Angel McCoughtry made waves this morning with an instagram post. She announced that she would finally play this season for the Atlanta Dream in the season finale on September 8th. However, Angel added that “[i]t’s an honor for all the Atlanta Dream fans to see me in that jersey one more time before the season ends.”
It’s the “one more time” (Angel has since removed that line) that raised so many questions. Pair that with “honor” and the takes have been flying y’all. However, one question that was quickly shut down was her potential retirement. To one comment suggesting she was announcing her retirement, Angel responded “I didn’t say anything in my post about retirement hun.” Whew — now that’s a sigh of relief.
In my last couple articles about the Dream’s trade deadline and draft possibilities, I mentioned that Angel maybe looking toward an opportunity elsewhere after 2019. Could the IG post be the latest tea leaf pointing to her exit?
Since being drafted 1st overall in 2009, McCoughtry has been Atlanta’s franchise star. A Top-20 scorer (5468) in league history with a 19.2ppg career average, she has driven the Dream’s offense for basically the past decade. The Atlanta community loves her and she loves them. Angel even opened the popular McCoughtry’s Ice Cream in the downtown area in 2017 (please visit when you get a chance and try the waffle sandwich – OMG).
The Dream are last in league standings and are all but officially eliminated from the playoffs. For Angel to opt to play in the final game for the last-place Dream, this just seems to indicate much more. She’s been a steady presence on the bench during home games, and fans are always excited to see her. Playing in this upcoming game seems like extending a farewell to the fans. It seems like a chance to give back to those that have supported her through the ups and downs in Atlanta.
Angel has been the subject of trade rumors, or at least interest, for quite some time. Speaking with High Post Hoops in June, Coach Collen referenced teams calling along with their willingness to listen to potential trade scenarios. Obviously the Dream didn’t agree to any deal and McCoughtry remained in Atlanta.
There are many teams that could use a veteran like Angel. Could she join the Lynx in Seimone Augustus’ final season and bring the Lynx back to title contention? Is the lure The Big Apple enough to pair her with Tina Charles for a shot at their first title? Or will she, like a lot of veteran players, opt to head close to home? One would think playing for a stacked Mystics team has to be quite the incentive.
Here’s another thing, was this all just an overreaction and she’ll actually stay in Atlanta? Quite possible.
Either way, with this announcement, one would think the fans will pour out to root for her once more if so.
Maybe agents are thinking that the max figure could be tied to years in the league in the next CBA, in the same way that it rises based on experience in the NBA. Playing this season would make it Angel’s 10th, which could easily be a threshold in that kind of system.