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Welcome to Liz Angeles: Cambage makes Sparks relevant, hometown star Canada also added

Liz Cambage and Nneka Ogwumike hope to be one of the best one-two punches in the WNBA. Can the Los Angeles Sparks keep their hiatus from success to one year? Plus, LA native Jordin Canada is headed home.

Verizon WNBA All-Star 2018 - Three-Point Contest
In the city where Candace Parker was once godlike, Liz Cambage will now reign.
Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images

Liz Cambage is reportedly bringing all of her personality and swag to Los Angeles. She’s also bringing a resume that includes the WNBA’s highest single-game scoring performance (53 points), the scoring title the year she accomplished that, four All-Star appearances in five WNBA seasons, an All-WNBA First Team selection and a Second Team selection.

Cambage is 30 years old, and who’s to say she can’t be one of the best players in the league in 2022?

She came in at No. 4 on Swish Appeal’s Top 30 player list prior to the 2021 season. As it turned out, she was not a Top 10 player last year. She took a back seat to A’ja Wilson in terms of how much the Aces offense focused on her and didn’t put up superstar numbers. She was still perhaps a Top 15 player, averaging 14.2 points, 8.2 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks per game and earning an All-Star nod.

In the 2021 playoffs, Cambage averaged just 10.4 points and 5.4 rebounds over five games and was unable to get the Aces past the Phoenix Mercury. Of course, Cambage put up these regular-season and postseason numbers while not playing a whole lot of minutes (23.2 per game).

If given the chance to play more minutes with the Sparks, perhaps Cambage can get back to her 2018 form, when she averaged 23 points and 9.7 boards per game. She certainly makes LA a better team, forming a big two with Nneka Ogwumike (No. 9 on Swish Appeal’s Top 30 player list).

The Sparks also have an aging star in Kristi Toliver, a star who has battled through injuries in recent seasons in Chiney Ogwumike, and a bunch of other really good players in Amanda Zahui B., Brittney Sykes and Te’a Cooper. Plus, they've added a high ceiling scorer in 2020 lottery pick Chennedy Carter, a player in the same tier as Zahui B. in Katie Lou Samuelson, and a great distributing and defending point guard who has been underrated lately in Jordin Canada.

Nneka Ogwumike is a former MVP, but last year’s roster lacked a good enough supporting cast around her to make the team a true contender. There were six teams that people gave a legitimate shot to win it all entering 2021, and the Sparks were No. 7 in our preseason power rankings. Although the No. 9 Connecticut Sun proved us all wrong, the Sparks did not, missing out on the playoffs.

This year’s roster is one Sparks fans can get excited about, and it all starts with Cambage.

The Canada news was just announced Tuesday afternoon and she is reportedly signing for $98,000. If the Sparks pay their 12th player the minimum and keep the rest of their roster in tact, they can give Cambage around $175,000. Cambage was cored by Vegas last year and made the supermax of $221,450, so in this scenario she would be taking a significant pay cut.

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