The 2022 WNBA season is somewhat only a week in rearview, and six finalists — Aja Wilson, Kelsey Bloom, Chelsea Gray, Alyssa Thomas, Breona Jones, plus Sun coach Kurt Miller — have already moved on to playing basketball in the States United States of America. The ongoing FIBA World Cup in Australia. But while the members of the title-winning Aces and the second-placed Sun focus on international play, it’s never too early to start thinking about what W will look like next spring. So here are five burning questions poised to shape what’s out of season and what’s coming up.
What would Breanna Stewart do in free agency?
Stewart was a storm surge in 2022, as she put together one of the best seasons of her career. She averaged 21.8 points, 7.6 rebounds, 2.9 assists, and 1.6 steals per game, all while shooting 47.2% from the field. For her efforts, she placed second, after Wilson, in the MVP vote and third in the Defensive Player of the Year vote. She played a central role as Seattle propelled Las Vegas into the league semifinals.
With her team’s 3-1 defeat, she immediately became the biggest free agent in an off-season. Last winter, Stewart re-signed with The Storm on a one-year deal, positioning herself to hit the unrestrained agency market as the calendar turned to 2023. Before returning to storm last winter, Stewart, a native of Syracuse, New York , accompanied by Copper Liberty – including team owners Joe and Clara Wu Tsai – as part of its operation. In Stewart’s exit interview in September, she said that the free agency last year reminded her of the college hiring process, and helped her learn about what the league is all about.
“Honestly, I just don’t know,” she said of how she plans to tackle the off-season this year. “I know I’m going to Australia; I’m going to play [Fenerbahçe in Turkey] in january. And we’ll see what happens with prioritization, which is a whole ‘other ball game’.
With Sue Bird now officially retired, Storm will indeed look different next season, no matter what Stewart decides. In her exit interview, Stewart acknowledged that seeing how the city welcomed Bird could play a role in her thinking.
“I clearly understood that Seattle did a lot for me,” she said. “Only this appreciation, you can’t help but think about the way Sue has been here throughout her career, the way the city has always supported her, and wanted to.”
Four-time winner Joel Lloyd remains under contract, and Stewart’s return will keep Seattle in the title race. But losing the superstar forward could dramatically reshape next year’s team’s look – and play. In terms of suitors, Liberty will have to go through some gymnastics on the roster to sign Stewart, but adding a player of her caliber to cornerstone Sabrina Ionescu, Petnia Lani and Natasha Howard will undoubtedly boost the franchise’s title prospects. Perhaps other teams will also appear in the search to sign one of the league’s biggest stars.
How will the new prioritization rules affect free agency?
It will be the word of the absin define the prioritiesStarting next spring, the WNBA will have a policy in place that will affect the dynamics between outdoor and domestic play. In simpler terms, starting in 2023, it will become a punishment for missing the start of a WNBA training camp, and players after their third year in the W will be fined 1% of their base pay for each day missed. A player, with exceptions such as national team commitments or being a rookie, sophomore or sophomore player, who will miss the start of the regular season due to these obligations, will then be suspended for the duration of the WNBA regular season. On 24, players will be suspended, again with exceptions, throughout the season if they are late for training camp.
Stewart, among other voices, acknowledged that politics is “one of the biggest breaks in contact between players and the WNBA Board of Regents.” It has the potential to force players to decide whether they want to compete in the WNBA or play for an outside team that might pay them a higher salary and has a schedule that stretches into late spring. In the finals, Commissioner Kathy Engelbert was asked if there was any consideration of loosening the rule if it meant losing star players, and she said: “The owners have really stepped up the compensation side for players in this collective bargaining cycle, and I think the kind of trade-off for that was prioritizing, emerging On time for our season. And quite frankly after 36 years in my world of work, there has never been a single time where I wasn’t required to show up on time.”
She added that the league, through financial incentives, is trying to “minimize giving players a reason to stay at home and a reason to prioritize the WNBA” and noted that younger players would not be affected by the change. However, she hopes the veterans will return and “build the chemistry needed for a tournament culture.”
However, Engelbert added, “We understand that the players will make the best decision for themselves and their family. We see that over and over again.” Notable players she could impact the most include two-time All-Star striker Emma Messman and All-Defensive 2022 second team striker Gabby Williams, both of whom have had international play – whether with a national team or local club – who kept them abroad through seasons. WNBA past.
How will the training circuit play?
There are currently three WNBA coaching positions that must be filled. Sparks is looking to hire a coach after Derek Fisher was fired mid-season. So do Pfeffer, who left Hall of Fame coach Marian Stanley in late May and elected not to retain interim coach Carlos Knox. Last week, the wingers announced that they have chosen not to exercise the team option in coach Vicki Johnson’s contract and said they would begin the search for their next coach immediately.
