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(Updated) 2023 WNBA Free Agency: Dallas Wings have put together solid roster and loaded up on draft picks again

The Dallas Wings announced Saturday the acquisition of Diamond DeShields via trade.

Dallas Wings v Phoenix Mercury
Diamond DeShields
Photo by Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images

The Dallas Wings on Saturday announced they have brought in Diamond DeShields in a four-team trade. The trade has also broken up “Marike,” with Marina Mabrey going to the Sky, and given the Wings the No. 5 pick in the 2023 WNBA Draft, the Sky’s 2024 first-round pick and the ability to switch first-round picks with the Sky in 2025.

On Jan. 15, the Wings received two-time All-Star Natasha Howard and the rights to 2020 Rookie of the Year Crystal Dangerfield in a trade that sent Kayla Thornton to the Liberty and Tyahsa Harris to the Sun. On Jan. 21, they made another big trade, sending Allisha Gray to the Dream in exchange for the No. 3 pick in the 2023 draft and the Dream’s 2025 first-round pick. ESPN has them taking Diamond Miller of the Maryland Terrapins at No. 3.

In our original Wings free agency piece, I projected the Wings would re-sign restricted free agent Teaira McCowan at $175,000. Here was my explanation:

I think the Wings can pay both Mabrey and McCowan under the max and keep them. They are both restricted free agents so Dallas just has to match other teams’ offers. Mabrey is a streaky scorer with big-game potential but isn’t quite a superstar. McCowan had a really good stretch last year, but teams likely want to see her do it for a full season.

Mabrey could be an All-Star one day and has already nearly made the game, and McCowan’s ceiling as a 6-foot-7 player is sky-high. So I could be underestimating them. But let’s say Mabrey gets paid $185,000 and McCowan gets paid $175,000. Mabrey is Arike Ogunbowale’s best friend and she’s put her heart and soul into the franchise for three seasons now. So the Wings want her around to keep Arike happy and will likely look at her three years of service and decide to pay her more than McCowan despite McCowan’s greater upside.

As it turns out, the Wings have separated college roommates Ogunbowale and Mabrey and have signed McCowan to a three-year deal worth $190,000 in 2023. This says the Wings see McCowan as a star right now and like I said, she does have tremendous upside.

On Feb. 2, Dallas singed Dangerfield to a full contract (not a training camp one), indicating that she will probably make the final roster. The Wings have also signed Kalani Brown to a training camp contract, while Bella Alarie has announced her retirement.

By the numbers*

Total team salary: $1,264,103

Cap space: $156,397


New York Liberty v Dallas Wings
Teaira McCowan (with ball)
Photo by Tim Heitman/NBAE via Getty Images

DeShields is due $154,500 in 2023. I added her, Miller and the No. 5 pick to the Wings’ current roster as listed on Her Hoop Stats and replaced Jasmine Dickey with the No. 11 pick:

  • Arike Ogunbowale, starting SG ($234,936)
  • Natasha Howard, starting PF ($227,900)
  • Satou Sabally, starting SF ($86,701)
  • Diamond DeShields, second SG ($154,500)
  • Teaira McCowan, starting C ($205,000)
  • No. 3 pick Diamond Miller, second SF ($74,305)
  • No. 5 pick ($71,300)
  • Crystal Dangerfield, starting PG ($80,000)
  • Awak Kuier, second PF ($78,586)
  • Veronica Burton, second PG ($70,609)
  • Charli Collier, second C ($78,586)
  • No. 11 pick Maddy Siegrist, third PF ($68,295)

Dickey was the No. 30 pick in 2022 and didn’t contribute much as a rookie. Dallas has the freedom to take the best available players at No. 5 and No. 11 since they’ve got all the positions covered. ESPN had the Sky taking Charisma Osborne of the UCLA Bruins at No. 5, but the scoring prowess of Ashley Joens (Iowa State Cyclones) will be tempting. ESPN has Dallas taking Maddy Siegrist of the Villanova Wildcats at No. 11.

If the Wings keep just 11 players instead of 12 and don’t roster the No. 5 and No. 11 picks, they will have $144,377 remaining to spend on a free agent. But in all likelihood, they will want to roster a pick as high as No. 5, which would leave them with $73,077. With that, they might as well take on a 12th player, and for it to be yet another first-round pick is pretty good.

The Wings have done a solid job this free agency period. They’ve given up two stars in Gray and Mabrey, but have added two stars in Howard and DeShields and have locked up a potential future superstar in McCowan. Dangerfield is another solid addition and the No. 3 and 5 picks could be contributors. The Wings probably would have had to pay Mabrey, a restricted free agent, around the same amount as they’re going to pay DeShields and DeShields has better upside. And they got draft picks in addition to DeShields while only giving up Mabrey and nothing else.

* All salary numbers come from Her Hoop Stats