Lynx Era Slips Away, Wild WNBA Free Agency Moves
This Women’s National Basketball Association free agency period has been one for the books. For years professional women athletes have been fighting for monetary recognition (equal pay) for their talents and the WNBA has responded. On January 14,2020 the WNBA and the Women’s National Basketball Players Association (WNBAPA) announced a groundbreaking eight year Collective Bargaining Agreement: that lead to an increase in player salaries, an increase in salary caps, resources specifically designed with the professional female athlete in mind, as well as a commitment to implement an integrated marketing plan league-wide.
With the Collective Bargaining Agreement big moves have been made in the market and all eyes are on which players are making the biggest moves. Here are five moves that have me wanting the season to start already.
1. Five-time All-Star and two time Olympic Gold Medalist Angel McCoughtry is joining the one of the most prolific lineups in the league with the Las Vegas Aces. McCoughtry played nine seasons in Atlanta and missed two of the past three seasons due to rest and injuries. Will this be the year of the Ace’s first WNBA championship?
2. Skylar Diggins-Smith joins Brittney Griner and Diana Taurasi in Phoenix. The four-time All-Star is one of the best point guards in the league who brings a supplement scoring ability to the backcourt that Phoenix needs. Her former team Dallas Wings got two first round picks with the loss of Diggins-Smith.
3. Los Angels Sparks sent a massive shock wave in signing four time WNBA champion Seimone Augustus.The Sparks and Lynx have had a long standing rivalry that long time WNBA fans are well versed in. Joining Augustus is Kristi Toliver from the Washington Mystics who averaged 13 points, 6 assists and 2.9 rebounds in 2019.
4. After 10 seasons in Phoenix DeWanna Bonner heads to Connecticut creating space for the signing of Skylar Diggins-Smith. This is no loss for the Connecticut Sun, they have their very own version of the big three that includes Jonquel Jones and Alyssa Thomas giving them an opportunity to land a spot in the playoffs and possibly a spot in the finals since their loss in 2018.
5. Stewie is back and is staying in Seattle. As much as this is not a move, Breanna Stewart’s return to Seattle from an Achilles injury is something worth mentioning. The 2018 MVP made her return to the court in January. 27, 2020, as a member of the United States women's national team in an exhibition game against her alma mater, Connecticut.
There are still several unanswered questions like whether Liz Cambage will remain in Las Vegas and who will replace Odyssey Sims in Minnesota? Final roster cutdown is May 14, 2020 and the regular season starts May 15, 2020.