WNBA Free Agency Tracker

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WNBA Free Agency starts on January 15th when teams can begin speaking with all free agents. To keep you up to date on the (hopeful) madness, Winsidr has put together this Free Agency Tracker. We will be updating this as players signs, we learn more about a player’s status, rumors fly around, and when we find out all the details of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement.

So bookmark this page and keep coming back until the end of free agency.

Free Agents

Winsidr’s list of free agents has been confirmed by league sources to Aryeh Schwartz. We will supplement this list with more information about player’s status or rumors about them. It’s also important to note that this list doesn’t include players with 3 years or less of WNBA service since they can only negotiate with their current teams. The number of core designations are from Across the Timeline, an absolutely amazing resource. We are still working to confirm those numbers.

Atlanta Dream

  • Angel McCoughtry, unrestricted free agent (UFA)
  • Alex Bentley, UFA

Chicago Sky

  • Courtney Vandersloot, UFA
    • Cored once (2019)
    • Re-signed with Chicago Sky
  • Allie Quigley, UFA
    • Cored once (2018)
    • Re-signed with Chicago Sky
  • Stefanie Dolson, UFA
    • Re-signed with Chicago Sky
  • Kayla Alexander, UFA
  • Kahleah Copper, Restricted Free Agent (RFA)
    • Re-signed with Chicago Sky
  • Jamierra Faulkner, RFA
    • Will not play this coming season
  • Astou Ndour, RFA
    • Traded to Dallas Wings for 2021 first-round pick

Connecticut Sun

  • Layshia Clarendon, UFA
    • Signed with New York Liberty
  • Shekinna Stricklen, UFA
    • Signed with Atlanta Dream
  • Rachel Banham, RFA
    • Traded to Minnesota Lynx for 2nd round pick in 2020 draft
  • Jonquel Jones, RFA 
    • Re-Signed with Sun
  • Morgan Tuck, RFA
    • Traded to the Storm along with the 11th pick for the 7th pick in the 2020 draft
  • Courtney Williams, RFA
    • Traded to Atlanta Dream

Dallas Wings

  • Skylar Diggins-Smith, UFA
  • Glory Johnson, UFA 
    • Cored once (2019)
    • Signed with Atlanta Dream
  • Megan Gustafson, UFA (as replacement player) 
    • Re-Signed by Dallas
  • Imani McGee-Stafford, RFA
    • Re-Signed by Dallas
  • Brooke McCarty-Williams, UFA

Indiana Fever

  • Betnijah Laney, RFA 
    • Re-signed with Indiana Fever
  • Tiffany Mitchell, RFA
    • Re-signed with Indiana Fever

Las Vegas Aces

  • Tamera Young, UFA
  • Carolyn Swords, UFA 
    • Retired, joined Aces business staff
  • Sydney Colson, UFA 
    • Signed with Chicago Sky
  • Sugar Rodgers, UFA
    • Re-Signed with Las Vegas Aces
  • Epiphanny Prince, UFA 
    • Signed with Seattle Storm
  • Liz Cambage, RFA
    • Aces are continuing talks with Liz Cambage in hopes of finalizing her return to Vegas, the team told

Los Angeles Sparks

Minnesota Lynx

  • Seimone Augustus, UFA
    • Signed with Los Angeles Sparks
  • Danielle Robinson, UFA 
    • Signed with Las Vegas Aces

New York Liberty

Phoenix Mercury

  • DeWanna Bonner, UFA
    • Cored four times (2015, 2016, 2018, 2019); Can no longer be cored
    • Traded to Sun for 2 first-round picks in the 2020 draft and a future first-round pick
  • Brittney Griner, UFA
  • Camille Little, UFA
    • Retired after last season, but was on the lists of free agents that Winsidr received
  • Essence Carson, UFA 
  • Leilani Mitchell, UFA
    • Signed with Washington Mystics

Seattle Storm

  • Sue Bird, UFA
    • Cored twice (2008 and 2009) according to Exhibit 4 of the 2014-2019 WNBA Collective Bargaining Agreement
    • Re-signed with Seattle Storm
  • Courtney Paris, UFA 
  • Shavonte Zellous, UFA

Washington Mystics

Salary Cap and Salaries

With the release of the full CBA, we now know how all the salaries will shake out over the next five years. The 2020 salary cap jumped by more than 25% from 2019 and increase by 3% each year. The salary cap for the next 4 years are as follows: 2020-$1,300,000 million; 2021-$1,339,000; 2022-$1,379,200; 2023-$1,420,500. 

