January 13, 2023 

Locked on Women’s Basketball: How will WNBA free agency impact the league’s pecking order?

Landscape-changing decisions loom for free agents such as Candace Parker, Breanna Stewart and Brionna Jones

The latest episode of Locked on Women’s Basketball features host Jackie Powell previewing WNBA free agency with The Next‘s Em Adler but with a twist! The pair examines all of the WNBA franchises’ free agency outlooks, but the franchises have been split into three groups: teams that want to maintain the status quo, teams that are trying to move up in the league’s pecking order, and teams that are in the process of building or should be building.

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In the first group of teams, Em discusses the options that the Connecticut Sun have with a returning core that includes stars DeWanna Bonner, Alyssa Thomas and Jonquel Jones:

“[New head coach] Stephanie White‘s in there now; they have a new GM with Darius Taylor. So it’s not quite the same faces running it, and they could be prioritizing different things. Stephanie White talked about adding shooting, which most coaches tend to say … But it is an indication at least that there’s some consideration over changing the specific construction that they’ve been working with in the past. … We’ve seen the report from yesterday that Connecticut was one of the teams interested in trading for [Dallas Wings guard] Allisha Gray. To work her within the cap, even beyond Brionna Jones being a free agent, they literally have to trade away one of [Jasmine Thomas], [Alyssa Thomas], [Jonquel Jones] or Bonner to be able to trade for her. …

“We’ll see what direction they go in. But they could run it back and be a low-ceiling, high-floor three [or] four seed, or they could really shift the landscape here. I’m not sure.”

In the category of teams that are trying to move up in the standings, Jackie shares the concerns she has about the Dallas Wings’ rebuilding plan:

“When we were talking about the [Seattle] Storm and the [Chicago] Sky earlier, when we were discussing what those teams have to offer to free agents, for years, I’ve been asking the same about the Wings. I mean, I guess the only thing that that has changed is that their new head coach is Latricia Trammell. She is someone who’s very well respected around the league, and there are free agents that have played for her before and that have really reveled in her defensive system. … [But] when it comes to the Wings, I just don’t know, without attracting veteran leadership and veterans that are proven winners, how they take that next jump. That’s my question there.”

Make sure to subscribe to the Locked on Women’s Basketball podcast to keep learning about WNBA free agency, the 2023 WNBA Draft, women’s college basketball and much more! And click here to read The Next‘s team-by-team free agency previews.

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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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