Wednesday, July 24, 2024

2023 WNBA free agency tracker: Top players, signings as Breanna Stewart and Candace Parker find new teams

The 2023 WNBA free agency period is off to a fascinating start, as the league has officially entered its superteam era. Candace Parker kicked things off by signing with the defending champion Las Vegas Aces in a surprise move. In response, Breanna Stewart decided to join up with Jonquel Jones and Sabrina Ionescu on the New York Liberty, and was able to convince Courtney Vandersloot to come with her. With those three moves, the Aces and Liberty appear to be on a collision course for the title. 

Though the biggest names are now off the board, there’s still plenty of moves to come. As the fun continues, here’s everything you need to know about 2023 WNBA free agency:

When did free agency start?

Teams were allowed to start talking with players on Saturday, Jan. 21, but no deals could officially be signed until Feb. 1. While those rules are skirted to some extent — much like in the NBA — teams that are caught breaking them will get punished under the league’s tampering rules. Just last year, the Seattle Storm were fined for announcing a new deal with Sue Bird prior to the official opening of free agency. 

How does WNBA free agency work?

In general, it works just like it does in the NBA. Once free agency begins, teams can start talking to players, who are grouped into different classifications based on their contracts. The majority of players will either be unrestricted (can talk to and sign with any team they want) or restricted (prior team has the ability to match any contract offer). 

There is also a reserved category for players who hit free agency but have fewer than three years of service in the league. Often, these are veterans who entered the WNBA later in their career, but they can also be young players who went undrafted or were not on a typical rookie scale contract. The prior team has exclusive negotiating rights with any reserved player.

Another unique situation is when a player’s contract expires while they are suspended. Those players are technically found to be “withholding services” according to the CBA, as Her Hoops Stats’ Richard Cohen points out, and are then listed as “suspended — contract expired.” In practice, these players are essentially reserved free agents, though the prior team does not need to extend a qualifying offer. 

One final designation to mention is “core players.” Much like the franchise tag in the NFL, teams can decide to “core” a player, which gives that club exclusive negotiating rights, even if they were going to be an unrestricted free agent. Teams must use this maneuver wisely, however, as they are only allowed to use it once per free agency period and a player may only be “cored” three times in their career. 

2023 free agents

Here’s a look at every player in free agency this winter, separated by classification. 

