WNBA free company: Sparks signal ahead Azurá Stevens

As one crew dismantles its championship roster, the Sparks hope to rebuild theirs because the crew introduced the signing of free agent Azurá Stevens on Friday.

Stevens, a 6-foot-6 ahead who helped the Chicago Sky to their first WNBA championship in 2021, joined former teammates Candace Parker and Courtney Vandersloot in a Windy Metropolis free-agent exodus. Parker, the previous Sparks star, selected the Las Vegas Aces whereas Vandersloot joined former Seattle Storm star Breanna Stewart with the New York Liberty.

At 27, Stevens is “just entering the prime of her career,” Sparks common supervisor Karen Bryant mentioned in an announcement launched by the crew. She averaged 10.6 factors per sport final yr whereas beginning eight video games for the Sky. The previous sixth total draft choose in 2018 had 3.9 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per sport in 21.9 minutes final season.

“Azurá was our No. 1 free-agent target,” Bryant mentioned.

Stevens is the fourth new participant signed to the Sparks in what’s anticipated to be a busy offseason for a franchise hoping to return to the playoffs for the primary time since 2020. The Sparks already added ahead Dearica Hamby and guard Jasmine Thomas by way of trades and signed free-agent guard Stephanie Talbot. In addition they re-signed sharp-shooting guard Lexie Brown.

The addition of Stevens helps the Sparks bolster their frontcourt depth behind Nneka Ogwumike, who is anticipated to re-sign as an unrestricted free agent.

“Z is a rising star in our league and a tremendous teammate,” head coach Curt Miller mentioned within the assertion. “At 6-foot-6, she has outstanding versatility to play effectively on the inside and on the perimeter.”