WNBA free agency officially gets underway on Feb. 1, the first day that teams and free agent players can agree to new contracts. The Liberty has three free agent players from last year’s team that went 21-13 and posted the best record in the Eastern Conference for a 2nd-straight season: Sugar Rodgers, Rebecca Allen, and Tanisha Wright.
Each of the three has a unique classification with Rodgers being a restricted free agent, Allen a reserved player, and Wright receiving core designation.
Rodgers’ 3rd season in New York was a big one for the 4th-year guard out of Georgetown. With an opportunity to start at the three while Epiphanny Prince recovered from offseason knee surgery, Rodgers flourished, turning in one of the best 3-point shooting campaigns in the history of the league. She broke the Liberty’s single-season record with 86 triples, and ranked 5th in the WNBA, shooting .413 from long distance. Rodgers enjoyed career-highs in points (14.5 ppg), rebounds (3.7 rpg), assists (2.4 apg) and steals (1.0 spg), as she developed into one of the most effective two-way guards in the league.
Technically her 2nd WNBA season, Allen was arguably a rookie in 2016, after playing just two games and 34 minutes in 2015, before returning to Australia to with a knee injury. Even her campaign last year was abbreviated, as she missed the first 12 games of the season to train with the Australian national team. Once she made her way back to the team and got going, she immediately showed why she was such a key pickup for the Libs. Allen averaged 5.7 ppg, but really flourished behind-the-arc, where she shot 17-of-30 (.567). She ended up scoring in double figures 5 times, which included a 19-point game at Washington where she shot 4-of-6 from three.
Wright’s 2nd season in New York resulted in another 20-win season, and 2nd-straight playoff berth, as she once again proved to be a versatile guard, running the point and one of the best defenders in the league. Again Wright was named WNBA All-Defensive 2nd Team, and she averaged 6.7 points and 3.6 assists, which led the team. Against Phoenix in the 2nd Round of the WNBA Playoffs she matched her career-playoff high of 21 points, and earlier in the season surpassed 3,000-career points, becoming just the 10th player in league history to rack up at least 3,000 points, 1,000 rebounds, and 1,200 assists.