Wednesday was a much anticipated day within WNBA circles as it was the first day of this year where players could officially sign with new teams or resign with their incumbent franchises.
The biggest shoe to drop remains Elena Delle Donne, who was previously announced to having been traded from the Chicago Sky to the Washington Mystics. That deal has not yet been finalized and the behind-the-scenes movers and shakers that are putting everything together spoke on conditions of anonymity to the Associated Press.
In the meantime, another Sky player did make a free agent move as Erika de Souza signed with the San Antonio Stars.
She has spent 11 years in the league and is a former WNBA All-Star. She won a championship in 2002 with the Los Angeles Sparks and her career also includes stops in Connecticut, Atlanta, and Chicago. For her career, she has averaged nearly 10 points per game including a high of 13.8 with the Dream in 2014.
In addition, de Souza also participated for the Brazilian Olympic team last year throughout the course of the Rio de Janiero Olympics.
— Erika de Souza #14 (@erikasouza14) February 1, 2017
In terms of free agents, Layshia Clarendon also re-signed with the Atlanta Dream. The contract is multi-year.
In her first season with the Dream, she compiled 10.4 points per game along with 4.3 rebounds and 3.5 assists—all career highs.
Clarendon arrived in Atlanta after three seasons in Indiana with the Fever.
This team, staff, and city have been an unexpected blessing and I’m so grateful for their belief in me. I’m committed to helping grow this franchise and working towards a championship.
There were also signings from two other unrestricted free agents. One was Plenette Pierson who will be heading north to Minnesota with the Lynx.
Pierson brings 14 years of experience to Minnesota—a team expected to once again contend for a championship in 2017. She also brings a championship pedigree to her new team as she has won two titles in her career.
She has averaged 10 points and over four rebounds in her career and is a former Sixth Woman of the Year.
Plenette is a very versatile player and will be able to impact our frontcourt off the bench with her dynamic presence on the court and her ability to connect at the three-point line.
–Lynx Executive Vice President Roger Griffith
The second was that of Erlana Larkins, who resigned with the Indiana Fever. Larkins will soon be starting her eighth season in the league in addition to her sixth in Indiana.
In 2014, she posted career highs in points per game (9.7) and rebounds per game (9.2). For her career, Larkins has averaged 6.3 points per game along with 5.8 rebounds.
The list of free agents that still remain available include Kristi Toliver, Alana Beard, and Essence Carson from last year’s defending champion LA Sparks. Brittney Griner and Sugar Rodgers are also available as restricted free agents.
Prior to San Antonio’s de Souza signing, the Stars made another move the previous day—the trade of three-time All-Star Danielle Robinson to the Phoenix Mercury in exchange for Isabelle Harrison and Phoenix’s 2017 first-round WNBA Draft pick.
Robinson was in three consecutive All-Star Games between 2013 and 2015 and had a career high of 6.7 assists in 2013. She also ranks in the top 10 in assists averaged in the league’s history, but missed the 2016 season due to injury. She also boasts a shooting percentage of nearly 46 percent.
She is an elite point guard and legitimate All-Star in this league who can create for herself and others, and whose game really compliments Diana Taurasi and Brittney Griner. This is an acquisition that absolutely helps with our goal to win a championship in 2017.
–Mercury General Manager Jim Pitman
Harrison was the 12th overall pick in the 2015 WNBA Draft by Phoenix out of the University of Tennessee. She got about seven minutes of playing time on average last year in her rookie season.
The Stars welcome Isabelle Harrison to San Antonio and believe she will be a great, youthful addition to our post rotation.
–Stars General Manager Ruth Riley