Teams did not wait long to start making moves in free agency. Below is a breakdown of all the updates and roster moves in the WNBA.
Skylar Diggins-Smith will stay in the west signing with the Seattle Storm. Diggins-Smith was one of the most anticipated free agents after a season off for maternity leave and ongoing tension with the Mercury organization. Diggins-Smith is a 4x All-WNBA first-team veteran with loads of experience under her belt. She is ready for the change and already posted a workout video on her Instagram sporting a Seattle Storm shirt.
The Los Angeles Sparks have acquired guard Aari McDonald and the Atlanta Dream’s No. 8 overall pick in the 2024 draft for guard Jordin Canada and the Sparks’ No. 12 overall pick. Aari Mcdonald is entering her fourth season in the WNBA from Arizona. She is scoring 8.6 points and dishing out 2.5 assists on average over her career. McDonald is an energy player who will look to make an impact in LA, while Canada is coming off the best season of her career. In her 2023 campaign she had a career high in average minutes, points, rebounds, assists and free throw percentage and tied her average steals career high. Canada finished runner up for Most Improved Player last year and is going to be looking to take her improved dominance over to the east.
The Minnesota Lynx lost three unrestricted free agents; guards Lindsay Allen, Rachel Banham and Aerial Powers. Allen signed with the Chicago Sky and dished out a career high 4.5 assists last year. Banham returns to the Connecticut Sun after four years in Minnesota. She played her first four seasons in Connecticut before the Lynx. Banham is a sharp shooter shooting a lifetime average of 37.1% from three-point land. She should be a strong role player for the Sun. Powers goes to the Atlanta Dream after averaging a career low in minutes this past season. Powers stated publicly last year that she would be leaving the organization and there was a lot of speculation online about what was going on in Minnesota. Powers went from getting 26.9 minutes in 2022 to 9.8 minutes in 2023. Her scoring decreased from 14.4 to 5.2, rebounding from 4.7 to 1.8 and assists from 2.9 to 0.8. Powers is definitely ready for a new organization and a new start in Atlanta.
Tina Charles is also headed for Atlanta after not being signed by any team last season. Charles has bounced around multiple teams during her run in the WNBA. She played four seasons in Connecticut, then six seasons in New York, one stint in Washington, and then split the 2022 season in Phoenix and Seattle. Charles is nearly averaging a double-double for her career with 18.2 points and 9.3 rebounds. She is a 5x All-WNBA first team, the 2012 MVP and 3x Olympic Gold Medalist. She was also named to W25 in 2021, which named the top 25 best and most influential players in the first 25 years of the WNBA. However Charles is at the tail end of her career and no one knows what she looks like after a year off. An interesting note that Charles played with the Dream coach, Tanisha Wright, in New York which could explain why she was picked up.