Two-time WNBA champion Breanna Stewart will meet with the Seattle Storm, Minnesota Lynx, Washington Mystics and New York Liberty after free agency opens on at midnight Saturday, ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne reported Friday.
The meetings will reportedly take place in Istanbul, Turkey, where Stewart is currently playing on the EuroLeague’s Fenerbahçe team.
Stewart, 28, has spent her entire WNBA career in Seattle and is one of the biggest names in WNBA free agency this year. She re-signed with the Storm on a one-year contract last winter.
The 6-foot-4 forward finished last season second in MVP voting, averaging 21.8 points, 7.6 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.6 steals per game.
She said that a motivation for the short-term deal was the league’s prioritization clause, something she spoke out about last February.
Emoji free agency
Recently, Stewart has used Twitter to communicate in an uncharacteristic way — without any words. The star has been teasing W fans with emojis that could only be speculated to relate to her free agency, until Shelburne’s report. The ESPN senior writer quote-tweeted her report with Stewart’s cloud, wolf, classical building and Statue of Liberty emojis.
Seattle was predicted to be Stewart’s most likely landing spot, but the Liberty are an interesting option. Jonquel Jones, the 2021 MVP, was recently acquired by New York in a trade from Connecticut Sun. If she signs with the Liberty, Stewart would also join former Oregon Ducks star Sabrina Ionescu.
Shelburne also reported that Chicago Sky guard Courtney Vandersloot‘s free agency is expected to factor into Stewart’s decision. Maybe this is something Stewart was alluding to in one of her previous tweets, but it’s impossible to say.
The emoji tweet that started it all seems to include representations of everything Stewart could have on her mind while considering where to sign.
Let’s talk about some of the emojis that stand out. The trophy could be for another championship. She included a bottle, which is fitting since she and her wife welcomed a baby girl in 2021. Child care, air travel and compensation for WNBA players have been hot topics lately, which could explain the plane and money bag emojis. Stewart has spoken about the issues facing WNBA players overseas, something that relates to the wave emoji.
While playing detective is fun, contracts can be signed starting Feb. 1, which is right around the corner. With Stewart taking meetings so close to the official free-agency opening, it doesn’t seem likely that fans will have to wait much longer to learn where she will land.