WNBA free agency is fully underway. As of February 1, eligible players may sign with new teams, and their best friends are coming with them. Here is a rundown of the teams that have gone to the dogs.
Chicago Sky Sign a Triple Threat of Pups
By far the biggest free agency signing of 2021 was Candace Parker returning home to Chicago (also home of Portillo’s hot dogs) and bringing her three pups with her. With this signing, Chicago obtains three new dogs:
This move is particularly exciting because Candace is joining an already stacked Chicago Sky roster. The team includes power couple Courtney Vandersloot and Allie Quigley’s dogs Romeo and Gem, Stefanie Dolson’s Theo, Kahleah Copper’s Sonny, and Gabby Williams’ cat Halle Berry. Diamond DeShields also apparently has access to a horse. Expect big things from the Chicago Sky this season.
Grade: A+++ (CP3 pups)
Washington Mystics Acquire Veteran Sly
In a huge and somewhat unexpected signing, Alysha Clark‘s Sly joined the Washington Mystics. The 2019 WNBA champions were already expected to be favorites again this year with the return of Wrigley Delle Donne, noted pup of MVP Elena. Sly is a versatile addition to the roster: a veteran with tricks up his sleeve who has established himself as WNBA royalty. Also a hot dog.
The Mystics also signed Erica “Bird” McCall and re-signed Tina Charles.
New York Liberty Make Big Move to Acquire Small Dogs
In a blockbuster free agency day, the New York Liberty signed two miniature champions away from the Seattle Storm:
- Natasha Howard’s teacup Dude Matthew Howard. Don’t let Dude’s size fool you – he comes with one of the most dangerous bigs in the game.
- Sami Whitcomb’s Mackie. Mackie is already waiting in the corner of the court at Barclays to sink a crucial 3 pointer.
Unfortunately, in all the activity, the Liberty ended up trading Megan Walker’s Daz to the Phoenix Mercury.
Grade: A++ (2 pups)
Minnesota Lynx Sign a Husky and Two Doodles
Although the Lynx are most associated with cats, Cheryl Reeve, a dog owner herself, went to work this offseason securing a talented new canine lineup.
- Kayla McBride‘s husky Tucker, who has shooting blue eyes:
- Natalie Achonwa‘s two doodles (I heard her doodles are tough, tenacious, intelligent, and selfless, just like their owner):
In addition to these signings, Aerial Powers, resident WNBA gamer, also received the Call of Duty to the Minnesota Lynx.
Grade A+++ (3 Pups)
Connecticut Sun Retain Oliver
Not all big Free Agency moves are about switching teams. The Connecticut Sun solidified their standing by retaining one of their key dogs: Jasmine Thomas‘ Oliver. The impeccably accessorized Oliver, or “Ollie,” is clearly the type of dog that leads by example. He and Jasmine decided to stay on a team where that leadership is valued.
With the re-signing of Brionna Jones and Alyssa Thomas (who is out this season due to injury) also to multi-year deals, the Connecticut Sun have secured their talented core for the future.
Atlanta Dream Sign a Passionate Dog Mom
The Dream signed free agent Cheyenne Parker. Cheyenne sadly lost her two huskies Simba & Legend in 2020, but her other pup is likely coming with her. The duo are some of the hardest working in the WNBA, continually improving their games. No comment on what else Parker is bringing to Atlanta.
Additionally, Courtney Williams, who is already under contract with the Dream, acquired her own free agent, a King Spalding she named Dime.
Grade: A++ (2 pups)
Huge Change for Hugo
The Los Angeles Sparks signed Amanda Zahui B.’s Hugo, in a move Zahui broke herself on social media. Hugo is a badass lockerroom presence and developing star, who I’m sure Sparks fans can’t wait to see in action.
Grade: A+ for Hugo; D for LA Sparks losing 3 pups and replacing with 1
A Morkie in Hand Is Worth Two in the Bush?
Perhaps reeling from the loss of Mackie and Dude, the Seattle Storm traded the #1 draft pick for Katie Lou Samuelson and Malibu the morkie. Some have doubted the move, questing whether Lou’s lethal 3-point shooting is enough to justify trading the top pick. But why risk the chance that the top pick doesn’t have a pet that puts in the work like Malibu?
Grade: A+ for Malibu; C for Seattle losing 2 pups and replacing with 1
Las Vegas Aces Do Not Have a Ruff Offseason
The Aces signed Chelsea Gray, re-signed Dearica Hamby, and cored Liz Cambage, who has yet to sign. All of them are elite players but none of them appear to have pets. Just more rivalry fuel for the Sky.
Grade: F (No known pups)
More Animal Crossings to Come
Not all free agents have yet found their landing place. Check back here for updates as they come in.
For deeper free agency analysis, ask someone else. For more WNBA Dogs, you can check out my working guide.
For more WNBA content from Sports Are From Venus, click here.
Cover Image Source: Associated Press Images. Other images sourced from the players’ public social media accounts.