Candace Parker plans to sign with the Las Vegas Aces, the two-time WNBA champion announced via Instagram on Saturday.
The Aces won their first championship last season and have landed one the biggest names in free agency to aid their pursuit of back-to-back titles.
After leading the Los Angeles Sparks to a championship win in 2016, the 15-year veteran helped the Chicago Sky win their first in 2021.
Because of her upbringing in Naperville, Illinois, Parker’s decision to leave Los Angeles after 13 seasons for the Sky meant that she was going home. After two successful seasons there, this move carries the same sentiment.
In the statement, Parker wrote that Las Vegas is the perfect destination in her free agency because she can compete for a third championship there while being close to her wife, daughter and son.
“While Chicago will always be my home, my family’s home is on the west coast,” she wrote.
Parker’s addition to the Aces, coached by Becky Hammon, makes the recently relocated reigning champions even more stacked than they already were.
She joins 2022 All-Star MVP Kelsey Plum, 2022 and 2020 WNBA MVP A’ja Wilson, and 2022 WNBA Most Improved Player Award winner Jackie Young.
She will also reunite with former Sparks teammate and 2022 Finals MVP Chelsea Gray. In 2016, the two won their first WNBA titles together.
Gray and Wilson couldn’t even forms words through their excitement for the news.
Amid hints at retirement, Parker made history last season when she became the first player in WNBA history to reach 6,000 points, 3,000 rebounds and 1,500 assists. At 36 years old, she’s a six-time All-Star and two-time MVP.
ESPN’s Roman Shelburne previously reported that Sky guard Courtney Vandersloot‘s free agency is expected to factor into top free agent Breanna Stewart‘s decision. Now that Parker, her former teammate, has gone elsewhere, it seems even more possible that Vandersloot will do the same. With the New York Liberty appearing to be a strong contender for Stewart, landing both her and Vandersloot would make the team a WNBA powerhouse to compete with the Aces.