Stefanie Dolson’s time in Chicago appears to be coming to an end
After meeting with the New York Liberty, Las Vegas Aces, Atlanta Dream, Seattle Storm and Sky, the Olympic gold medalist is deciding between the Liberty and Storm.
Stefanie Dolson is choosing between two landing spots for the 2022 WNBA season and neither of them are the Sky, a league source confirmed to the Sun-Times Thursday morning.
After taking meetings with the New York Liberty, Las Vegas Aces, Atlanta Dream, Seattle Storm and the Sky, the Olympic gold-medalist is deciding between the Liberty and the Storm. The news was first reported by The Athletic.
Dolson arrived in Chicago in 2017 in a trade that sent Elena Delle Donne to the Washington Mystics in exchange for her and Kahleah Copper. The move changed the trajectory of the Sky, ultimately helping lead them to the 2021 WNBA Championship.
In her first season with the Sky, Dolson averaged 14.5 points, 5.8 rebounds and 2.6 assists and was named an All-Star for the second time in her career. In her five seasons with the team, Dolson averaged 10 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2.2 assists in 133 games.
Dolson is from upstate New York and played high school basketball 73 miles from New York City. Aside from being close to home, Dolson’s style of play fits well with the pieces the Liberty have.
As one of the best pick-and-roll players in the WNBA, playing alongside guards like Sabrina Ionescu and Betnijah Laney would suit her game well. The Storm, on the other hand, still have a lot of unknowns surrounding their roster.
Unrestricted free agent Sue Bird announced she would be returning to the league in 2022 and it’s assumed that she’ll be signing with the Storm. The Storm used their core designation on Jewell Loyd earlier this month and it’s been reported that Breanna Stewart took a meeting with the Liberty. The core designation doesn’t assure Loyd re-signs with the Storm, just that if she leaves it would have to be in a sign-and-trade deal.
Stewart and Dolson spent two seasons together at UConn leading the Huskies to back-to-back NCAA titles.
Following the Sky’s championship season, Dolson said it was hard to imagine leaving Chicago. She went as far as saying she’d be open to taking less money to remain on a winning team.
After using the core designation on Copper in January and assuming the Sky are able to re-sign Courtney Vandersloot and Allie Quigley to similar contracts as 2021, Dolson would have needed to take a significant pay cut to remain in Chicago.
The Liberty have a slew of unprotected contracts they could part ways with to offer Dolson closer to what she made in 2021 with the Sky. Meanwhile, the Storm — if they are able to re-sign their big three of Stewart, Bird and Loyd — are championship contenders and Dolson would add instant value.
Last week, Diamond DeShields said she doesn’t see herself returning to the Sky. Since then her agent Mike Cound said there are two serious contenders DeShields is in talks with.
According to HerHoopStats.com, the Sky are working with $908,215. If they re-sign Vandersloot and Quigley for the same amount they made in 2021 and give Copper the supermax that leaves them with $286,121 to split between four remaining contracts.
Copper and the Sky have not indicated yet what her deal will look like, but if she enters into a multi-year contract for less than the supermax that would free up even more cap space.