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(Updated) 2023 WNBA Free Agency: Chicago Sky went from aiming to repeat to rebuilding

With many players moving on to different organizations, James Wade will have to find a way to keep the Chicago Sky competitive in 2023.

Connecticut Sun v Chicago Sky - Game Five Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

The Chicago Sky were up by 10 entering the fourth quarter of Game 5 against the Connecticut Sun. It seemed the dream matchup against Las Vegas was a foregone conclusion and the Sky would get an opportunity to defend their title and potentially be the first WNBA team to repeat since the 02 Los Angeles Sparks.

Instead, they fell apart, getting outscored 24-5 in the final quarter. They lost the game and the series, and the only question that remained was: what will the team look like next year? We now have the answer.

The 2023 Chicago Sky will appear nothing like the title contenders of recent seasons.

Candace Parker has left for Las Vegas, Allie Quigley is taking a year off from playing in the W, Courtney Vandersloot is a member of the New York Liberty and Azurá Stevens is an L.A. Spark.

However, James Wade and the Sky haven’t just sat on their hands watching every All-Star and rotation piece walk out; they’ve made some moves to rebuild their roster. One of the biggest additions they made was Isabelle Harrison. The 6-foot-3 forward averaged 8.37 points in her 18.4 minutes of play. Courtney Williams was brought in and will likely be the starting guard for the Sky after averaging 11.1 points for Connecticut. And fan favorite Astou Ndour-Fall returns to Chicago after a successful 2021 stint. In her last season with the Sky, she averaged 6.6 points and 4.8 rebounds.

The last permanent contract the Sky have handed out so far went to Elizabeth Williams. She spent last season playing 14.9 minutes for the Mystics and with so much turnover in Chicago, she’ll likely have an opportunity for a bump in playing time.

The Sky have also given Feyonda Fitzgerald and Robyn Parks training camp contracts, which are not guaranteed.

By the Numbers*

Total team salary: $944,302

Cap space: $476,198


You don’t lose a superstar player, the best point guard in team history and a 3-point-shooting machine and get better. But given the hand he was dealt, Wade has done an excellent job building out a roster that will complement the star they still have in Kahleah Copper. The question that remains now is: what will they do with the cap space they have left? Star free agents are still in play and some quality players from last year’s team, like Emma Meesseman, remain unsigned.

Chicago also has three draft picks, including the No. 5 pick. So immediate help could come in the way of a rookie, especially from a draft class as strong as this one.

Title favorites they will not be heading into the 2023 season, but another good move or two and the Sky can still field a top team that will be difficult to eliminate from the playoffs. So, while they may have taken a step back, I wouldn’t count James Wade and the Sky out just yet.

*All salary numbers come from Her Hoop Stats.