Who will be the key additions to 2021 playoff teams?
If you have yet to see the salary charts put together by the amazing Howard Megdal, I cannot recommend them enough. It is the type of WNBA data that simply is not as publicly available as the men’s game and goes a long way toward analyzing our favorite teams and players.
Speaking of our favorite teams, some of them have much more work to do in terms of roster construction. The Connecticut Sun only have four players with contracts for the 2021 season, while the Los Angeles Sparks and Washington Mystics have five.
The Sun have Jonquel Jones coming back next year and DeWanna Bonner signed through 2023, but the play of both Jasmine and Alyssa Thomas should command hefty raises.
Los Angeles is in a much bigger predicament, Sure they have a few solid role players still on rookie tenders, but Candace Parker, Chiney and Nneka Ogqumike, and Chelsea Gray is almost an all-star team in itself and its hard to think they will all be on the squad next year.
After putting in a spectacular DPOY season Parker’s 13 year tenure with the Sparks is in jeopardy. Following their second round exit to the Sun, Parker said, “I want to be in LA, I’ve been in LA my entire career. I’ve had a number of opportunities and a number of times where it’s been a real option to leave. I don’t want to leave LA, but at the same time, we’ve got to get better. We can’t keep saying next year.” There’s a lot of pressure in that front office to build a championship contender ahead of next season, so it will be interesting to see who the contracts go to.
As for the Mystics, does it matter who is on the team if Elena Delle Donne is leading the way? They have to resign Emma Meesseman and a few other veterans, but with Delle Donne signed through 2023 they will always have a chance to be dangerous.
The other end of the spectrum includes many young teams with more players signed then they will even be able to keep on the roster. The New York Liberty have 12 players locked up in 2021 with the Dallas Wings close behind at 11. Both teams will be adding a lottery pick to the squad after the draft to make that number even higher.
This does not mean the offseason will be smooth sailing for these franchises. The rookie contracts that litter their rosters are perfect trade bait for contenders looking to get good players for cheap. Don’t be surprised if some transactions occur to give some veteran help to Sabrina Ionescu and Arike Ogunbowale.
What about the reigning champ Seattle Storm? With Sue Bird not planning on retiring anytime soon, the Storm still have to take care of Natasha Howard and Alysha Clark. Breanna Stewart’s contract is still a steal for next year, thus Seattle will not be worried about next season.
Whether it’s free agent signings or blockbuster trades, this offseason promises to be full of big names.