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What if I told you that Breanna Stewart, Jonquel Jones, Jewell Loyd, Courtney Vandersloot, Allie Quigley, Tina Charles, Liz Cambage, Sylvia Fowles, Angel McCoughtry, Courtney Williams and Kahleah Copper were all unrestricted free agents able to sign anywhere they wanted in three weeks? Well that’s the damn case, so buckle up.
“Yeah, I think that — I was telling someone I think that this year, this free agency is probably gonna be the biggest free agency since our new CBA,” Stewart told SB Nation. Ooowee!
What makes the 2022 free agency class so exciting is the amount of star players on excellent teams able to take their talents elsewhere. Opposing franchises are likely to sit tight until it’s made clear if Stewie and Loyd are returning to play with Sue Bird, or if Vandersloot, Quigley and Copper will run it back with Candace Parker in Chicago. Those re-signings feel likely.But what if …
With Becky Hammon coming to reinvent the Aces offense, there’s a real possibility the Cambage-A’ja Wilson experiment will come to an end. The dynamic duo improved as co-stars last year, but it still seems they want to operate the same parts of the floor, and they might just be better off apart. So what if Cambage came to L.A., where she’s wanted to be all along, to play for Nneka Ogwumike’s team? The Ogwumike sisters, Cambage, Gabby Williams, and Brittney Sykes together sounds like a playoff team to me.
The Liberty are good and could become great under new head coach Sandy Brondello. Betnijah Laney and Natasha Howard are stars, and Sabrina Ionescu and Michaela Onyenwere are two of the biggest up-and-comers in the league. So what if … Charles decided to come home after a two-year stop in D.C. This isn’t the same team she left in 2020. It’s better, and so is she, coming off an MVP-caliber year.
At 36, Fowles is still one of the best players in the world, and maybe she wants to go elsewhere and chase another championship. The Lynx are a solid group that reached last year’s second round of the playoffs, but with Napheesa Collier expecting her first child in May, the franchise could be without its next-best player for most, if not all of the season. So what if Fowles replaced Charles and starred next to Elena Delle Donne and Ariel Atkins? Sounds like a title contender!