A busy first day of free agency for the Wings
The Dallas Wings have re-signed Moriah Jefferson and Megan Gustafson to multi-year deals, the team announced Monday. Imani McGee-Stafford, Karlie Samuelson and Morgan Bertsch have also signed with the club.
Jefferson sat out the 2019 season with an injury after being acquired from the Las Vegas Aces in the Liz Cambage trade. The former No. 2 pick has averaged 10.5 points and 3.8 assists per game in her first three seasons in the league. Her new deal runs three years and starts at $170,000 in 2020, High Post Hoops has learned. It has full protection.
Gustafson, who signed a three-year deal for a total of $190,500, closed out her rookie season averaging around 2.9 points and 2.5 rebounds per game while playing a little less than 10 minutes per contest. Last month, the University of Iowa retired her number in celebration of her stellar career in which she won Naismith Player of the Year, AP Player of the Year, and the Lisa Leslie Award for the nation’s best center. Gustafson is also currently averaging 16.3 points and 7.3 rebounds per game for NKE-Csata in Hungary.
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The 6’7 center McGee-Stafford, a former No. 10 pick, averaged 3.9 points and 3.8 rebounds per game in her first season with Dallas after being acquired from the Atlanta Dream. She’ll earn $68,000 in 2020.
Samuelson, whose deal is for $57,000, joined the Wings late last season and appeared in four games. The 6 foot guard is currently averaging 7.2 points per game while shooting 57.1 percent from the floor and 40 percent from beyond the three-point line for first-place Perfumerías Avenida of the Spanish Liga Femenina de Baloncesto.
The Wings originally drafted Bertsch in the third round of the 2019 WNBA Draft, but waived her just two weeks later. Bertsch was the first UC Davis player to be drafted into the WNBA after she was the nation’s fourth leading scorer and won Big West Player of the Year in 2019. She has spent the 2019-20 season in Russia averaging 13.3 points and 5.3 rebounds per game for Spartak Vidnoje. She’ll earn $57,000 if she makes the team and stays for the duration of the 2020 season.
With these signings, the Wings have 13 players under contract for 2020, which is too many. But Skylar Diggins-Smith has requested a trade, so they are almost certainly not finished dealing this winter. And their cap number at the moment is still below the $1.3 million ceiling, at $1,127,479.
Howard Megdal contributed reporting to this piece.
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