Chicago Sky sign Alex Montgomery


The Chicago Sky have signed veteran wing Alex Montgomery. Montgomery, a seven year veteran, started 31 games last season for the San Antonio Stars.

Montgomery spent her first four seasons in the league with the New York Liberty after being selected 10th overall out of Georgia Tech. She was traded to the Stars in exchange for a 2015 first round pick. The Liberty used that pick to select point guard Brittany Boyd out of Cal.

Montgomery, 6’1, will give the Sky a veteran presence on the wing capable of logging minutes at both forward spots.

Kahleah Copper, another 6’1 wing, started 10 games for the Sky down the stretch at the small forward spot. Copper shot 46.5% from the field in her second WNBA season. She came over from Washington along with Stefanie Dolson in the Elena Delle Donne trade.

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The Sky recently re-signed Dolson, who was a restricted free agent this offseason. The Sky also signed the third piece that came over in the Delle Donne trade — 2017 No. 2 overall pick Alaina Coates. Coates will make her WNBA debut in 2018 after missing the entire 2017 season (ankle surgery).

The Sky may soon be adding dynamic young talent on the wing with Montgomery and Copper, or a power forward to play alongside them. Chicago holds the No. 3 and No. 4 overall picks in the upcoming draft. In his latest mock draft, The Summitt’s Howard Megdal has the Sky selecting Diamond DeShields and Gabby Williams.

Not only would Montgomery be competing with those two players for minutes, she’d be in a position to speak from experience to bring along those young players. Head coach and general manager Amber Stocks is entering her second season with the franchise. The lineup combinations used by Stocks early in the season will be interesting to track, especially if she drafts two forwards with her first round picks.

As both the head coach and the lead basketball decision maker, she’ll have plenty of mouths to feed in the frontcourt and the say-so to decide which role is best for each player. Stocks may also be faced with a directional choice, especially if the team starts slow out of the gate — play the young players or lean more on veterans with hopes of securing a playoff berth.

The Sky will be young, but they will also be hungry to make a playoff push with three All-Star-caliber players in a new arena. The team is in the first year of a five-year agreement to play their home games at Wintrust Arena in Chicago, the new home of the DePaul basketball programs. The Sky had been playing at Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Illinois, which is about 20 miles away.

Chicago’s path to playoff contention took a hit when unrestricted free agent Jessica Breland signed with the Atlanta Dream this offseason. Breland, the team’s starting power forward in 2017, opened up the floor with her ability to hit midrange jump shots. She also is very capable of guarding her position and blocking shots, a necessary team element in a league dominated at that position by Candace Parker, Delle Donne, Tina Charles and Breanna Stewart.

Related Story: Chicago Sky re-sign Jamierra Faulkner

This month, the Sky also re-signed All-Star designated core player Allie Quigley and three-year veteran Jamierra Faulkner. Faulkner’s signing offsets the loss of Cappie Pondexter, who recently signed with the Los Angeles Sparks. Chicago has also signed free agent forwards Adut Bulgak and Astou Ndour.