WNBA Free Agency Winners 2024: Teams Making Bold Moves for a Championship Run

Explore the 2024 WNBA Free Agency winners as teams make strategic roster additions. Discover how these clubs are preparing for a title run, from the Seattle Storm’s dynamic tandem to the Atlanta Dream’s power-packed additions.

Like many of you, I’ve been glued to social media, constantly checking for the most recent WNBA Free Agency news. Top free agents this season appear to have settled on “Reunited” by Peaches & Herb as their theme song. Reunions between old college teammates, relationships between teammates who became player-coaches, and the reunion of a 12-year veteran player with the league all happen in 2024, and it feels amazing.

Let’s analyze the WNBA free agency winners thus far.

Atlanta Dream

The Dream has been creating something unique, which makes it a sought-after destination for free agents. Even though they made their first postseason trip since 2018, they were still a couple of pieces short of winning it all. Atlanta has now developed into a formidable force because to the addition of guards Jordin Canada and Aerial Powers as well as former league MVP Tina Charles.

Jordin Canada

Jordin Canada (Photo Source: X)

The Dream have struggled at point guard, and Tanisha Wright and Jordin Canada make for an excellent point guard-coach duo. Canada is a quick-witted defensive specialist who was a strong contender for Most Improved Player of the Year the previous season. In 2023, she finished first in the league in steals per game (2.3), adding 13 points and six assists to her total. Along with quickening the offensive tempo, she will have All-Stars Rhyne Howard and Allisha Gray swarming the fast break lanes. Oh my.

After the deal, Wright remarked, “I’ve admired Canada’s defensive prowess from a distance ever since she entered the league.” “The level of skill she brings to her position is simply unteachable.”

Some people were shocked to learn that Tina Charles had signed. The 12-year veteran, who averages 18.2 points and 9.3 rebounds over her career, played in the league for the Seattle Storm in 2022. Charles can be a crucial addition to Cheyenne Parker in the paint and offers a seasoned presence to a youthful, hard-working team. Charles and Coach Wright also have a past together. On The Players’ Pod with Kelley O’Hara in 2021, Charles responded, “I’m going to say, Tanisha Wright,” when asked who in her life had had the largest influence on her career. She changed my perspective, my strategy, what I needed to do, and the accountability aspect during my three seasons as a player with the New York Liberty.

After a career-low in minutes and points with the Minnesota Lynx the previous season, Aerial Powers could find her spark again with the Dream. Her championship pedigree adds value to a team still searching for its first championship. Powers provide the depth they’ll need for a deep playoff run with her length and inventive shot-making skills.

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Seattle Storm

When Nneka Ogwumike said she would not be returning to Los Angeles for her 13th season, the Storm pounced at the chance to sign her as an unrestricted free agent. Ogwumike, the MVP and WNBA Champion from 2016, is maturing like a good wine. Aged 32, she was sixth in terms of rebounding (8.8 RPG) and scoring (19.1 PPG) last season. Ogwumike is a fantastic leader and finisher around the basket, and Seattle needs everything. The Storm finished at the bottom of the league in field goal percentage inside five feet. The enthusiastic crowd at Climate Pledge Arena will have reason to rejoice once more with the addition of Ogwumike to this expanding lineup.

Nneka Ogwumike

WNBA Free Agency Winners 2024: Teams Making Bold Moves for a Championship Run
Nneka Ogwumike (Photo Source: X)

The Storm also badly needed a point guard, so they went out and signed Skylar Diggins-Smith, the finest scoring small forward available. Diggins-Smith placed seventh in assists per game and third in league scoring in 2022, her most recent season. Seattle’s team assists from the previous season ranked 12th. Leading Noelle Quinn’s attack with a dynamic guard who possesses a potent outside stroke and an amazing layup package is an instant improvement.

Finally, she will be playing with Jewell Loyd, her teammate from Notre Dame, once more. In 2013, the two participated in the Fighting Irish’s season together and advanced to the Final Four. For the first time in his 21-year career, Loyd had to accomplish a great deal during the Storm’s inaugural season without Sue Bird or Breanna Stewart in Seattle. The squad kept losing despite her being asked to be the main ball handler and the go-to bucketgetter. Although Loyd had several games with double digits of points and one spectacular 41-point game, I’m sure she would have preferred to have a few more tallies in the win column. With Loyd off the ball and the All-Stars Ogwumike and Ezi Magbegor available in the paint, Diggins-Smith’s assist total should quickly rise.

For the first time since 2015, Seattle missed the playoffs in the previous campaign. Their team had already won four titles, therefore they were eager to change the situation. To create a ton of cap room, they traded their fourth draft choice. Diggins-Smith and Ogwumike’s signings return Seattle to the winning circle.

Also Read: Top 10 Underrated Basketball Players Who Avoid the Spotlights

Phoenix Mercury

The three-time winners were completely unrecognizable as they placed dead last in the rankings with a 9-31 record. They thus pulled up their sleeves and went to work as a free agency. They improve right away by bringing in free agent Natasha Cloud, who had a career-best season last year, averaging 12.7 points and 6.2 assists. Cloud was one of only seven players to average 10+ points per game and 5+ assists. What Phoenix lacks is her killing instinct and tenacity. There is a great need in the Valley for her persistent rebounding from the guard (3.7 RPG).

Kahleah Copper

WNBA Free Agency Winners 2024
Kahleah Copper (Photo Source: X)

Additionally, Cloud makes contact with Kristi Toliver, a former teammate who is currently the Mercury’s associate head coach.

In a sign-and-trade agreement with the Connecticut Sun, Rebecca Allen was also acquired by the Mercury, bolstering their squad with one of the league’s most adaptable role players. After Brionna Jones suffered an Achilles injury last season, the eight-year veteran was awarded a starting position. Allen’s length on the perimeter has been a liability for opponents all season long, both offensively (34.8 percent from three) and defensively (team-high 1.3 blocks per game). I anticipate that she will blend right in with Nate Tibbetts’s newfound style of coaching.

To be competitive, they still required one more piece. Kahleah Copper, the MVP of the 2021 Finals, please. Unexpectedly, Copper trades out of Chicago to Phoenix, where she will meet up with Diana Taurasi, her Team USA colleague. Last season, Copper scored 18.7 points per game, good for ninth place, and made over 40% of his field goals from beyond the arc. Adding this to a club that placed tenth in 3-point percentage is ideal. In addition, Copper gives the Valley a swagger that isn’t represented in the box score. The Mercury will now benefit from her continued excellence, as she only three years ago guided the Sky to a championship.

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Los Angeles Sparks…for the future

After Nneka Ogwumike, the Sparks’ 12-year starter and former MVP, declared she would be joining the Seattle Storm instead of returning to the team, it’s difficult to see the Sparks maintaining their ranking on this list. Raegan Pebley, the team’s new general manager, has been active and is completely rebuilding.

The Sparks now hold the second, fourth, and eighth first-round selections in the potentially loaded 2024 draft—via Seattle, Atlanta, and other teams. They signed Layshia Clarendon and Rae Burrell again, acquired Kia Nurse through trade, and acquired Aari McDonald through sign-and-trade. With Zia Cooke, a standout rookie, back and Lexie Brown healthy again, Los Angeles has the foundation for success going forward.

Aari McDonald

Aari McDonald (Photo Source: X)

The 2024 WNBA season as a whole and the winners of this free agency period have bright futures ahead of them.

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