February 6, 2021 

Aces cement another core piece through 2022

Hamby, Gray, Plum, Young, and Wilson are all likely in place long-term

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Dearica Hamby #5 of the Las Vegas Aces handles the ball against the Atlanta Dream on September 5, 2020 at Feld Entertainment Center in Palmetto, Florida. Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images

Earlier this week, the Las Vegas Aces announced a one-year contract extension for reserve forward Dearica Hamby, who is now under contract through the 2022 season.

The move locks in another piece of the Aces’ core through 2022, with Chelsea Gray, Kelsey Plum and Jackie Young already under contract the next two seasons and A’ja Wilson entering restricted free agency next winter, making her likely to stay in place.

Hamby, who played an integral part in Las Vegas’ run to the WNBA Finals last season before her season ended due to a knee injury, averaged career highs in minutes, points, assists and steals per game in 2020.

“Dearica has been a huge part of the Aces’ rise to championship contender since the team moved to Las Vegas, particularly over the past two years, and last season’s run to the WNBA Finals,” said Bill Laimbeer, the Aces’ head coach and president of basketball operations. “She brings an energy to the court that is infectious not only to her teammates but also to our fans, and we are excited to be able to extend her contract through the 2022 season.”

Hamby celebrated the news on Twitter by hinting she’d like to remain with the Aces for the rest of her career.

That commitment was further solidified by the fact that Hamby took a relatively modest $142,800 salary rather than testing free agency next winter.

The number was first reported by Her Hoop Stats, in addition to a $33,300 time off bonus from the team, likely in response to her rehabbing her injury this offseason and being unable to play overseas.

While Hamby is expected to make a full recovery in time for training camp, the Aces face an adjustment with yet another new face joining the roster this offseason in Gray. Add in the return of Plum, who has yet to play alongside last year’s free agent acquisition, Angel McCoughtry, and it’s clear this Aces team will face an intriguing growth curve over the course of 2021. That’s before considering the looming decision for Liz Cambage, who was cored by the Aces but has not yet officially signed a deal.

With nine players currently on the roster, Cambage would make ten, and the No. 12 overall pick in April’s WNBA Draft would make 11 players. They could choose to go into the season with just 11 players or pursue another free agent, with the likes of Shenise Johnson, Bria Holmes and Sami Whitcomb still available on the wing, likely the Aces’ primary area of need.

Las Vegas will have roughly $130,500 left to spend after signing Cambage and their first-round pick, which should be plenty to pursue another piece.

Written by Brendon Kleen

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