Chicago

Where do the Sky go from here?

The writing was there on the wall the whole time.

Not enough people looked and the ones that did refused to acknowledge what they saw. Maybe it made the reality of what was to come more manageable if they convinced themselves it wasn’t actually happening.

But when Candace Parker walked off the court after the Sky’s semifinals Game 5 collapse to the Connecticut Sun it was clear as day that she wasn’t coming back. It’s not because she wasn’t interested in re-signing, either. In fact, as recently as last week the two-time WNBA champion was seriously considering re-signing with the Sky.

Ultimately, though, they failed to lock in pieces that could entice her to stay, bringing us back to her walk off the court. It was a moment that signaled the Sky no longer had the juice to attract championship-caliber players in free agency, marking the end of their title-contending window.

So, what should the Sky do now?

Lock in, fans because a rebuild is imminent.

Parker’s exit set in motion a series of moves that are coming down the pipeline, including the possibility that Courtney Vandersloot is signed away from the Sky. By signing Parker the Aces put themselves immediately back into title contention with no real competition in sight.

Becky Hammon’s starting lineup for 2023 will include four former No. 1 overall draft picks and Chelsea Gray who is coming off a season that has many acknowledging her as the league’s top point guard. The only way to compete with a super team is to form your own.

Enter, New York Liberty.

Breanna Stewart has officially narrowed down her landing spot to the Seattle Storm or the Liberty according to WINSIDR’s Rachel Galligan. Combine that with a report from Ramona Shelburne that Vandersloot’s decision will have an influence on Stewart’s and a title contender on the east coast begins to come into focus.

If the Liberty were to add Stewart and Vandersloot to an already stacked roster that includes Sabrina Ionescu and Jonquel Jones that’s a team that could give Parker’s Aces a run for their money.

There’s an ocean that separates the Aces and that potential Liberty roster from the rest of the league.

Without Parker and potentially Vandersloot, too, the Sky will need to retool with 2021 WNBA Finals MVP Kahleah Copper as the player they build around.

Copper averaged a career-high 15.7 points, 5.7 rebounds and 2.3 assists last season playing alongside three other All-Stars in Parker, Vandersloot and Emma Meesseman, who is also an unrestricted free agent. Left to her own devices Copper should have a season that sees her competing with the league’s leading scorers. But she can’t shoulder all the weight if the Sky are going to be remotely competitive.

The league is about to enter a transitional period that will see a colossal shift in competition.

In the last two years, the WNBA has experienced remarkable parity. But Parker’s decision to sign with the Aces puts them in a category all their own. It may force the hand of Stewart and Vandersloot in establishing another formidable opponent. The result of which would leave the rest of the league looking up from a level beneath them.

How Wade fills out his roster as free agency continues will determine whether the Sky are staring up from the middle, or bottom of the league. Without Parker, they have no chance of being near the top.


source
Republic News USA
Republic News USA
Republic News USA
Republic News USA
Republic News USA
Republic News USA
Republic News USA
Republic News USA
Republic News USA
Republic News USA
Republic News USA
Republic News USA
Republic News USA
Republic News USA
Republic News USA
Republic News USA
Republic News USA
Republic News USA
Republic News USA
Republic News USA
Republic News USA
Republic News USA
Republic News USA
Republic News USA
Republic News USA
Republic News USA
Republic News USA
Republic News USA
Republic News USA
Republic News USA
Republic News USA
Republic News USA
Republic News USA
Republic News USA
Republic News USA
Republic News USA
Republic News USA
Republic News USA
Republic News USA
Republic News USA

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button