WNBA Free Agency Day 1 Diary

WNBA teams and players were allowed to begin negotiating deals January 15, but those deals can officially be signed now that the calendar has turned to February.

Here’s a running log of what we know so far:

Turner & Cannon to stay in Phoenix

Also per the WNBA transactions page, the Mercury have retained two of their reserved free agents. Turner, a bouncy and athletic wing, took over the second spot in starting lineup on the wing alongside Diana Taurasi toward the end of the regular season. Turner also shot 9-for-17 from deep in five 2017 playoff games.

Maggie Lucas signs with Dream

Per the WNBA’s transactions page, Maggie Lucas has inked a deal with the Atlanta Dream. Lucas shot 33.5% from deep in 64 games for the Indiana Fever from 2014-2016.

Currie back to DC

Monique Currie is returning to the Mystics after spending last season with the San Antonio Stars and Phoenix Mercury. Currie’s skill set will be especially valuable to the Mystics, who just announced yesterday that forward Emma Meesseman will miss the 2018 WNBA season.

Whitcomb returning to Seattle

The Seattle Storm announced that they have re-signed reserved free agent Sami Whitcomb. The rookie wing connected on a third of her 102 three-point attempts last season as one of the team’s top reserves.

Thornton to remain in Dallas

The Dallas Wings announced that they’ve re-signed reserved free agent forward Kayla Thornton. Thornton is known for her defensive versatility and and tenacity. She appeared in all 34 games for the Wings in 2017.

Sparks sign Dabovic, Samuelson

The Sparks announced the signing of Ana Dabovic, who was a member of their 2016 championship team. Karlie Samuelson was also inked to a training camp deal. Samuelson participated in training camp with the Sparks last season.

Swords, Laimbeer reunited 

The Aces also announced the signing of veteran center Carolyn Swords, who struggled to find her footing in the rotation with the Seattle Storm last season.

TY to LV

The Aces added some valuable depth on the wing on Thursday. They announced the signing of veteran forward Tamera Young, who played for the Sky and the Dream in 2017.

Trader Bill makes his first move

The Indiana Fever and Las Vegas Aces agreed to a trade. Kayla Alexander is headed to Indiana along with the Aces’ 2019 third round pick in exchange for Indiana’s 2019 second rounder.

Brunson back 

The Minnesota Lynx announced that they had re-signed starting forward and five-time WNBA champion Rebekkah Brunson.

Mercury to get a Lyttle help up front

The Phoenix Mercury announced on Facebook Live and via a release on Thursday that the team has signed unrestricted free agent forward Sancho Lyttle. Lyttle was a part of three WNBA Finals runs for the Atlanta Dream and is a six-time WNBA All-Defense selection.

Sparks re-sign RFA Odyssey Sims

The Sparks announced Thursday that they had locked up the second half of their young starting backcourt. Restricted free agent Odyssey Sims re-signed with the Sparks, who have appeared in the WNBA Finals in each of the last two seasons.

RFA Dolson to re-sign in Chicago

Though the team hasn’t made the official announcement yet, a source confirmed to The Summitt early Thursday that restricted free agent Stefanie Dolson will re-sign with the Chicago Sky.

Connecticut Sun retain Stricklen

The Sun made it official, announcing Thursday that they have re-signed Shekinna Stricklen to a multi-year contract.

“Because I was unrestricted, I could have looked at other options,” Stricklen said. “But I really love what we are building in Connecticut, and I wanted to continue to be a part of it. We have an incredible fan-base, the support of the Mohegan Tribe and a great group of players. The chemistry I have built with my teammates is amazing. I cannot wait to start the 2018 season.”

Stricklen averaged just 8.6 points per game, but it was her efficiency and ability to stretch the floor that played outsized importance in Connecticut’s emergence last season as a league power. She made 41 percent of her threes, sixth-best in the WNBA, and did so on more than five attempts per game.

Renee Montgomery headed to the ATL

News broke Wednesday night that unrestricted free agent guard Renee Montgomery had agreed to terms on a deal with the Atlanta Dream. Montgomery spent the last 2+ seasons with the Minnesota Lynx.

The Dream now have Montgomery, Layshia Clarendon, Tiffany Hayes and Brittney Sykes in the backcourt. Atlanta head coach Nicki Collen could certainly look to roll out some three guard lineups, but the Dream could also look to deal from a position of strength.

Alyssa Thomas likely staying put

Head coach/general manager Curt Miller of the Connecticut Sun expressed a clear desire to do whatever it takes to retain 2017 All-Star and All-Defense honoree Alyssa Thomas. Miller said the following to The Day in early January:

“She’s a centerpiece for how we want to play. We’re excited about Alyssa’s potential to stay with us. … We would match (any offer). If someone gave her the moon, we’d be like, ‘yeah, and (here’s) Saturn (too).”

 

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