Cored

Brionna Jones

Connecticut Sun

Connecticut Sun

Center

Cored

Unrestricted

Lindsay Allen

Minnesota Lynx

G

Unsigned

Yvonne Anderson

Connecticut Sun

G

Unsigned

Kristine Anigwe

Phoenix Mercury

F/C

Unsigned

Amy Atwell

Los Angeles Sparks

G

Unsigned

Monique Billings

Atlanta Dream

F

Unsigned

Lexie Brown

Los Angeles Sparks

Los Angeles Sparks

G

Signed

Rachel Banham

Minnesota Lynx

G

Unsigned

Katie Benzan

Washington Mystics

G

Unsigned

Kennedy Burke

Seattle Storm

G/F

Unsigned

Maya Caldwell

Atlanta Dream

Indiana Fever

G

Signed

Liz Cambage

Los Angeles Sparks

C

Unsigned

Jordin Canada

Los Angeles Sparks

G

Unsigned

Kaila Charles

Atlanta Dream

G/F

Unsigned

Tina Charles

Seattle Storm

F/C

Unsigned

Alysha Clark

Washington Mystics

Las Vegas Aces

F

Signed

Alaina Coates

Indiana Fever

C

Unsigned

Nia Coffey

Atlanta Dream

Atlanta Dream

F

Signed

Sydney Colson

Las Vegas Aces

G

Unsigned

Lorela Cubaj

New York Liberty

F/C

Unsigned

Elissa Cunane

Minnesota Lynx

C

Unsigned

Damiris Dantas

Minnesota Lynx

F

Unsigned

Kaela Davis

Phoenix Mercury

F

Unsigned

Reshanda Gray

Phoenix Mercury

F

Unsigned

Brittney Griner

Phoenix Mercury

C

Unsigned

Isabelle Harrison

Dallas Wings

Chicago Sky

F

Reportedly agreed to deal

Bria Hartley

Connecticut Sun

G

Unsigned

Tianna Hawkins

Washington Mystics

Washington Mystics

F

Signed training camp contract

Moriah Jefferson

Minnesota Lynx

G

Unsigned

Stephanie Jones

Connecticut Sun

F

Unsigned

Tina Krajisnik

Chicago Sky

F/C

Unsigned

Jantel Lavender

Seattle Storm

F

Unsigned

Rui Machida

Washington Mystics

G

Unsigned

Anneli Maley

Chicago Sky

F

Unsigned

Angel McCoughtry

Minnesota Lynx

F

Unsigned

Emma Meesseman

Chicago Sky

F

Unsigned

Nikolina Milic

Minnesota Lynx

F

Unsigned

Tiffany Mitchell

Indiana Fever

Minnesota Lynx

G

Reportedly agreed to deal 

Astou Ndour-Fall

Chicago Sky

F/C

Unsigned

Kia Nurse

Phoenix Mercury

G/F

Unsigned

Chiney Ogwumike

Los Angeles Sparks

F/C

Unsigned

Nneka Ogwumike

Los Angeles Sparks

F

Unsigned

JiSu Park

Las Vegas Aces

C

Unsigned

Candace Parker

Chicago Sky

Las Vegas Aces

F

Signed

Raina Perez

Seattle Storm

G

Unsigned

Theresa Plaisance

Las Vegas Aces

F/C

Unsigned

Epiphanny Prince

Seattle Storm

G

Unsigned

Allie Quigley

Chicago Sky

N/A

G

Reportedly sitting out season

Karlie Samuelson

Phoenix Mercury

G

Unsigned

Jennie Simms

Phoenix Mercury

G

Unsigned

Odyssey Sims

Connecticut Sun

G

Unsigned

Hannah Sjerven

Minnesota Lynx

F/C

Unsigned

Destiny Slocum

Atlanta Dream

G

Unsigned

Kamiah Smalls

Minnesota Lynx

G

Unsigned

Alanna Smith

Indiana Fever

F

Unsigned

Azura Stevens

Chicago Sky

Los Angeles Sparks

F/C

Reportedly agreed to deal

Breanna Stewart

Seattle Storm

New York Liberty

F

Announced plans to sign with Liberty

Kiah Stokes

Las Vegas Aces

C

Unsigned

Brittney Sykes

Los Angeles Sparks

Washington Mystics

G

Signed

Stephanie Talbot

Seattle Storm

Los Angeles Sparks

F

Signed

Diana Taurasi

Phoenix Mercury

G

Unsigned

Sparkle Taylor

Chicago Sky

G

Unsigned

Kristi Toliver

Los Angeles Sparks

Washington Mystics

G

Announced plans to sign with Mystics

Yvonne Turner

Phoenix Mercury

G

Unsigned

Courtney Vandersloot

Chicago Sky

New York Liberty

G

Announced plans to sign

Megan Walker

Atlanta Dream

F

Unsigned

Shatori Walker-Kimbrough

Washington Mystics

Washington Mystics

G

Reportedly agreed to deal

Erica Wheeler

Atlanta Dream

Indiana Fever

G

Signed

Sami Whitcomb

New York Liberty

G

Unsigned

Courtney Williams

Connecticut Sun

Chicago Sky

G

Reportedly agreed to deal

Elizabeth Williams

Atlanta Dream

C

Unsigned

Kiana Williams

Connecticut Sun

G

Unsigned

Restricted

Emma Cannon

Indiana Fever

F

Qualifying offer extended

Bridget Carleton

Minnesota Lynx

F

Qualifying offer extended

Sophie Cunningham

Phoenix Mercury

Phoenix Mercury

G

Reportedly agreed to deal

Megan Gustafson

Phoenix Mercury

C

Qualifying offer extended

Natisha Hiedeman

Connecticut Sun

G

Qualifying offer extended

Marina Mabrey

Dallas Wings

G

Qualifying offer extended

Teaira McCowan

Dallas Wings

Dallas Wings

C

Signed

Shey Peddy

Phoenix Mercury

G

Qualifying offer extended

Victoria Vivians

Indiana Fever

G

Qualifying offer extended

Gabby Williams

Seattle Storm

F

Qualifying offer extended

Reserved

Anna Cruz

Minnesota Lynx

G

Qualifying offer extended

Crystal Dangerfield

New York Liberty

Dallas Wings

G

Signed

Rennia Davis

Indiana Fever

Indiana Fever

G/F

Signed training camp contract

AD Durr

Atlanta Dream

Atlanta Dream

G

Signed training camp contract

Temi Fagbenle

Indiana Fever

C

Qualifying offer extended

Rebekah Gardner

Chicago Sky

G

Qualifying offer extended

Joyner Holmes

Connecticut Sun

C

Signed training camp contract

Marine Johannes

New York Liberty

G

Qualifying offer extended

Jazmine Jones

Washington Mystics

G

Signed training camp contract

Ezi Magbegor

Seattle Storm

F/C

Qualifying offer extended

Beatrice Mompremier

Atlanta Dream

C

Qualifying offer extended

Khayla Pointer

Indiana Fever

Indiana Fever

G

Signed training camp contract

Nayo Raincock-Ekunwe

New York Liberty

F/C

Kianna Smith

Los Angeles Sparks

G

Qualifying offer extended, rights traded to Sun

Sam Thomas

Phoenix Mercury

Phoenix Mercury

G

Signed training camp contract

Evina Westbrook

Washington Mystics

G/F

Signed training camp contract

Han Xu

New York Liberty

C

Qualifying offer extended

Suspended — contract expired

Bernadett Hatar

Indiana Fever

C

Tiffany Hayes

Atlanta Dream

G

Chelsey Perry

Indiana Fever

Indiana Fever

F

Signed training camp contract

Kylee Shook

New York Liberty

F

Maria Vadeeva

Los Angeles Sparks

F/C

Amanda Zahui B.

Los Angeles Sparks

C

Rights traded to Aces

Cecilia Zandalasini

Minnesota Lynx

F

CBS Sports will continue updating this story

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