February 2, 2023
After accidental Instagram post, Courtney Vandersloot to sign with New York Liberty
Super team in New York? Super team in New York
The beauty of free agency is you never know what’s going to happen. Sometimes you might even see someone explicitly tell you what they’re doing, and then find out from their agent that they’re actually not doing that, and every reporter [Editor’s note: well, not me] has to tweet corrections. Such is the case for Courtney Vandersloot, who we can now confidently report is actually signing with the New York Liberty.
Less than an hour after Storm superstar Breanna Stewart announced her departure for New York Wednesday afternoon, Vandersloot posted to her Instagram that she would be joining Seattle. Then she deleted that post, quickly enough that no one seemed to be able to grab a screenshot — but not quickly enough to prevent several reporters from relaying the announcement on Twitter. When no one could find that post anymore, the reports had to be retracted and mass confusion set in.
Then Vandersloot’s agent, Lindsay Kagawa Colas, told ESPN that the career Sky point guard had yet to make a decision. But finally, this afternoon, we have received true confirmation that Vandersloot is actually signing with New York, courtesy of her Twitter this time. ESPN’s Alexa Philippou added that Vandersloot struggled to choose between the Liberty and her hometown Storm.
Vandersloot joins the Liberty after spending the first 12 years of her career with the Sky. The No. 3 pick in the 2011 draft, she was an All-Star in her rookie season, but had to wait eight more years for her next All-Star selection. Her first breakout came in 2015, helping lead Chicago to a second-place finish in the East despite the departure of Sylvia Fowles. She took another leap after Elena Delle Donne’s departure before 2017, and has led the league in assist rate every year since.
For New York, Vandersloot represents the final big piece in what may now be the most talented roster in league history. She slots in as the starting point guard, of course, which lets Liberty to leverage combo guard Sabrina Ionescu’s shooting gravity and second-side playmaking to pick defenses apart driving and passing around the halfcourt. And defensively, Vandersloot gives New York a legitimately good point of attack defender, allowing Ionescu to be moved onto the opponent’s least-threatening scorer.
Vandersloot entertained the idea of leaving Chicago last offseason, meeting with Seattle and Minnesota. She was particularly impressed by the Lynx at the time, but opted to return to the Sky to run back most of their 2021 Finals championship roster. This time around, it was reported that Vandersloot and Stewart wanted to play together, and with the latter never considering a move to the Windy City, Vandersloot’s Chicago career was effectively over before she’d even posted her farewell.
Both Vandersloot and Stewart were considering New York, Seattle, and Minnesota, with a possible Storm signing representing a return to the former’s home city to play for the team she grew up a fan of. Instead, they’ll join forces on the Liberty alongside 2021 MVP Jonquel Jones, rising star Sabrina Ionescu, and a host of great role players. Vandersloot’s wife, three-time All-Star Allie Quigley, will not play in 2023.