The New York Liberty announced today that they have re-signed wing Essence Carson, who is coming off her first All Star appearance in 2011 and was among the top remaining WNBA free agents.
Carson averaged 11.3 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.7 assists for the Liberty last season. Her all-around game resulted in her becoming one of the most significant sixth women in the league.
What she brings to the Liberty off the bench is an efficient all-around player, but also a player who can get to the free throw line at a reasonable rate (27.5%) on a team that has by far the lowest free throw rate in the league (20.77%), which is generally a sign of a team that relies heavily on jumpers or, in the Liberty's case, a league-high 19.67 points off turnovers. And with a steal percentage of 2.48% (second on the team) Carson is at least as significant to her team as any bench player in the league, among the most versatile on both ends of the floor, and, statistically, the most significant of any.
Although Carson is widely known for her defensive prowess as one of the top defensive players over the last four years, one of the things that really stood out last season was not only that she was among the league's top "shot creators" but also that she scored much more efficiently that she had previously in her career.
Perhaps it was safe to assume that she would be re-signed, but the announcement has to be comforting for Liberty fans who were wondering whether she'd return.