WNBA free agency officially kicked off on Wednesday, though the offseason moves already started a few weeks back. As always, there will be plenty of news involving former UConn players — none bigger than Breanna Stewart’s free agency decision.
Kiah Stokes re-ups with Las Vegas Aces
After helping the team win its first WNBA title in 2022, Kiah Stokes re-signed with the Las Vegas Aces. She started all 10 playoff games and averaged 3.7 points with 7.2 rebounds during the postseason. The former 2015 first round pick is entering her eighth WNBA season.
Azura Stevens heads to LA
After spending the last three seasons in Chicago, Azura Stevens is heading to Hollywood. According to ESPN’s Alexa Philippou, Stevens will sign with the Las Angeles Sparks, the latest move in a busy offseason for the organization. Per Philippou, Stevens “is regarded as one of the most promising young post players in the league.” She averaged 10.6 points, 3.9 rebounds and 1.1 blocks last season in a loaded Sky frontcourt that also featured Candace Parker and Kahleah Copper.
Kia Nurse ships to Seattle
Seattle will be replacing one UConn point guard with another. The Storm brought in Kia Nurse to run the point after Sue Bird retired this offseason. Though she played off the ball at UConn, Nurse has been a floor general during her international career with Canada. While she didn’t play in the WNBA last season while recovering from a torn ACL, she did make it back in time for the World Cup in October.
Breanna Stewart joining the New York Liberty
Breanna Stewart is coming home. On Wednesday, the two-time WNBA champion and 2018 MVP announced that she will sign with the New York Liberty in free agency.
Stewart had spent the entirety of her seven-year WNBA career with the Seattle Storm, the team that drafted her No. 1 overall in 2016. But with Sue Bird retiring, the Liberty proved to be a more attractive landing spot. Not only is it closer to her hometown of North Syracuse, New York, Stewart will help the Liberty form a superteam alongside Sabrina Ionescu and Jonquel Jones.
Per ESPN, the specifics of Stewart’s deal with New York are still being finalized. She chose the Liberty over the Storm while the Minnesota Lynx and Washington Mystics were the other finalists before she cut her list down to two.
Olivia Nelson-Ododa traded to Connecticut Sun
Olivia Nelson-Ododa is coming back to Connecticut after a year away. On Jan. 16, the Los Angeles Sparks traded Nelson-Ododa to the Connecticut Sun as part of a deal for Jasmine Thomas. The Sparks selected the former UConn big in the second round of the 2022 WNBA Draft, 19th overall. As a rookie, Nelson-Ododa averaged 4.0 points and 2.9 rebounds in 30 games with six starts.
Washington Mystics sign Evina Westbrook to training camp contract
Evina Westbrook will return to the nation’s capital this season — at least for camp. The Washington Mystics signed the former Husky to a training camp contract after she played in six games with the team to end the year. The Seattle Storm selected Westbrook in the second round of the 2022 WNBA Draft, 21st overall, but waived her before the season began. She joined the Minnesota Lynx for 14 games before eventually ending up with the Mystics.
Westbrook averaged 2.8 points and 1.2 assists in 20 games with both teams last season.
Dallas Wings acquire the rights to Crystal Dangerfield
Crystal Dangerfield’s ride on the WNBA carousel has continued this offseason. After the Minnesota Lynx surprisingly cut the 2020 Rookie of the Year in the preseason, Dangerfield made a short cameo on an injury replacement contract with the Indiana Fever before sticking with the New York Liberty for the remainder of the season. Then, Dangerfield’s rights were sent to the Dallas Wings as part of the three-team blockbuster Jonquel Jones trade.