January 27, 2023 

Locked on Women’s Basketball: The Sky are making some changes and WNBA free agency is a poker game

Jackie Powell asks James Kay what he knows about the major news that came out of Chicago

Today on Locked on Women’s Basketball, host Jackie Powell is joined by James Kay for a jam packed show. The Chicago Sky did WHAAAAT? First Jackie asks James what he knows about the major news that came out of Chicago regarding their ownership group and executive leadership. And later the pair goes on a journey comparing WNBA free agency and what we’ve seen so far to a high stakes poker game. Which franchises have raised the league’s stakes? Which franchises could be folding? Which franchises are making some pretty risky bets?

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In the podcast, James explains that the Chicago Sky have named former Slack Technologies chief people officer Nadia Rawlinson as their next operating chairman of the franchise. James make the case for the opportunity that Rawlinson’s hire presents to the franchise:

“I think this presents a lot of opportunity for the Sky from a resources perspective. So when I talked with [Sky owner] Michael Alter last last summer … He talked about how money wasn’t as much of an issue and that when [the Sky] bring in … someone who could join in as an owner or co-owner, that they would increase the value of the franchise and I would say that Nadia was aligned with that. Throughout [Rawlinson’s] press conference, she’s someone that mentioned about how having a little bit more flexibility financially is going to be able to open up a lot of opportunities.”

James Kay, The Next

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Later on in the podcast, the hosts compare WNBA free agency to a poker game. Jackie makes the case for the Indiana Fever as a strong player at “the table” during free agency:

“I think the Indiana Fever are a team that we should be talking about as a more aggressive group that really is looking to make a splash in free agency. I’m not saying the Indiana Fever are going to land Breanna Stewart, that’s not what I’m saying. What I’m saying is … that the Indiana Fever have become a much more desirable location in a very quick amount of time. They hired [head coach] Christie Sides who leaguewide is very well respected. I mean, [general manager] Lin Dunn is also very well respected; players loved playing for Lin Dunn when she was a head coach. Apparently, Indiana now has newly renovated training facilities in addition to their arena being fixed up as well. And also they have enough cap space to offer a veteran maybe more than some of these teams that are higher on the totem pole could offer.”

Jackie Powell, The Next

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Here at The Next, in addition to the 24/7/365 written content our staff provides, we also host the daily Locked On Women’s Basketball podcast. Join us Monday through Saturday each week as we discuss all things WNBA, collegiate basketball, basketball history and much more. Listen wherever you find podcasts or watch on YouTube.

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