The maximum salaries, in turn, got bumped up. The new maximum base salary for players with 6 years of service or more returning to their teams, core-designated players, and/or drafted rookies on rookie extensions or the “Supermax” is $215,000 in 2020; $221,450 in 2021; $228,094 in 2022; and $234,936 in 2023. For all other players including any player signing with a new team, the new maximum base salary or the “minimax” is $185,000 in 2020; $190,550 in 2021; $196,267 in 2022; and $202,154 in 2023.

For more on how the max salary bump is affecting top free agents, check out this piece I wrote which also covers core designations and sign-and-trades:

The changes to the WNBA CBA affecting top 2020 free agents

The CBA also benefits players on the opposite end of the salary spectrum. The 2020 minimum base salary went up to $57,000 for players with two years or less of service and $68,000 in 2020 for players with 3 years of service or more (except those on rookie scale contracts signed in 2020 and beyond). The minimum increases by about 3% each year. Players making less than minimum entering this season will get bumped up to new minimum in 2020 and any subsequent year when they were scheduled to make less than the minimum.

Team Cap Space estimates:

I used the CBA, High Post Hoops and Spotrac’s salary databases, and a lot of digging to make my salary cap estimates. I can’t guarantee complete accuracy because the WNBA still lacks transparency in terms of contract details like salary. But with the tools we have available, my cap room estimates are as up-to-date and accurate as possible.  If you’d like more details, sign up for the Winsidr Patreon account to see my full salary sheets for each team that will be updated with each move in free agency.

NOTES:

  • My cap room estimates includes cap holds for reserved, restricted, and core qualifying offers. This is the likeliest reason for any differences with other sources.

Player Designations

The following player designations from the WNBA’s website are based the previous CBA. Until we have the full text of the new CBA, we don’t know the exact rules applying to each category other than the core designation.

  • Core Players: The Core designation gives a team exclusive negotiating rights with a player. Players can receive a Core designation only 3 times in their career. Under the previous CBA, players could be cored four times over their career. Starting with the 2022 offseason, a player can only be cored twice in their careers.
    • Think of it as the NFL Franchise Tag
    • Results in a one-year contract at the maximum base salary
    • 2019 Example: Tina Charles, New York Liberty
  • Reserved Players: Players with 3 or fewer years of service. The player’s prior team has exclusive negotiating rights.
    • Either the player signs with their prior team or they don’t play in the WNBA.
    • 2019 Example: Kayla Thornton, Dallas Wings
  • Restricted Free Agents: Players with 4 of service are considered to be Restricted Free Agents. Restricted free agency gives the player’s prior team the right to keep the player by matching a contract offer the player signs with another team (Right of First Refusal).
    • If the player signs a contract offer with another team, the player’s prior team has four days from the date it receives the offer to determine whether it wishes to match.
    • If the offer is matched, the player will remain with her team.
    • If the offer is not matched within the four-day period, the player will be under contract with the offering team.
    • 2019 Example: Natasha Cloud, Washington Mystics (signed offer sheet with NY)
  • Unrestricted Free Agents: Players with 5 or more years of service can become unrestricted free agents. Under the old CBA, a player needed 6 years of service to hit unrestricted free agency. An unrestricted free agent is free to sign with any team as long as she is not designated a Core Player by her prior team.
    • 2019 Example: Essence Carson, Phoenix Mercury (left LA)

 

 

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