WNBA free agency in 2022: Chicago Sky team wants to defend the championship - Sports1
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WNBA free agency in 2022: Chicago Sky team wants to defend the championship

The Chicago Sky team is the WNBA champion. Becoming a world champion has a price. Some players will want to be paid more, while others will want to leave to take on more important roles. Given that the Sky currently has only 4 players signed in the 2022 season, James Wade will have many difficult decisions to make, because he has to figure out which players to bring back, which players to leave, and which players to pass free agency or trade.

By number*

Free agent (type) (average salary in 2021) (qualified offer)

  • Stefanie Dolson (unlimited) ($175,00)
  • Kahleah Copper (unrestricted) ($165,00)
  • S By Shakira Eau Florale (Unlimited) ($70,040)
  • Courtney Vandersloot (unlimited) ($200,00)
  • Allie Quigley (unrestricted) (194,000)
  • Mary Kant (unrestricted)
  • Diamond DeShields (Restricted) (US$70,040) (US$73,542)
  • Lexie Brown (Restricted) (US$47,185) (US$72,141)

Team characters

Total average free agent salary: $949,723

Total team salary (including Candice Parker, Azura Stevens, Lucy Herbard and Dana Evans, but not the other players mentioned above): $470,985

Maximum space: $908,215


Kahleah Copper has become one of the best players in the WNBA.
Photograph by Randy Belice/NBAE via Getty Images

With the return of the four players of the Sky team, unrestricted free agents and restricted free agents, the Sky team cannot bring everyone back. Although this may be ugly to Skytown, it is true. The sky will have to spend money wisely. It is very likely that Vandersloot and Quigley will either stay or leave.They are teammates in Chicago, UMMC in Russia, and even them in life Marry each other. Therefore, bringing back your starting point guard and key shooter would be ideal. However, this will cost you approximately US$400,00, so you have to decide whether it is worth combining the two together or saving this money and using it in different directions.

Kahleah Copper may become the main priority. She performed well throughout the season and was the MVP of the WNBA Finals. Sky can indeed choose core players, which means they can give them a one-year super-max contract. Regardless of his status as a free agent, the player must sign with the team. Doing so will pay a high price. This season’s super maximum salary is $228,094, which will take up a lot of cap space and make Copper the highest paid player on the team. Considering her performance, it seems that someone should get the money, and that is KFC.

Now that Sky has provided qualified offers to Diamond DeShields and Lexie Brown, we will have to wait to see if another team offers a higher offer and whether Sky will match. Lexie Brown is still very young and there is still room for growth. De Shields has some huge highs, just like she did in the 2019 All-Star season, but there are also some lows. It will be interesting to see how this unfolds in the coming weeks.

In the end, the sky is in a great place. They are champions, they have some key players back, and there is enough cap space to prioritize the players they think are the most valuable. The challenge is to get these players back and pick the right players to pursue. General manager/head coach James Wade did a great job in this regard throughout his tenure in Chicago. However, with so many places hanging in the balance, if he wants to defend his title in a good position, he must play more balls than he missed this offseason.

* All salary figures come from HerHoopStats

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