The WNBA opens free agency on Sunday and the Storm plans to be big players. GM/Coach Brian Agler said he plans to speak with every free agent’s representative in some capacity and already has his hooks on signing a solid addition.
Agler is planning a trip overseas at the end of this month with Karen Bryant, the team’s president and CEO. The first stop is Israel and there are also plans to visit players in Spain. But that’s not just to see C Lauren Jackson or G Tanisha Wright, an unrestricted free agent who plans to re-sign with the Storm. Players like C Janel McCarville also play in Spain and her status is still questionable with New York, opting to take a break last season. F Cheryl Ford, who used to play for Detroit, is also looking good overseas after being hampered by multiple knee injuries during WNBA play.
It’s just the beginning of talks between teams and agents, though. Contracts can’t be signed until Feb. 1, Bryant stating there could be news early for Seattle. As you’ve probably heard, the Storm has a star to replace in F Swin Cash and key reserve in F Le’coe Willingham. The bench also needs strengthening in order to challenge deep teams like Minnesota and Atlanta.
“We fully expect that this will be a very active offseason for Brian,” Bryant said. “And right now the opportunities and options are endless. Obviously this is Day 1 of what is going to be an eventful offseason for us in terms of player personnel. We’re only just beginning.”
In other big Storm news, PG Sue Bird returned to playing after undergoing hip surgery in September. She’s with a new Russian team (UMMC Ekaterinburg), playing 25 minutes in one EuroLeague game and 23 minutes off the bench in a Russian League matchup.
Bird also is an unrestricted free agent. Agler said he expects to have her resigned in February. Here’s an interview with Bird from Russia, I believe her first since arriving there this month.