Candace Parker, the reigning WNBA Defensive Player of the Year, two-time league MVP, and one of the most prominent figures in women’s basketball, will be moving back to her hometown of Chicago to play for the Sky in a massive move when WNBA free agency opens next Monday, according to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne.
Parker has spent her entire 13-year career with the Los Angeles Sparks, leading L.A. to a championship in 2016, but will take her talents back home to Chicago to join Allie Quigley, Diamond DeShields, and WNBA assist leader Courtney Vandersloot on a Sky team that finished 6th in the league last season and were bounced in their first round playoff game by the Connecticut Sun. It’s a gigantic shakeup for the league that now positions the Sky as one of the teams to beat in the East, along with the Mystics who will get a number of their stars back for 2021.
Parker averaged 14.7 points and a league-leading 9.7 rebounds a year ago, along with 1.2 steals and 1.2 blocks per game en route to the DPOY trophy. Her defensive presence will be welcome on a Sky team that has immense offensive talent but was fifth-worst in the league in opponent field goal percentage a year ago. On offense, Parker is still a terrific weapon from all three levels, in the paint, the midrange, and as a three-point shooter, connecting on 39.6 percent of her threes in the Wubble.