The biggest move of the WNBA's current free agency period was made on Thursday, when Skylar Diggins-Smith — six-time WNBA All-Star and one of the league's best point guards — signed with the Seattle Storm.
The Storm signing Diggins-Smith was first announced by Howard Megdal of The Next, who noted that Diggins-Smith signed a two-year deal with Seattle, which will pay her $219,000 in the first year and $214,466 in the second.
SEISMIC breaking news: multiple sources tell @TheNextHoops Skylar Diggins-Smith has signed a two year deal with the @seattlestorm. Contract details and what it means here @LockedOnWBB #WNBAFreeAgency https://t.co/tMFL1wG38E
— Howard Megdal (@howardmegdal) February 1, 2024
Diggins-Smith heading to Seattle is a seismic shift to the WNBA's current landscape. Even though she missed the entire 2023 season with the Phoenix Mercury while being on maternity leave, the 33 year old point guard is still considered one of the league's elite scorers at her position.
In 2022, Diggins-Smith earned her fourth First-Team All-WNBA honors, after finishing third in the league in scoring (averaging 19.7 points per game) and also producing 5.5 assists and 4.0 rebounds per game.
While Diggins-Smith was expected to leave the Phoenix Mercury (who she played with from 2020-2023) this offseason — after she revealed that the organizationfor her maternity rehab — her deciding to sign with the Storm comes a surprise; if only because Seattle had the WNBA's second-worst record last season.
Yet, considering that Diggins-Smith will now be reuniting with shooting juggernaut Jewell Lloyd — who she played an NCAA season at Notre Dame with in 2012-13 — the two of them will now form a formidable backcourt tandem for the Storm.
Diggins-Smith noted her excitement in signing with Seattle and playing alongside Lloyd via a press release, where she wrote, "Joining the Seattle Storm is the ideal next step in my basketball journey. The organization's dedication to its players and the progression of the league is commendable. I'm laser-focused for the upcoming season. Stepping onto the court alongside Jewell, benefiting from the leadership of Noelle Quinn and feeling the energy of the Seattle Storm fans is a combination that I am confident will lead to success."
The Storm made another big move on Thursday in addition to signing Diggins-Smith, when theyof the 2024 WNBA Draft to the Los Angeles Sparks for a 2026 first-round pick — which cleared enough cap space for them to sign another max player.
It seems that the Storm all going all-in on succeeding next season. We'll have to wait and see whether that gamble will pay off.
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