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WNBA: Los Angeles Sparks trade for Dearica Hamby, Jasmine Thomas

WNBA: Los Angeles Sparks trade for Dearica Hamby, Jasmine Thomas

The Los Angeles Sparks were an unmitigated disaster in 2022. They missed the playoffs for the second season in a row, their coach parted ways with the team early in the season and Liz Camabge went through a contract divorce with the Sparks after a tough loss against the eventual WNBA champion Las Vegas Aces.

The Sparks have rebuilt their front office and now have Karen Bryant as the general manager and Curt Miller as their head coach. As they head into free agency, the team has plenty of open roster spots and lots of cap space. The question is, what are they going to do with it?


By the numbers*

Free agents (type) (2022 average salary)

  • Lexie Brown (unrestricted) ($72,141)
  • Jordin Canada (unrestricted) ($98,000)
  • Chiney Ogwumike (unrestricted) ($116,390)
  • Nneka Ogwumike (unrestricted) ($196,267)
  • Brittney Sykes (unrestricted) ($113,300)
  • Kristi Toliver (unrestricted) ($196,100)

Cap space: $777,165


Analysis: What has happened so far

The Sparks have been one of the most active teams in free agency. They started by trading Jasmine Walker, Olivia Nelson-Ododa, and Kianna Smith for Connecticut Sun guard Jasmine Thomas and the No. 10 pick in the 2023 draft. The trade reunites JT with Curt Miller, gives the Sparks a first-round pick this year and clears up a couple of roster spots.

Los Angeles made another splash by trading Amanda Zahui B and a 2023 second-round pick for Las Vegas Aces forward Dearica Hamby and a 2024 first-round pick. Hamby has been a great rotation player for the champion Aces. While the WNBPA investigates Las Vegas’ handling of Hamby’s contract, from the Sparks’ perspective, they got a great player. Curt Miller and company hope a new opportunity will bring out the best in the two-time All-Star.

With over $700,000 in cap space left and plenty of quality players rumored to be interested in L.A., including former Sparks star Candace Parker, Los Angeles is far from done making moves this offseason.

Analysis: What we thought could happen

Priority No. 1 for Curt Miller and the Sparks has to be to bring back the Ogwumike sisters. Nneka has been the face of the team, she’s been a Spark her entire career and she’s coming off an MVP- level season. Chiney continues to improve and it’s been made clear by both sisters that they are a package deal. If the Sparks fail to bring them back, that tells me one of two things. Bryant and Miller either did a poor job convincing the Ogwumikes of their plan, or they have a very drastic revamp…

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