January 26, 2021 

Sources: Candace Parker in talks to join Chicago Sky

The long-time Sparks forward may be returning to the Windy City

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PALMETTO, FL – SEPTEMBER 4: Candace Parker #3 of the Los Angeles Sparks and Breanna Stewart #30 of the Seattle Storm smile during game at Feld Entertainment Center in Palmetto (Photo by NedDishman/NBAE via Getty Images)

Two-time MVP and reigning Defensive Player of the Year Candace Parker is in talks to join the Chicago Sky, multiple league sources told The Next. Indications are no final decision has been made by Parker.

It would be a homecoming for Parker, who grew up in Naperville, Illinois and cemented her place in Chicagoland basketball lore in her four years at Naperville Central High School. Her laundry list of accolades in Illinois basketball — back-to-back Naismith, Gatorade and USA Today National Prep Player of the Year awards, three Gatorade Illinois State Player of the Year trophies and two state titles — put her in a tier few other Illinois athletes have ever reached.

Parker, 34, went first overall in the 2008 WNBA Draft to the Los Angeles Sparks where she’s played the past 13 seasons, winning a title in 2016. But she may finally be returning to the Windy City, this time in sky blue.

It would be a dream scenario for the Sky, who are in desperate need of front court defense which Parker would provide in spades. The 6’4 forward also averaged 14.7 points, 9.7 rebounds, 4.6 assists, 1.2 steals and 1.2 blocks last season while shooting 51.0% from the field and 39.6% from three. 

Signing Parker would instantly make the Sky legitimate championship contenders. The Sky have improved under third-year head coach and general manager James Wade, but have been held back by a middling-to-bad defense.

Parker would not only elevate Chicago’s defense, but pairing her with Allie Quigley, Courtney Vandersloot and Diamond DeShields could push the Sky’s offense to an all-time great level.

Howard Megdal contributed reporting to this story.

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Written by Nick Niendorf

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