He signs the two-time WNBA Player of the Year aces to bolster their title defense

He signs the two-time WNBA Player of the Year aces to bolster their title defense

Two-time WNBA MVP and two-time WNBA champion Candace Parker announced Saturday that she will be joining the Aces in free agency.

“After assessing the landscape with my family, we have decided that the Las Vegas Aces is the right organization for us at this time in our lives,” Parker wrote on her Instagram.

A source familiar with the deal told the Review-Journal that Parker will sign a one-year contract with the team.

Parker comes to Las Vegas with one of the most distinguished resumes in women’s basketball history. He won two NCAA titles with Tennessee, playing for legendary coach Pat Summitt, and earned Olympic gold with Team USA in 2008 and 2012.

With 15 years of experience, Parker was WNBA Rookie of the Year and league MVP in 2008 after debuting with the Los Angeles Sparks, WNBA Defensive Player of the Year in 2020 and a seven-time WNBA first team selection. Parker also led the league in rebounding three times and was named to the league’s 20th and 25th Anniversary Teams.

The 36-year-old forward won MVP honors in 2013, averaging 17.9 points, 8.7 rebounds, and 3.8 assists. Parker won her first WNBA Championship with the Sparks in 2016 with current Aces guard Chelsea Gray. Parker was named MVP of the WNBA Finals as the Sparks defeated the Minnesota Lynx, who were seeking their fourth title in six seasons.

Parker left Los Angeles after 13 years to join the Chicago Sky, her hometown, in 2021. Only a seven-time All-Star could lead Chicago to a 16-16 record and a sixth-place finish, but the Sky swept the playoffs to clinch Parker’s second WNBA championship, by defeating the Phoenix Mercury in the finals.

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Last season, Parker averaged 13.2 points, 8.6 rebounds and 4.5 assists with the Sky, who lost to the Connecticut Sun 3-2 in the semifinals. She was once again selected to an All-Star and to the WNBA First Team.

“I will always be grateful to everyone at Chicago: our fans, teammates, coaches and owners,” Parker wrote. “But more than in the past two seasons, I’m grateful for the city that raised me, for the childhood friends I still have to this day, for the teachers I still learn from, and for the moments in time that will always be there. In my heart.”

In Las Vegas, Parker teams up with Player of the Year and Defensive Player Aja Wilson. Gray, the 2022 WNBA Finals MVP; All-WNBA first-team guard Kelsey Bloom; 2022 WNBA All-Star Jackie Young; and 2022 Coach of the Year Becky Hammon.

The Aces managed to make way to sign Parker after the controversial trade for holder All-Star Dearica Hamby to the Sparks on January 21.

In a social media post, Parker said he made the decision to sign with the Aces in part to compete for championships, but also because his family wanted to move back to the West Coast.

“Playing in a tournament close to home is the perfect situation for us,” Parker wrote. “I look forward to continuing the journey this summer in Las Vegas.”

Oliver Walton

"Pro alcohol addict. Bacon scholar. Award-winning beer fan. Gamer. Social media expert. Zombie guru."

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