WNBA free agency: Candace Parker signs with Aces after two seasons with hometown Sky
Defending champion Las Vegas Aces officially signed two-time MVP Candace Parker, the team announced Wednesday when the 2023 WNBA free agency moratorium was lifted. Terms of the deal have not been announced, but it’s a one-year contract, according to Rachel Galligan.
“We are thrilled to have Candace Parker join the Aces family,” Aces GM Natalie Williams said in a press release. “Candace is a future Hall of Famer, a proven champion, and most importantly, an incredible woman. She’s a talented game designer, exceptional leader, and an invaluable piece in our quest for another championship title. We look forward to welcoming Candace and her family to Las Vegas.”
Parker, who played the past two seasons with the Chicago Sky, revealed his decision in a lengthy Instagram post over the weekend. She indicated that she wanted to play somewhere closer to his wife and children, who reside on the West Coast, which made the Aces an ideal landing spot as she chases her third WNBA title.
“I have to be there for my daughter, for my son, for my wife,” Parker wrote on Instagram. “I can’t be without them during parts of the season when Lailaa is at school and I won’t miss her volleyball games or her school dances just because of the distance. Lailaa is starting high school in August and I have to be there for her, just like she was there for me.
“After evaluating the landscape with my family, we decided the Las Vegas Aces was the right organization for us at this point in our lives.”
Parker also expressed his gratitude to the Sky and the entire city of Chicago for their support during his time there.
“I always appreciate everyone in Chicago – our fans, teammates, coaches and owners,” Parker wrote. “But more than the past two seasons, I’m grateful for the city that raised me, the childhood friends I still have to this day, the teachers I still learn from, and the moments that will forever remain in my heart .”
Parker publicly considered retiring for a few years, but even at 36 he is still one of the best players in the league. She averaged 13.2 points, 8.6 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game last season and made her seventh All-Star appearance. During her two seasons in Chicago, she helped her hometown Sky win the first title in franchise history in 2021 and finished with a franchise-record 26 regular-season wins in 2022.
It should be noted that the Aces managed to create the cap space to sign Parker by twice trading Sixth Player of the Year Dearica Hamby to the Los Angeles Sparks in somewhat controversial circumstances. Hamby said the Aces’ management was “unprofessional” and “unethical” towards her after she announced her pregnancy last September. The WNBA Players Association announced that it would investigate the Aces for their treatment of Hamby.