As of Monday, free agents in the WNBA will be permitted to sign with teams.
Several players already have indicated their intentions for the upcoming season. Candace Parker, for instance, is expected to sign with the Chicago Sky after 13 seasons with the Los Angeles Sparks. Sue Bird, meanwhile, expects to stay with the Seattle Storm.
The Connecticut Sun’s roster could be shaken up a bit considering six players from the 2020 team are unrestricted free agents. (Brionna Jones is the only restricted free agent.) That’s more than half the team’s roster, for those counting.
As we learned last season, things can change rapidly after free agents are permitted to sign new contracts. The Sun saw two of its top players — Courtney Williams and Shekinna Stricklen — head to the Atlanta Dream after a wildly successful 2019 campaign. It proved anything can happen in free agency, no matter how good a team might be.
There are a number of questions facing the Sun as signings loom. Here are some of the biggest:
1. How will the team address the Alyssa Thomas situation?
Thomas is out indefinitely after undergoing surgery to repair a torn Achilles tendon. It’s unclear just how the Engine’s injury has impacted her negotiations with the Sun, if at all. But either way, it’s an issue Connecticut must address this offseason considering Thomas could miss the entire 2021 season.
2. Is Jasmine Thomas indeed back?
A report from Winsidr this week suggested Thomas will return on a multi-year deal. This, of course, has not been confirmed by the team. But should the rumor be true, it’ll be a pivotal move in ensuring the Sun’s starting five remains strong.
3. Which players are worth keeping?
Sure, this is a fairly basic question. And we’ve got a few players in mind we think are worth keeping. But the negotiation process is a two-way street. And as we’ve seen in recent offseasons, the two sides aren’t always on the same page.
Roster balance also will play a key role in some of the team’s upcoming decisions.
4. Which players should the team part ways with?
Like the last question, this one is pretty generic. But in the end, the chances of every player returning next season are slim. The bigger issues at hand here, as previously noted, are finances and roster balance.
5. Where will the Sun need help?
The answers to this question will fluctuate depending on how some free agent negotiations pan out. Of course, losing Alyssa Thomas long-term will play into Connecticut’s needs at forward. But the rest of the conversation will largely lean on who stays and who goes.