A massive return for the Sparks
In a blockbuster deal, the Los Angeles Sparks have signed Kristi Toliver to a three-year contract, multiple league sources confirmed to High Post Hoops.
The move provides Derek Fisher’s team with vital leadership and shooting on the heels of last season’s WNBA semifinal sweep by the Connecticut Sun.
Toliver, 33, played a critical role for the Washington Mystics en route to their 2019 WNBA title run. But a combination of factors led to Toliver seeking out a return to her old stomping grounds on the first day of free agency.
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Toliver also won a WNBA title in Los Angeles, and a number of former teammates will be waiting for her, from Candace Parker to Nneka Ogwumike.
The remaining front office, including current acting GM Michael Fischer, are holdovers from Toliver’s last go-around with the Sparks.
Toliver played 23 games with Washington last season, limited by injuries, but was as effective as ever when she stepped on the court, hitting 36 percent of her threes and nearly 60 percent of her twos, the latter her best season mark ever.
On a Los Angeles team that only had two players — Chelsea Gray and Riquna Williams — north of 37 percent from three, that expertise will be welcome.
So, too, will be Toliver’s ability to lead, which has manifested itself everywhere she’s gone since her freshman season at Maryland, another championship run. Adding to the voices in Los Angeles’ locker room could be a significant difference-maker for a Sparks team with plenty of frontline talent, but one that fell short of its goals in 2019.
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