With WNBA free agency set to begin on February 1, the New York Liberty have begun to reshape their roster for the 2022 season.
Chantel Jennings of The Athletic broke the big news of the day:
New York native Stef Dolson has agreed to terms to a multi-year deal with the New York Liberty, per sources.— Chantel Jennings (@ChantelJennings) January 30, 2022
With Stefanie Dolson coming to New York, the Libs will get some more size in the frontcourt. At 6’5”, Dolson will allow for Natasha Howard to slide back to her more natural position of power forward. Dolson played an integral part in the Chicago Sky’s run to the 2021 Finals and wound up hitting the baskets that helped sealed the Finals over Sandy Brondello’s Phoenix Mercury club. Dolson won a gold medal with Team USA’s 3x3 squad in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
Dolson won’t be counted on to score, but she sets great screens, which will open things up and create more space for Sabrina Ionescu, Sami Whitcomb, and Betnijah Laney. Dolson is a good pick and pop partner
and can spot up as well
In her introductory press conference, Sandy Brondello mentioned she wanted more paint shots, and having a center that can draw opposing bigs out to the three point line will open up driving lanes for the Liberty guards.
Dolson is also a good rim protector and for a Liberty team that often struggled on defense, having someone that can deter shots at the basket will be incredibly valuable alongside Howard.
The UConn product is a member of the 17-woman Team USA training camp roster that will gather next weekend ahead of FIBA women’s basketball tournament the following week.
The Liberty have a lot more work to do this winter. Team governors Clara Wu and Joe Tsai as well as Brondello recently met with Seattle Storm legend, Breanna Stewart, but bringing Stewie back to the East Coast will take a lot of doing as she will command a maximum salary.
Rebecca Allen is the longest tenured Liberty player, but also an unrestricted free agent and someone who will draw a lot of attention from contenders across the W. Allen’s ability to defend various positions and knock down three pointers at an efficient clip makes her an integral part of what the team hopes to accomplish in 2022 and beyond. The team may also be bolstered by the return of Marine Johannes. Johannes last appeared with the Liberty in the 2019 season, but has played overseas the past two years as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
With free agency underway, the Liberty have a great opportunity to build upon a roster that snuck into the 2021 playoffs and put up a heck of a fight. Signing Dolson is a great start and we’ll see where the road takes them next.