Who should Sky target if they can’t re-sign Courtney Vandersloot and Candice Parker?

The WNBA free agency has been open for a week, and aside from a trade that sent the Aces’ Derekah Hamby to the Sparks for the rights to Amanda Zahui B. and draft stock, there has been no movement.

Don’t worry, it’s coming.

For Sky, the biggest free agent decisions will come from Candace Parker and Courtney Vandersloot. Depending on what they decide, Sky will either face a rebuild or be in line for another season of title contention.

Vandersloot has reportedly met with Liberty and is expected to meet Sky, Lynx and Storm. Parker did not attend any face-to-face meetings, but gave telesales presentations from Sky, Aces and Sparks.

In a best-case scenario, Sky’s general manager/coach James Wade would re-sign Vandersloot and Parker, which would enable the franchise to delay rebuilding for another year. In the worst case scenario, the Sky will have to say goodbye to two of the WNBA’s most influential players at the same time.

Wade is new to the season of Executive of the Year, so Sky fans must trust he has a solid plan. However, in a worst-case scenario, there are a few players Sky might target here.

Marina Mabry, Wings (restricted free agent)

Mabry is a player to watch in free agency. She was rumored to want a fresh start from the Wings, who traded for her in 2020. She has ties to the Midwest after playing for Notre Dame in 2015-19.

What you’ll bring to the Sky is a solid scoring threat to play alongside Kahleah Copper and Dana Evans in the backcourt. Since the Sparks drafted her with the 19th overall pick in 2019, her numbers have steadily increased. Last season, she averaged 13.6 points and 3.7 assists.

Whether or not Sky Vandersloot is lost to free agency, Mabrey will be a solid addition to their backcourt. Because it is a restricted free agent, Wings can match any offer you receive.

Brittney Sykes, Sparks (unrestricted free agent)

Sykes is a valuable option at point guard if the Sky can’t re-sign Vandersloot. She came off her third straight season to make one of the WNBA’s All-Defensive Teams. In 2021, she finished second in voting for Defensive Player of the Year.

At the moment, Sykes plays abroad with Sky goalkeeper Rebecca Gardner for Spanish club Spar City Lift Girona, so there is already a well-established familiarity. Adding them alongside Cooper and Evans will make the Sky backcourt defense even stronger. In three seasons for the Sparks, she averaged 10.8 points, 2.7 assists, and 1.8 steals.

But former Sparks assistant Latricia Tramell was hired by the Wings this offseason, making them an interesting spot for Sykes as well.

Alicia Clark, Mystics (unrestricted free agent)

Clark, a two-time NBA champion, was returning from a foot injury last season but has proven he can still be a mainstay in the Mystics’ defense. Where she was fighting aggressively.

Her point average (8.0) was the lowest since 2018, and her field goal percentage (46.4%) was the lowest since 2014. However, Clark has proven to be another valuable defensive addition to the skies and will come with championship percentages.

If you lose Sky Parker and Vandersloot, a player like Clark will be an asset on multiple fronts.

Azura Stevens, Skye (unrestricted free agent)

Stevens is a player Heaven intends to re-sign, regardless of Parker and Vandersloot’s future with them.

Among the 2023 list of free agents, Stephens ranks behind only Brenna Stewart and Parker at her position. She’s gotten a lot of interest from teams across the league and has had multiple meetings outside, according to a league source. The only adjustment Sky could make to convince Stevens to re-sign if Vandersloot and Parker go elsewhere would be in the amount of money they are likely to be able to offer her.

Stephens should play a starting role for Sky in 2023, based on what she’s contributed in the past three seasons, and other teams are sure to sell her for a dominant role. In a free agent class that lacks depth at point guard and power forward, re-signing Stevens is crucial.

Leave a Comment