After leaving fans trying to decipher his cryptic tweets Taylor Swift Breanna Stewart’s style on where she’ll end up next season is back in New York state.
Stewart signed with the Liberty on Feb. 1 after spending the past six seasons with the Seattle Storm. Stewie brings an extensive resume to New York, including two WNBA championships, two league MVP awards and the 2022 scoring title. She is one of the greatest athletes the WNBA has ever seen and is only 28 years old, making arguably the biggest free agency move in WNBA history.
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Prior to the start of free agency, the Liberty traded forward Jonquel Jones from the Connecticut Sun. Jones, a superstar in his own right, was a move no one saw coming, bolstering a roster built on Sabrina Ionescu’s IQ and skills. They then added Stewart and signed defenseman Courtney Vandersloot from the Chicago Sky, one of the best passers in the league.
New York acquired the pieces to make a deep run in the playoffs, something they haven’t done since 2002, and they’ve gone on to create a super team that people can’t wait to take on the field with one of the best starting fives in recent history. BetMGM gives the Liberty +150 odds to win the WNBA title next season.
“I think there’s a lot of potential in this group,” Stewart said ESPN after signing. “I think there are a lot of amazing players. Selflessness is what helps us stand out from everyone else.”
What’s next in The Storm?
However, the Storm lost one of the best players to ever play for the franchise.
A lot goes into signing and re-signing players, and it’s not like the Storm didn’t have the money to keep him. External factors influenced Stewie’s decision. Stewart’s recently retired teammate Sue Bird speculated that Stewie would sign with New York The Bell’s NBA Show. Bird said, “He’s from Syracuse, which obviously isn’t New York City, but that means a lot. Closer. His wife is from Spain. Closer. He has a family now. Priorities and what you need from a team start to shift and change because money is not the only thing.”
At the end of the day, sometimes it just doesn’t work out. This is what happened to Seattle in the Stewie sweepstakes. It just didn’t work out.
One of the best things about Stewart and his style of play is that he can play wherever he is needed. His versatility is an asset New York will capitalize on. He can shoot, he can change the game and he can defend incredibly.
This is the first time in six years that Seattle will not have Bird or Stewie. This was not seen as both players missed the 2019 season due to injury. Seattle’s saving grace is that they still have All-Star Jewell Loyd. Because of this, the Storm is not in a rebuilding status, but in an era of much uncertainty. They have gaps in their starting five that may never be filled by an offseason signing. Loyd is asked to anchor this team and step into a bigger role than he’s ever had to play with Stewie and Bird.
Additionally, if Mercedes Russell is healthy, she will have a bigger role because of her experience. He didn’t see much time in Seattle, but with no one to overshadow him, he could potentially put up numbers like he did in Tennessee.
It’s clear that the Storm won’t be the same team they’ve been for over half a decade, which is crazy to think about since they’ve been juggling for so long. They don’t finish at the top of the league like they usually do, but they don’t finish at the end of the league either. They are in basketball limbo and probably won’t leave until people see them play. The playoffs are not out of the question, but if they don’t sign someone soon, the chances will slip.
However, in New York’s case, their breakout season has been a long time coming. People thought Ionescu would be the deciding factor, but he couldn’t do it alone. The front office has built a team around their franchise player who will not only back him up, but elevate his play and poise. Anything short of a trip to the finals will be a disappointment for the Liberty.