2023 Free Agency Primer

Sparks Add Jasmine Thomas and Dearica Hamby

The 2023 WNBA Free agency period is officially upon us. Teams are now able to formally meet with players and agents to discuss contracts. Then, on Feb. 1, teams will be able to announce signings and transactions.

In addition, the period for qualifying and core offers began Jan. 11. Prior to our first trade of the year, the Sparks extended a qualifying offer to Kianna Smith.

Under the new leadership of CAO & GM Karen Bryant, Assistant GM Eli Horowitz and Head Coach Curt Miller, the Sparks completed two trades. First on Jan. 16, Los Angeles traded Olivia Nelson-Ododa, Kianna Smith and Jasmine Walker to Connecticut in exchange for WNBA All-Star Jasmine Thomas and the 10th overall pick in the 2023 WNBA Draft.

On Jan. 21, the Sparks completed their second trade, acquiring two-time WNBA All-Star and 2022 WNBA Champion Dearica Hamby along with a 2024 first round draft pick in exchange for the exclusive negotiating rights to Amanda Zahui B. and the Sparks 2024 second round draft pick.

Sparks 2023 Free Agency

Below is a list of the types of free agents in the WNBA Collective Bargaining Agreement, and who from the Sparks applies to each category as of Jan. 24:

Unrestricted Free Agents- The following players can negotiate a contract with any of the 12 WNBA teams and sign any time after Feb. 1, 2021:

  1. Nneka Ogwumike
  2. Chiney Ogwumike
  3. Brittney Sykes
  4. Lexie Brown
  5. Kristi Toliver
  6. Jordin Canada

Core Player: A core offer is a one-year, maximum offer to a veteran player enabling a WNBA team to retain exclusive negotiating rights with that player. WNBA teams can only have one player under the core designation at a time, so they cannot core anyone during 2022 free agency.

Restricted Free Agents: Players with four years of service are considered Restricted Free Agents. Restricted free agency gives the player’s prior team the right to keep the player by either signing a new contract or matching a contract offer the player signs with another team (Right of First Refusal). If the player signs a contract offer with another team, the player’s prior team has four days from the date it receives the offer to determine whether it wishes to match. If the offer is matched, the player will remain with her team. If the offer is not matched within the four-day period, the player will be under contract with the offering team.

The Sparks do not have any restricted free agents in 2023.

Suspended/Contract Expired: Teams maintain exclusive negotiating rights with players who did not play the previous WNBA season but whose contract expired.

The Sparks do not have any suspended players in 2023.

Reserved Players – Free agent players with three or fewer years of service are considered Reserved Players. The player’s prior team has exclusive negotiating rights.

The Sparks do not have any reserved players in 2023.

Players Under Contract- The following players are not 2023 free agents and remain on the Los Angeles Sparks current roster as of Jan. 24:

  1. Rae Burrell
  2. Chennedy Carter
  3. Dearica Hamby
  4. Katie Lou Samuelson
  5. Jasmine Thomas 

Overseas Players- The Sparks maintain the rights to the following international players:

  1. Maria Vadeeva
  2. Julia Reisingerova
  3. Alina Iagupova

To prepare for 2023 free agency, please make sure that you are following the official PR Twitter account of the Los Angeles Sparks, @LASparksPR.