WNBA teams take advantage of coring to keep some key stars
Tina Charles, Skylar Diggins-Smith and Brittney Griner — received the core designation by their current teams, High Post Hoops has learned from multiple league sources.
The three teams — the New York Liberty, Dallas Wings and Phoenix Mercury, respectively — thus keep the rights to these players at the new max rate of $215,000 apiece, making them the highest-paid WNBA players under the terms of the new collective bargaining agreement.
New York’s decision to keep the rights to Charles means that, barring a trade, the New York product has a chance to resume her career within the five boroughs this May.
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Meanwhile, Skylar Diggins-Smith, who would have been an unrestricted free agent, is instead a player who can only be acquired via trade. On Sunday, she spoke about a desire to find the best available destination “me, my husband and my son.” But trying to work out a trade, if she determines that she’d prefer not to play in Dallas, will complicate that.
Among those who weren’t cored, making them free agents, are Liz Cambage and Courtney Williams, most recently of the Las Vegas Aces and Connecticut Sun, respectively, whose four years in the league mean their free agency is of the restricted variety, with Las Vegas able to match any offer, along with unrestricted free agency for Elena Delle Donne and Kristi Toliver, most recently of the Washington Mystics,
Teams can begin to negotiate with free agents officially on Tuesday, January 28. Players can sign beginning February 10.
Arielle Chambers and Howard Megdal contributed reporting to this story.
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