Expect to hire from Fever in the near future, as General Manager Lin Dunn She said in a podcast shared on the team’s website last week that she believes the team “In perfect condition now To get someone on board by early October.” One of the things to aim for, Dunn said, is having a candidate with “great” experience coaching WNBA players. She also looks up to someone with high energy, because she said, “We’re working from the bottom and we have to go straight up that long climb over there.” Meanwhile, the incoming Dallas coach will be tasked with figuring out how to make the most of a roster with plenty of talent – and that’s what made the post-season run in back-to-back seasons – but that hasn’t combined well yet.
The future of Sparks is all the more uncertain for the group, with franchisees Ninka and Shane Ogomec set to become unrestricted free agents, and other major shareholders such as bouncers Britney Sykes and Jordan Canada free to sign elsewhere. The club is also looking for a general manager, considering that Fischer has also held the position, which only raises more questions about his next move.
With the 2022 WNBA Finals coming to a close, Sun coach and general manager Kurt Miller has acknowledged that the ’23 Sun will look different than the group he is currently coaching. “We know your team rarely looks the same every year,” Miller said midway through the series. “Our team is different from last year, it was different from the year before and we know it will be different again.”
Part of that difference could come in his front yard, where All-Star center Brionna Jones is set to become an unrestricted free agent. After the loss, Jones said Sports Illustrated She hadn’t thought of what the offseason could bring. Jones said, “Because I have a lot of other things to do and think about before this point.” (Among them he was traveling to Australia to join Team USA at the World Cup.) Her rise to one of the top players in the world came while she had a choppy role on the Connecticut team with other star front players. But by entering the Offseason as one of the biggest names in the market, she has the potential to become the focus of a true franchise in the future — perhaps in Minnesota as a replacement for Sylvia Fowles? Bodyguards Courtney Williams and Natisha Hedman are also unrestricted free agents for The Sun. With a veteran roster that includes Jonquil Jones, Alyssa Thomas, Jasmine Thomas and Deewana Bonner, Miller will have to show prowess to the limit if he is to maintain the rotation that led him to the Finals.
The sky could also look differently going into next season. Courtney Vanderslot is an unrestricted free agent, and while she has spent her entire career up to this point with Chicago, she had off-season meetings with Storm and Lynx. Its trajectory appears to influence the decision made by his wife, skykeeper Ally Quigley, who has not shied away from talk of retirement – she turns 37 in June – but is also an unrestricted free agent. Star co-star Candice Parker, who turns 37 in April, has also been open about what last season may have been her last, and could also sign elsewhere. Add to that the Meesseman and Azurá Stevens also open market, and the Sky team that finished last season with Las Vegas for the best record in the league could change dramatically next spring.
What’s the last thing that happened with Britney Greiner?
More than basketball, as WNBA players blast off in leagues abroad, the situation involved in the Mercury Center is still high on players’ minds. “I just think about her constantly. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about BG,” Aja Wilson said at the finals. “There are always different ways I think about BG. They will be random thoughts because that’s how active they are.”
Sheryl Reeve, Lynx coach and general manager, who currently leads Team USA at the World Cup, added: [been a stalwart of USA Basketball]And that’s something our players have dealt with throughout the season. She is on our minds daily and we will honor her. No one is going to wear a 15. So you just have to find ways to keep making sure she knows it’s being thought of and our players are thinking about it every day.”
On September 16, President Joe Biden met Britney’s wife Cheryl Greiner in the Oval Office in an attempt to reassure her that he was working to get the WNBA star fired. He did so on the same day he met Elizabeth Whelan, sister of ex-US Marine Paul Whelan, who is also currently detained in Russia.
White House Press Secretary Karen-Jean-Pierre said White House Press Secretary Karen-Jean-Pierre He said in a statement. Jean-Pierre added that the meetings came “following previous meetings and conversations that the president, his national security team, and the State Department had with the families of Whelan and Greiner to update them on efforts to secure the release of their loved ones, as quickly as possible.”
Cheryl, in the current situation, She thanked Biden for taking the time to meet with him and discuss his wife and for “the administration’s efforts to secure her.” [Brittney’s] Release. Cheryl wrote: I felt every minute of my seven exhausting months without her. “I look forward to the day my wife comes home.”
In early August, Grenier was convicted on drug smuggling charges and sentenced to nine years in a penal colony by a Russian court. The judge also issued a fine of one million rubles, which is approximately $ 16,300. On August 15, her lawyers appealed her conviction, but they are until mid-September They said they are still waiting for the hearings to start.
Greiner has been in custody since February 17 after being arrested at an airport outside Moscow, after she was accused of carrying e-cigarette cartridges with cannabis oil in her bag. Her eventual return is expected to come via a prisoner exchange with Victor Bout, an imprisoned Russian arms dealer.
Alexander Darshev, Director of the North American Department of the Russian Foreign Ministry, confirmed in August that Russian state news agency TASSShe is seeking to release the bot.
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