For the first time in the league’s 26-year history, the WNBA will have its own free agency special on ESPN. LFG!! LaChina Robinson, Rebecca Lobo, Carolyn Peck and Holly Rowe will host tonight at 5 p.m. E.T. about the first day free agents can officially sign papers.
This is a huge step in continuing the conversation around the most competitive women’s basketball league in the world. While free agency speculation has made the NBA a year-round content machine for the last few decades, the concept is new (but just as important) to the W.
Previously, collective bargaining rules strongly favored teams including a franchise tag called the core player designation. That made for stale signing periods with most teams retaining their superstars. Since the players’ union’s negotiations in 2020 behind President Nneka Ogwumike, the designation’s powers have weakened and the salary cap has risen, turning the tide.
As a result we’ve seen dozens of stars flip teams including Skylar Diggins-Smith to the Phoenix Mercury, DeWanna Bonner to the Connecticut Sun, Chelsea Gray to the Las Vegas Aces, Tina Charles to the Washington Mystics, and, most famously, Candace Parker to the championship-winning Chicago Sky last season
There are a handful of huge names in negotiations including Tina Charles, Liz Cambage, Breanna Stewart, Courtney Vandersloot, Allie Quigley and more. We love to see it!