This has been one of the most animated WNBA off-seasons in recent years. Considering the exciting WNBA playoffs and electrifying finals that concluded the 2021 season, it’s no surprise that fans are waiting to see how the league’s landscape will shift for 2022.
When the New York Liberty hired veteran coach Sandy Brondello, she and the team’s general manager Jonathan Kolb made no secret of the fact that they’d be looking to sign a couple of key free agents. With the team settled into Barclays Center and on the upswing, it is much more enticing for a top player to consider signing with the Liberty.
Some of the names tossed around as being courted by the Liberty include Breanna Stewart and Jewell Loyd of the Seattle Storm and Stefanie Dolson of the Chicago Sky. Stewart has signed with the Storm for another year, which makes sense because this likely will be Sue Bird’s final WNBA season. As Stewart and Bird not only share the UConn bond, they have also played together on two Olympic teams, which makes for a very compelling reason for Stewart to stay in Emerald City, not to mention it’s a supermax contract. Loyd will also stay with the Storm for 2022 and 2023, and the team has given her core status.
While Tina Charles will not return to the Washington Mystics, she will also not be coming back to New York. The Queens native is rumored to be headed to the Phoenix Mercury where she will play alongside Olympic teammates Diana Taurasi and Brittney Griner. Departing Phoenix is Bronx native daughter Kia Vaughn, who was traded to the Atlanta Dream.
As for Dolson, all signs are pointing toward her coming to Brooklyn. She had an amazing year in 2021, winning Olympic gold as a member of the U.S. women’s 3×3 team. Then she won her first WNBA title with the Sky. The two-time NCAA Champion is a powerful inside presence at 6-foot-5 and can bring a new dimension to the Liberty.
Other free agent news includes reigning WNBA MVP Jonquel Jones re-signing with the Connecticut Sun, intent on leading the team to its first WNBA title. Four-time Olympic gold medalist Sylvia Fowles said this will be her final WNBA season and she will remain with the Minnesota Lynx. The 2022 WNBA season kicks off on May 6.