Highest-paid coach Becky Hammon leading the Las Vegas Aces as not only head coach, but also general manager is an absolute banger of a way to introduce the 2022 WNBA calendar year.
The San Antonio Spurs NBA assistant was in the running for several head coaching roles in the men’s league, but opted to return to where she became a basketball legend and work for the franchise she starred for (the San Antonio Stars were relocated to Vegas).
“I sat in head coaching interviews [in the NBA] and people said two things: ‘you’ve only been in San Antonio and you’ve never been a head coach,’” Hammon said, according to Business Insiders’ Meredith Cash. [In LV], they saw me as a head coach right now.”
Heck yeah Becky, go where you’re appreciated!
What does Hammon’s signing mean for the WNBA?
A new – and very important – bar has been set. The WNBA just poached one of the most experienced NBA assistant coaches (eight seasons) up for a head coaching position in monetarily historic fashion.
(Also, now the Aces will actually shoot threes 😅)
What kind of team will Hammon be coaching?
A good one regardless of how free agency unfolds. MVP A’ja Wilson is a restricted free agent who’ll return on a big-time deal, and two-time Sixth Woman of the Year Dearica Hamby, last year’s Sixth Woman of the Year Kelsey Plum, Olympic gold medalist Chelsea Gray, and 2019 No. 1 pick Jackie Young are all locked in.
The question will be if 6-foot-8 All-Star Liz Cambage or Hall of Famer-to-be Angel McCoughtry return as unrestricted free agents, and if not, who will replace them. Players can start negotiating deals on Jan. 15, and sign Feb. 1.
Aces championship futures odds: +250 (bet $100 → $250)
The Takeaway 🎲
The Aces took a trip to the Finals two seasons ago, and the semis last. Most of their talent will return, and free agents will eye Vegas as a championship-contending city. The next three weeks will shape the franchise’s new look, but feel comfy considering them to go the distance even before we know for sure.