it’s very competitive — but he’d stop practice and just keep going nonstop on this one thing."

In total, the Oregonian spoke with 14 former players – including 12 who agreed to be interviewed in depth. All said that they experienced verbal abuse. Six of the players were among those who transferred following the season. 

One instance of Abel’s tirades included him throwing a water bottle that narrowly missed players’ heads. 

“He kicked all of our staff out of the locker room, kicked a trash can, threw a white board, sat on the trash can and started screaming,” one player recounted. “He wanted us to tell him what we thought went wrong in the game. Me and another player spoke up, and he said, ‘You’re just (expletive) wrong.’ And that if we didn’t want to be in this program, we could all quit, and he’d sign our release paperwork tomorrow.”

While Abel was not made available for an interview, he did say in a statement that “at no point have I used threatening statements or financial repercussions as a part of coaching.”

Instances of emotional distress stemming from Abel’s alleged harsh treatment date back to 2021 – his first full year leading the team following an abbreviated 2020 campaign.

One former player contacted by The Oregonian detailed positive overall experiences, and described his style as “normal coaching.”

Others, like USWNT players Becky Sauerbrunn and Lindsey Horan, did not respond to requests for comment, although Sauerbrunn wrote in 2019 that she had a “great relationship” with Abel. 

Still, multiple players interviewed had similar stories, with one saying that girls would be “crying in the locker room” after practice because of what he would tell players. Attempts to speak with the administration about his behavior, players say, was “discouraging.”

“His office is like the scariest place,” one player said. “You’d have to sit there while he’d belittle you and say all these nasty things, and gaslight you into believing you’re not good enough. ... Our team fell apart because of the environment he created. We were just trying to get through the day. There was no way we could focus on soccer.”

Multiple players said they experienced suicidal ideation while playing at Oregon. In part of his statement, Abel wrote that “at no time do we put our student-athletes in any danger.”

Abel is currently in his fifth and final year of his contract at Oregon.

Gotham FC unveil Championship rings ahead of banner reveal

Gotham FC players celebrate Lynn Williams' goal in the first half of the 2023 NWSL Championship. (Ray Acevedo/USA TODAY Sports)

Gotham FC has unveiled their 2023 NWSL championship rings — and safe to say, they deliver.

The reveal has led to a little bit of trash talk ahead of the team’s matchup with Kansas City this weekend, as both teams have NFL owners. While the Current are co-owned by Patrick and Brittany Mahomes, former Giants quarterback Eli Manning is a co-owner of Gotham. 

On Wednesday, Manning took to Sportscenter to give Mahomes a bit of a hard time.

“He may have one more Super Bowl ring than me, but he does not have a NWSL championship ring like I do,” Manning joked.

“Come Sunday night at Red Bull Arena, April 14th, we’re dropping the banner on Kansas City. We got the ring ceremony, the players get their rings and their championship afterwards. This is it, I’ve got something to talk a little trash to him about because I can’t do it about football anymore, I gotta find something else.”

The appearance came after Manning posted to social media, inviting Mahomes to “come see [the championship ring] up close this Sunday.”

Mahomes responded in kind, writing that “we’ll see y’all Sunday!”

Gotham takes on current league-leaders Kansas City on Sunday at 6pm ET. The game is available on NWSL+.

Oregon State hit by transfer portal again as Raegan Beers departs

ALBANY, NEW YORK - MARCH 31: Raegan Beers #15 of the Oregon State Beavers shoots a free throw during the first half against the South Carolina Gamecocks in the Elite 8 round of the NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament at MVP Arena on March 31, 2024 in Albany, New York. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Oregon State leading scorer and rebounder Raegan Beers announced on Thursday that she is entering the transfer portal. 

"Thank you for all of your endless love and support these past two years," she posted on social media. "I will never forget my time at OSU and I am thankful for the opportunity I had to meet and play with incredible people. My journey as a Beav was a special one and I am grateful for my teammates, coaches, fans, and friends who have changed my life throughout my time here."

A sophomore forward, Beers is a two-time All-Pac-12 selection who averaged 17.5 points per game last season while shooting 66.4 percent from the field. She also added 10.3 rebounds en route to earning third-team All-American honors from the AP. 

She’s the fourth Oregon State starter – and seventh player overall – to hit the portal this offseason. She joins Talia von Oelhoggen and Timea Gardiner in the transfer portal, as well as starting freshman Donovyn Hunter. 

Beers and Gardiner were both top-10 recruits in ESPN rankings coming out of high school. 

With the dissolution of the Pac-12, the program will join the WCC next season and no longer be a part of the Power 5.

Conference realignment is hitting the team hard, with coach Scott Rueck saying during the tournament that he knew it could seriously affect his team moving forward. 

"That's reality," Rueck said. "I can't control that, other than just keep doing what I'm doing. I think the opportunity within that for a leader provides a discipline that you'd better be on your A-game all the time. You'd better take care of people, and you'd better provide a great experience. That's the approach going forward and what happens, happens. We'll find a way."

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