Predictions for the Sky’s 2023 free agents

It’s that time again when everyone commits to better gym routines, eating healthier, sleeping better and other life-changing goals. As always, the new year is associated with changes.

And for the Sky in 2023, there will be a lot of it.

Coach and general manager James Wade, who had the highest winning percentage of any Ski coach and was the 2022 executive of the year, is locked into the 2025 season. But little else is guaranteed to remain the same. Five members of the roster will become unrestricted free agents in the new year, and according to, Wade will have $931,801 in cap space to re-sign players or go after others.

The period for qualifying offers is January 11-20, and starting January 21, players can participate in contract negotiations. On February 1st, players can start signing.

Here are predictions for the Sky’s unrestricted free agents:

Courtney Vandersloot

After years of re-signing without hesitation while watching franchise player after franchise player leave the Sky, Vandersloot, the No. 3 overall pick in 2011, is now entertaining her options. She made good on her goal of bringing a championship to the team that drafted her. But a year later, she also suffered one of the hardest losses of her career when the Sky were eliminated by the Sun in the semi-finals in September.

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There’s no way that Vandersloot, known for her competitive nature, could leave on that note, right? She’ll be back to make up for that harrowing playoff exit, right?


During the semifinals, she told the Sun-Times that as much as she hates change, she knows it’s something she needs to continue to improve as a player. After 12 years with the same team, what’s a more significant change than joining a new one?

Predictions: Vandersloot, who is originally from the Seattle area, signs a one-year deal with the Storm.

Ally Quigley

After playing for four different teams in her first four years in the WNBA, Quigley, who starred at DePaul, signed with the hometown Sky in 2013 and became one of the league’s greatest shooters. During All-Star weekend last July, she became the first player from the WNBA or NBA to win four three-point shooting contests.

For the past two years, she has been open about considering retirement. Although she has not made a decision about next season, according to her agent, she was open about the subject after the Sky Playoff investigation.

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“The game gave me more than I could have imagined,” Quigley said. “I never imagined it would end up like this or have the career I’ve had, especially doing it in Chicago with my family and meeting my wife.” [Vandersloot]. It was unbelievable. I couldn’t ask for anything better. It was a dream that came true. “

Predictions: Quigley retires after 14 seasons.

Candace Parker

Like Quigley, Parker has been on retirement watch since last year, and believes that when she is unable to play at the standard she holds herself to, she will hang it up. Last month, she said she was planning to return for her 16th WNBA season.

“Now, yeah, I’m game,” she said on sportswriter Richard Deitsch’s sports-media podcast.

Parker, who grew up in Naperville, cites Vandersloot’s role in convincing her to sign a two-year deal with the Sky in 2021. During the free-agency period, it could be Parker trying to convince Vandersloot to return for one more year Together.

Predictions: Parker re-signs for one year with the Sky.

Azurá Stevens

In three seasons in Chicago, Stevens has shown she deserves a starting role in the WNBA, and there are a number of teams she would fit in seamlessly with. The Skies are one of them, but her return is contingent on her role.

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If Stevens is part of the foundation on which Wade builds the future, along with Kahleah Copper, she will return. But she won’t return to averaging 22 minutes per game.

Predictions: Stevens signs a multi-year deal with the Sky.

Emma Messeman

Signing Meesseman was the move that cemented Wade’s status as executive of the year. The Belgian forward easily fits into the Sky system in place of Stefanie Dolson and has years of experience playing with Vandersloot, Quigley and others in the organization.

However, throughout the last season, Meesseman has been vocal about his inability to spend enough time with family. The WNBA’s new prioritization rule adds another layer to her struggle, requiring players to be on the market at the start of training camp or face a fine and to be on the market at the start of the season or be forced to leave it. During exit interviews, Meesseman was adamant that the rule does not take international players into consideration.

Predictions: Meesseman opted out of the 2023 WNBA season.


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