With free agency negotiations beginning on Jan. 28, it’s time to take a look at some of the best available players. From superstars to aging stars and up-and-comers, here’s a look at the top-10 unrestricted free agents in 2020.
1) Breanna Stewart
Current team: Seattle Storm
2019 season averages: did not play (injury)
WNBA years active: 3 (age 25)
Stewart won the national championship every year she was at UConn and was an obvious No. 1 overall selection in the 2016 WNBA Draft. She won the league’s MVP and Finals MVP awards in 2018 before sitting out the 2019 season (Achilles). In her first year back from that injury, she is expected to be in the MVP conversation again, and she is a few years younger than most players in that discussion.
2) Jonquel Jones
Current team: Connecticut Sun
2019 season averages: 14.6 points, 9.7 rebounds, 2.0 blocks, 1.5 assists, 1.3 steals
WNBA years active: 4 (age 26)
Jones went to Clemson and then transferred to George Washington for college, so she didn’t have as high of a profile as Stewart entering the 2016 draft. Jones was selected sixth overall and since has proved herself to be among the league’s best players. Even with a 6-foot-6 frame, Jones has the ability to knock down shots from the perimeter. Her talents helped lead the Sun to the 2019 WNBA Finals and make a five-game series. Also on the younger side, she has a bright future ahead.
3) Elena Delle Donne
Current team: Washington Mystics
2019 season averages: 19.5 points, 8.2 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.3 blocks
WNBA years active: 7 (age 30)
In 2019, Delle Donne became the first WNBA player to tally a 50/40/90 season, won her second MVP award and won her first WNBA Championship. She is the best player in the world right now, but she is nearing the end of her prime and has dealt with injuries and illnesses her entire basketball career, dating back to college. How long Delle Donne stays at the top will likely be determined by what her body will allow.
4) Liz Cambage
Current team: Las Vegas Aces
2019 season averages: 15.9 points, 8.2 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 1.6 blocks
WNBA years active: 4 (age 28)
Cambage, who played in Australia from 2014 to 2017, nearly won the MVP award in 2018 with the Dallas Wings and holds the WNBA record for most points scored in a single game (53). She joined forces with 2018 Rookie of the Year A’ja Wilson in Las Vegas by signing with the Aces in 2019. As a result, she sacrificed some of her scoring, but Cambage still has the ability to hit from outside and dominate in the paint.
5) Brittney Griner
Current team: Phoenix Mercury
2019 season averages: 20.7 points, 7.2 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 2.0 blocks
WNBA years active: 7 (age 29)
Griner has upped her scoring over the past three seasons to truly fulfill the hype surrounding her in the 2013 draft. She averaged over 20 points per game in each season from 2017 to 2019; her prior career-best season stood at 15.6 points per game in 2014. Griner has developed a good midrange game and she has improved her post moves. A two-time Defensive Player of the Year, her blocking and and rebounding numbers are down. But Griner’s prolific scoring ability is at its best — she was the league’s leading scorer in 2019 (total and per game).
6) Chelsea Gray
Current team: Los Angeles Sparks
2019 season averages: 14.5 points, 3.8 rebounds, 5.9 assists, 1.0 steals
WNBA years active: 5 (age 27)
Gray has been an All-Star selection in each of the past three seasons, and she is playing the best basketball of her career. Her 5.9 assists per game in 2019 marked a high for her career, and she shot 38.2 percent from 3-point range. Gray has turned into one of the best point guards in the league, and led the Sparks to the semifinals with poise as well as talent.
7) Courtney Vandersloot
Current team: Chicago Sky
2019 season averages: 11.2 points, 4.3 rebounds, 9.1 assists, 1.4 steals
WNBA years active: 9 (age 30)
Vandersloot has turned into an assists machine. Like Griner with points, Vandersloot has averaged at least eight assists in each of the past three seasons after her previous career high was 5.8 in 2015. Her shooting percentage from beyond the arc was down in 2019, but she is typically a good 3-point threat and overall scorer. Vandersloot has set the standard in the WNBA when it comes to pass-first guards.
8) Skylar Diggins-Smith
Current team: Dallas Wings
2019 season averages: did not play (maternity leave)
WNBA years active: 6 (age 29)
Diggins-Smith will hope to pick up where she left off in 2018, with 17.9 points and 6.2 assists per game. She has been playing for the USA Basketball Women’s National Team and that should prepare her physically for the 2020 WNBA season. Not known for stellar 3-point shooting, Diggins-Smith is as talented as they come as a driver and distributor. She is still in her prime, though nearing the edge, like her fellow “three to see” stars Delle Donne and Griner.
9) Tina Charles
Current team: New York Liberty
2019 season averages: 16.9 points, 7.5 rebounds, 2.4 assists
WNBA years active: 10 (age 31)
Charles continues to perform like one of the best players in the league and has been a model of consistency. She has averaged at least 15.5 points in every season of her career; she is a seven-time All-Star. Charles is not an explosive or flashy player, but she gets the job done — often with inconsistent help.
10) Emma Meesseman
Current team: Washington Mystics
2019 season averages: 13.1 points, 4.2 rebounds, 3.2 assists
WNBA years active: 6 (age 26)
Meesseman is now best known for her phenomenal playoff run with the 2019 Mystics that led to a Finals MVP award. The Belgium native entered the league at age 20 and Mystics coach Mike Thibault has brought her along to the point where she could now become a star player. Meesseman has the midrange game, the Euro step and the inside touch. She even showed off some deadly 3-point potential in the Finals. Meesseman is not a volume shooter from distance, but averages 39.9 percent for her career.