Sky pick up options on coach/GM James Wade contract

Wade has the highest winning percentage of any Sky coach, with a 74-50 overall record in his first four seasons.

SHARE Sky pick up options on coach/GM James Wade contract
The Sky picked up options on coach/GM James Wade’s contract.

The Sky picked up options on coach/GM James Wade’s contract.

Michael Reaves/Getty Images

One day after coach/GM James Wade led the Sky into the semifinals for the second consecutive season, the franchise announced it picked up the options on his previous contract, locking him in through the 2025 season.

Wade signed a three-year contract extension with the Sky in 2021 that carried a fourth- and fifth-year option. The 2023 season would have been Wade’s final year of that contract. The Sky had no intention of Wade operating in the final year of his deal with uncertainty. Both parties began discussions as the 2022 season was approaching.

It’s unclear if the financial terms of Wade’s contract were renegotiated. Per team policy, the terms of the contract are not disclosed.

“It says a lot about what they feel not only about me but about my family,” Wade said.

Wade is from Memphis, but has lived all over the world. His wife, Edwige Lawson-Wade helped the French national team to its first Olympic silver medal in 2012. During the WNBA’s off-season, they reside in France with their son, Jet, but Chicago has become home.

When Jet isn’t in Sky blue and yellow, he’s wearing Bulls black and red. Wade said as his son has grown up in Chicago, he’s grown to be a diehard fan of the city.

Wade has brought unprecedented stability to the Sky since he was hired in 2018 to lead the organization in his dual role position. The Sky’s sixth general manager and head coach, Wade has the highest winning percentage of any Sky coach, with a 74-50 overall record in his first four seasons.

He was named coach of the year in 2019 after leading the team to a 20-14 record and its first playoff berth in three years. Two years later he signed Candace Parker in what would end up being the first major step of the Sky’s 2021 championship run.

On Monday, Wade was named executive of the year after executing a series of free agency moves that included re-signing his entire core and adding 2019 WNBA Finals MVP Emma Meesseman.

This season, Wade led the Sky to a franchise-best 26-10 record, tying the Las Vegas Aces with the best record in the league.

Legacy is not something Wade wants to get into discussions about. He says it’s hard to reflect on that when he’s in the pursuit of more. Wade has the Sky in a position to cement their legacy in the WNBA and Chicago sports with back-to-back titles.

“You bring up the people who have really solidified building championship cultures in Chicago sports and I take a lot of pride in [contributing to that],” Wade said.

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