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Sky put Gabby Williams on full-season suspended list

Coach James Wade said the French Federation of Basketball called him ahead of the draft and said it wanted Williams to join the national team. Williams was set to miss much of the 2021 season because of those commitments.

“We’re pretty solid,” Sky coach James Wade said before training camp. “Gabby [Williams] is a talented player, and she does what she does. We’ll try our best to make do.”
“We’re pretty solid,” Sky coach James Wade said before training camp. “Gabby [Williams] is a talented player, and she does what she does. We’ll try our best to make do.”
Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

The Sky put Gabby Williams on the full-season suspended list Thursday, coach James Wade said.

Last month, the French national team announced that Williams would be part of the roster to compete in the FIBA Women’s EuroBasket 2021.

After that tweet, a WNBA source confirmed that the Sky weighed several trade options that included Williams on draft night, leading to speculation about her future with the team. Ultimately, the Sky didn’t make a move.

“[Playing for the French national team] is something Gabby has wanted to do, and we’re supportive of her,” Wade said on draft night.

Wade said the French Federation of Basketball called him ahead of the draft and said it wanted Williams to join the national team. The Sky’s move isn’t a surprise. Williams was set to miss much of the 2021 season because of the commitment.

Replacing Williams, who was named to the All-EuroLeague Women First Team and was Defensive Player of the Year in 2021, is not an easy task, but the Sky always have had a next-player-up mentality.

“We’re pretty solid,” Wade said ahead of training camp. “Gabby is a talented player, and she does what she does. We’ll try our best to make do.”

Williams posted various messages denoting this was not a mutual decision to her Twitter account. She also shared that she was flying to Chicago Friday morning to her Instagram.

Wade said during Sky media availability Friday that he had not seen Williams and didn’t know anything about her being in town. He declined to answer questions that weren’t about practice.

The move comes as Wade works to finalize his 11-player roster by the league’s May 13 deadline.

The Sky could look to fill Williams’ spot with one of the players signed to a training-camp contract, such as guard Lexie Brown or second-round pick Natasha Mack.

Wade said Thursday during a media call that everything is on the table. Through nearly two weeks of camp, he has been most impressed by the point guard battle.

“None of our point guards under contract have actually practiced yet,” Wade said. “The point guard battle is really a sight to see with Jessica January, Brittany Boyd, and you can throw Brown in there, too.

“But she’s a little bit more on and off the ball.”