Star Point Guard Courtney Vandersloot will sign with New York Libertyannounced Thursday, boosting Liberty’s chances of winning its first franchise championship in the near future.
The Liberty – the only still-active original franchise not to win a title – made the biggest splash in free agency by recruiting and signing Vandersloot Brianna Stewart trading vs Jonquil Jones. Stewart and Jones won the league’s Most Valuable Player awards in 2018 and 2021, respectively, and are considered to be among the top three players in the world.
#broke down Courtney Vandersloot signs with New York Libertio
– Courtney Vandersloot (@Sloot22) February 2, 2023
Vandersloot’s contract details are still being negotiated as Liberty determines how her and Stewart’s salaries will fit under the hardcover, league sources tell ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne.
Stewart, a two-time Finals MVP who currently plays alongside Vandersloot for Turkey’s Fenerbahce, chose New York on Wednesday and is expected to take much less so Liberty can add Vandersloot, sources tell ESPN.
A four-time All-Star and five-time All-WNBA selection, Vandersloot is widely considered one of the best point guards in league history. After becoming the first WNBA player to average double-digit assists in a season in 2020, she directed Chicago Sky to the franchise’s premier championship in 2021.
Vandersloot has spent her entire career in the WNBA with Sky, who drafted her third overall in 2011 from Gonzaga, before announcing via Instagram on Monday that she will not be returning to Chicago in 2023.
ESPN previously reported that Vandersloot was also considering Sky, Minnesota Linux And Seattle Storm and that her free agency decision would influence Stewart’s decision. Vandersloot grew up in Kent, Washington, not too far from Seattle, so joining the Storm would have been a bit of a homecoming for the guard, whose jersey will be retired at Gonzaga later this month.
A source close to the situation told ESPN that Vandersloot had a hard time saying no to Storm.
Vandersloot’s wife and former Chicago teammate, Sharpshooter Ally Quigleyis sitting out the 2023 WNBA season but has not officially retired.
New York, eliminated in the first round of the playoffs each of the past two seasons, will set its sights on a championship in 2023 after including Vandersloot, Stewart and Jones to round out the No. 1 pick in the 2020 draft. Sabrina Ionesco.
Although Ionescu could play a point guard role, she fared better in the 2022 season — earning her first All-Star and All-WNBA nods — when she was transitioned to an out-of-the-ball role with Crystal Dangerfield point run. Then Vandersloot should slide nicely past Ionescu in the backcourt.
On paper, New York’s toughest challenger appears to be the defending champion Las vigaswith the ace not only twice best player Aja Wilson2022 Finals MVP Chelsea Gray and an All-WNBA selection Kelsey Bloom But also after I signed a two-time MVP Candace Parker And twice champion Alicia Clark earlier this week.
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