Jessica Breland signs multi-year contract with Atlanta Dream

CHICAGO, IL - JUNE 18: Jessica Breland
CHICAGO, IL - JUNE 18: Jessica Breland /

Unrestricted free agent forward Jessica Breland has signed a multi-year contract with the Atlanta Dream.

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The Summitt’s Howard Megdal listed Breland as his No. 5 unrestricted free agent in this year’s class.

The Dream have added two impact players in the early stages of WNBA free agency. The Summitt was able to confirm Wednesday that unrestricted free agent guard Renee Montgomery had agreed to terms with the Dream. Montgomery, a former All-Star and two-time WNBA champion, played last season for the Minnesota Lynx. Atlanta announced the move on Thursday.

Breland projects to start at the four spot for the Dream in 2018. Sancho Lyttle, the starter for much of last season, signed with the Phoenix Mercury on Thursday. Breland will join a long and athletic front line in Atlanta, already featuring All-Star Elizabeth Williams and Imani Boyette. Boyette was acquired in a trade with Chicago last season.

“Jessica is a true stretch power forward who will help us at both ends of the floor,” Dream head coach Nicki Collen said in Monday’s release. “Her length, shot blocking ability, and rebounding will be assets on the defensive end while her ability to score from the perimeter and handle the ball will help us space the floor and be more dynamic offensively.”

The Dream now have eight players under contract for the 2018 season. Montgomery joins two 2017 All-Stars (Tiffany Hayes, Layshia Clarendon), Brittney Sykes and Maggie Lucas in the backcourt. Re-signing core player Angel McCoughtry remains a top priority for the Dream.

Bria Holmes recently announced that she is pregnant and will miss the 2018 season. Matee Ajavon, Damiris Dantas and Aneika Morello are currently free agents. Ajavon and Morello are unrestricted, and Dantas is a reserved free agent. Unrestricted free agent Tamera Young elected to move on, signing with the Las Vegas Aces on Thursday.

Breland spent the past four years with the Sky and started 30 or more games in three of those four seasons. Breland has really extended her range and become a very efficient midrange shooter, even venturing out to the three-point line in 2017 (38.1%, 21 attempts).

This will hurt the Sky, who finished last season with a record of 12-22. The Sky appeared to have found something offensively once Vandersloot, Quigley (2017 All-Star and three-point contest champion), Stefanie Dolson (2017 All-Star) and Breland got the chance to play big minutes together.

“I want to thank the Chicago Sky for some incredible memories,” Breland said in Monday’s release. “I am looking forward to creating memories and experiences with the Atlanta Dream. I am excited to take this next step in my career with Coach Nicki and my new teammates.”

The Sky did designate Quigley as their core player in January, and were able to re-sign the All-Star shooting guard.

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The Sky hold the No. 3 and No. 4 overall picks in the 2018 WNBA Draft, where they can perhaps look to draft Breland’s replacement while also adding a dynamic talent on the wing.