In a recent podcast interview with Locked on, Elena Delle Donne expressed a hot topic: becoming a restricted free agent in January of 2017. Currently, Delle Donne plays for the Chicago Sky – has since she was drafted there in 2013 as the overall number two pick. However, in this interview, she hinted at very vaguely she might not resign there.
"Some things will be moving forward for me," Delle Donne said. "I've loved playing with my teammates. There's a great group of young women there. And hopefully with Amber (Stocks, new head coach for Chicago) and a new system, it'll be great for them. But for me, wherever I end up, I'll be ready to play basketball."
While she did directly say it, she didn’t say she was confident in signing a contract extension with the Sky either.
Furthermore, it is rare for a player to sit out a WNBA season if they don’t get their wishes when it comes to their contract. The season, after all, is a short one. Yet, some fans might remember when Sylvia Fowles sat out most of the 2015 season as she demanded to be traded from Chicago. Now, Delle Donne hasn’t demanded a trade per say, however she did mention in her interview with Locked On she would be willing to sit out.
"I obviously always want to play. I don't want to have to sit out. I want to play the game I love, the game I work so hard on. So hopefully that doesn't have to occur in my future."
January is only a couple weeks away, and the future of Delle Donne being in a Chicago Sky uniform is shaky. She referenced the choice she makes will not be just about her career.
However, her future with her fiance’, and potentially raising a family as well. Even with Stocks as the new head coach and general manager, Delle Donne clearly exposed there are some questions that need to be answered under this new direction for the Sky.
She doesn’t have a timetable of when she thinks a contract will be settled -- rather that be to stay in Chicago or go elsewhere —but Delle Donne believes once “Stocks gets settled and assesses where she would like the Sky to be headed in the future,” Delle Donne’s wishes will be addressed as well.