The Seattle Storm have drafted Jewell Loyd, securing her return to the team in 2022. Sue Bird has already hinted that she will return to Seattle, too, and the Storm will apparently hand over the superstar to keep Breanna Stewart. Does the Big Three need to add a fourth star to the mix? Or are the current role players in the storm good enough?
Free Agents (Type) (2021 Average Salary)
- Subard (unlimited) ($221,450)
- Cierra Burdick (unlimited) ($24,330)
- Jewell Loyd (cored) ($121,500)
- Breanna Stewart (unlimited) ($190,550)
- Jordin Canada (restricted) ($70,040)
- Mercedes Russell (restricted) ($70,040)
- Stephanie Talbot (Limited) ($70,040)
- Carly Samuelson (reserved) ($17,304)
Total average free agent salary: $785,254
Total team salary: $392,964
Cap space: $986,236
This HerHoopStats Mock free agency lets Tina Charles go to the Storm. This is going to be a major development, so I think it’s worth bringing it up as a scenario. You can check out a YouTube video of the mock free agency team discussing it below. Discussion by Tina Charles starts at 27:28:
The Storm could let go of Mercedes Russell, Stephanie Talbot and Epiphany Prince for Charles. Em Adler, keep an eye on the storm Next Talbot “may leave” and prince ‘May be fired’ Although she thinks the team wants to keep Talbot as long as possible. Adler would have Storm prioritize Russell over Jordin Canada, but in this case, Charles would replace Russell and you still have a good backup center in Ezi Magbegor.
Parting ways with Russell, Talbot and Prince could leave the Storm with enough money to keep Canada and get Charles.
This HerHoopStats Mock free agency has fake GM Kevin Pelton ESPN A deal with Charles for $170,000, just $5,000 less than the pay cut she took to create a winner in Washington. We know Charles has a history of taking pay cuts in pursuit of championships, so it makes sense.
Charles gets $170,000, Storm will keep Breanna Stewart and Jewell Loyd at the top, Katie Lou Samuelson at $72,141, Ezi Magbegor at $60,471, Kennedy Burke at $72,141, Mikiah Herbert Harrigan at $73,211, 9th The pick remained at $66,306, with a second-round pick at $63,389 and waived Cierra Burdick and Karlie Samuelson. That would cost them $345,353 between Sue Bird and Canada. If Bird takes the superseat, Canada will get $117,259. If Canada gets a high offer elsewhere, Bird may be willing to take a pay cut like Charles, who deserves a supermax salary more than Bird’s age.
Adler did make a good point, though, that Canada’s score is a question mark.
There is another way to keep Russell and Canada. By giving up the dream of creating a superteam with Charles, the Storm can stick to the core that will lead them to the 2020 championship. They could even keep Talbot and Prince, which would give them last year’s top-9 scorers and minutes scorer. Talbot will receive $95,000 in compensation, Prince will take a pay cut to $95,000, and if Bird takes a pay cut of $201,953, Russell and Canada will receive up to $130,000. Maybe Talbot could be paid a little more and Prince and Canada could be paid a little less. In that case, the Storm would only keep the No. 9 pick in the draft, and they would also waive Herbert Harrigan.
On paper, you can give back almost all of last year’s points, hey, this is the team that won the Commissioner’s Cup, and if Stewart is healthy, it’s likely to beat Phoenix in the playoffs. But Seattle is unlikely to prioritize Prince (34) over Herbert Harrigan, who, despite his modest contribution as a rookie, is 23 and the No. 6 overall pick in the 2020 draft. Burke is third in the Euroleague Women’s League with 18.9 points per game, behind WNBA stars Kyra McBride and Briona Jones. So I will definitely catch her.
Forgoing Russell, Canada and Prince (and still paying Bird supermax while keeping Talbot and a second-round pick) would open the door for a free agent for $192,259. That could be Charles or another big star.
It’s worth mentioning Charles when it comes to the Storm, because they’ve won two of their past four championships and they still have the Big Three that got them there. Charles will only focus on the best teams, and Seattle is one of them.
* All salary figures are from HerHoopStats