Courtney Vandersloot’s return to the Sky not a sure thing

Vandersloot has several meetings scheduled, a league source told the Sun-Times on Monday.

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Chicago Sky guard Courtney Vandersloot (22) brings the ball up court against the Dallas Wings during the first half in the first round of the WNBA basketball playoffs, Thursday, Sept. 23, 2021, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Kamil Krzaczynski) ORG XMIT: CXA155

Kamil Krzaczynski, AP Photos

Still riding the high from helping the Sky win their first WNBA title, Courtney Vandersloot said in November she was intrigued by the idea of testing the free-agent market for the first time in her 11-year career.

Two days into free agency, the process has already been very active for the league’s top point guard.

Vandersloot has multiple meetings scheduled, a league source told the Chicago Sun-Times Monday. Asked about those meetings, Vandersloot’s agent, Lindsay Kagawa Colas, wasn’t specific about which teams had landed meetings.

“The majority of WNBA teams have inquired at some point about Vandersloot,” Colas said.

Vandersloot’s loyalty to the Sky has been rooted in her desire to win a championship with the franchise that drafted her and the strong relationships with ownership and coaching staff, past and present.

Having accomplished her goal of bringing a title to Chicago, general manager and coach James Wade will need to sell Vandersloot on returning to the Sky.

Unrestricted free agents are experiencing a more active market than ever before, with teams going all-in on their sales pitches. Even players tagged with the core designation are being sold on why they should remain and what makes them such a valuable asset to a franchise's future.

Vandersloot’s value was solidified long before she helped lead the Sky to a WNBA title, breaking records and making history in the process. Despite proving this past season that she is the best true point guard in the WNBA, complacency has no place in Vandersloot’s game. Finding a fit that contributes to her continued growth will likely be a consideration for her.

Another key in keeping Vandersloot will be whether or not Wade can build a successful team around her. A step in making that happen was using the core designation on WNBA Finals Most Valuable Player Kahleah Copper.

Both sides have indicated that there’s no intention of a sign-and-trade deal.

With Copper’s future in Chicago all but inked and Candace Parker and Azura Stevens on protected veteran contracts until 2023, there’s still a lot of work to be done in forming a title-contending roster.

Vandersloot's quality of directness is an indicator that if she’s taking a meeting, it’s because she’s genuinely interested in the possibility of playing for that team. The Sky need to go all out in their pitch to Vandersloot on returning, and they’ve given no indication that they won’t.

Wade said following the 2021 season that as long as Vandersloot and Allie Quigley are playing, he’s going to do whatever it takes to be their coach. Only time will tell if Wade and the Sky’s idea of whatever it takes is enough.

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