Los Angeles Sparks’ Candace Parker is greeted by fans as she is introduced before the WNBA All-Star basketball game Saturday, July 22, 2017, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
- Two-time WNBA MVP Candace Parker has committed to play for the Chicago Sky after 13 season with the Los Angeles Sparks
- Parker is an unrestricted free agent, and players can begin signing with teams as early as Monday
- Read below for updated odds and how Parker’s presence will impact the Sky
After 13 seasons with the Los Angeles Sparks, the team that drafted her first overall in 2008, Candace Parker has decided to leave LA to return to her hometown of Chicago and play for the Chicago Sky. Sources told ESPN just earlier this evening, but Parker won’t be able to put the deal on paper until Monday when players can agree to contracts.
Right now the Sky’s odds to win the Championship are listed at +800. Is it worth the bet right now? Read below to see what we think.
WNBA Championship Odds
|Las Vegas Aces||+350|
|Los Angeles Sparks||+1000|
|New York Liberty||+5000|
Odds taken Jan. 27 from William Hill.
Most of the Sky will be staying put at least for 2021, as the core group of players are already under contract. The addition of Parker looks to elevate their game even more, which hopefully leads to a deeper playoff push. Parker will look to add to the frontcourt rotation, and as a two-time MVP and reigning Defensive Player of the Year, she adds a presence on both ends of the court.
Averaging 16.9 points and 8.6 rebounds in her career, the 6-foot-4 forward is still performing at an extremely high level at 34 years old. Despite battling injury in 2019, during the 2020 bubble, she dominated, as well as recorded a career-high 54% of her 2-point attempts.
Chicago Sky just got even more stacked
🔷 Candace Parker: WNBA Champion, 2x MVP
🔷 Diamond DeShields: WNBA All-Star
🔷 Courtney Vandersloot: 2x WNBA All-Star, 5x WNBA Assists Leader
🔷 Allie Quigley: 3x WNBA All-Star
Championship contenders 👀 pic.twitter.com/cViZ31zcgM
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) January 27, 2021
One of the faces of the WNBA for years now, Parker will be coming to a new team that has it’s top players already. The Sky has a strong all-star point guard in Courtney Vandersloot, and with her the team had one of the highest rates of pick and rolls in the league. Parker hasn’t had to play that type of game in a few years, but there’s nothing showing that these two won’t be able to operate together.
It’s a homecoming.
Candace Parker is heading to Chicago, per @ramonashelburne. pic.twitter.com/XTtme9kglL
— WSLAM (@wslam) January 27, 2021
Parker’s biggest impact to the Sky might be her defensive abilities. The Sky weren’t really struggling offensively, it’s been strong enough to win them games. But there’s been many times where the defense has completely fallen off, and that’s where someone like Parker could actually make the biggest splash.
Worth The Bet Now?
Most of the players that were going into free agency were on strong contending teams, and I don’t think many people were expecting to see many moves, let alone one as big as this one. Does Parker’s move indicate that this offseason might be busier than we had expected? With the Parker signing, it doesn’t look like the Sky will have space to resign their free agent Cheyenne Parker.
Candace Parker is the only @WNBA player to win ROOKIE OF THE YEAR & MVP in the same season!!
She led rookies in scoring (18.5), blocks (2.3) & minutes.
She led the league in rebounds (9.5) & double-doubles. pic.twitter.com/5xHQWOjBrD
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) January 27, 2021
Both Candace Parker and Cheyenne Parker were expected to just resign with their current teams, not changing a whole lot throughout the league. But with the initial move by Candace Parker, a domino effect has started, which will cause other teams to adapt and respond.
I would argue that the Sky have a great shot at a deep playoff run this year. The experience and play that Parker brings to a team, it’s shown to be successful, and if she stays healthy like she did in 2020, the Sky will definitely be a team to beat throughout the season. The addition of playing in her hometown, and hopefully in front of family and friends is an added bonus.
I’m expecting their odds to shorten as the days go on. They’re going to be a contender.
A graduate of Sport Media at Ryerson University, Hayley is the ultimate student of sports. Whether she is playing it, watching it, debating it, or writing it, it’s safe to assume sport consumes the majority of her life. She has worked both internationally and with the NBA.