When you’re trying to make it to the top of the mountain, you do everything you can to make it there. You leave no stone unturned, you maximize every resource you have, and you push to get better every single day. If you do that, you can look back and know you tried your very best to win it all.
A week ago Wednesday afternoon, the New York Liberty shook up the WNBA landscape when they agreed to sign superstar forward, Breanna Stewart, then made it official this Wednesday. Stewart is one of the game’s greatest players of all time and turned what was shaping up to be a great Liberty team and made them even better. Still, it felt like there was one more piece of the puzzle to be added.
Last Thursday afternoon, the puzzle became complete. While the Stewie news dominated the discussion, it was rumored Courtney Vandersloot was heading to the Seattle Storm. That didn’t turn out to be the case, and on Thursday, we found out from the best source possible where Sloot would be playing in 2023...
#BREAKING Courtney Vandersloot is signing with the New York Liberty ✍— Courtney Vandersloot (@Sloot22) February 2, 2023
It came down to New York and Seattle, and the Liberty won the day. And now like Stewart, Vandersloot’s signing is finally official. She, like Stewart, took less than the max so that the franchise could still carry Betnijah Laney. The delay in signing had to do with that.
Vandersloot is one of the best point guards the game has ever seen. She’s led the W in assists six times and is third on the all time assist leaderboards. Vandersloot joins a Liberty team that is all in on trying to win their first WNBA championship. She’ll be paired with Sabrina Ionescu in the backcourt, and Ionescu will be looking to build on her breakout 2022 season that saw her first All Star and All WNBA nomination. It took a while for Ionescu to get back to full strength following her early ankle injury, but she’s locked in and figures to be even better in 2023.
Assuming everything stays the same, this projects to be the Liberty starting five Sandy Brondello will have this spring:
The New York Liberty are STACKED— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) February 2, 2023
Jonquel Jones pic.twitter.com/vziR9H1Hq4
That starting lineup is everything a fan could ever dream of. You have All-Stars and All-WNBA players from one through five. You have players in Stewart, Jonquel Jones, and Betnijah Laney that can create their own offense, score at all three levels, and take over a game for you. You have two of the game’s best passers in Vandersloot and Ionescu. Laney can take on the opponent’s best perimeter scorers. The duo of Jones and Stewart can do everything you could dream of on the court. Vandersloot can keep everything running smoothly and Ionescu can build upon her success playing off the ball.
The team hasn’t made the new signings official as of yet, so it remains to be seen what the numbers will look like once everything is signed, sealed, and delivered. Ramona Shelburne of ESPN reports that Stewart may have taken a pay cut to make things work!
Financial details still being worked out here, but much like Vegas, the assembly of a super team underscores the challenges and limitations of the WNBA’s salary cap. The expectation, sources told ESPN, is that Breanna Stewart will take substantially less to make this work. https://t.co/PSfyqbqMkL— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) February 2, 2023
Either way, this offseason has fulfilled GM Jonathan Kolb’s vow to be aggressive in bringing a championship to New York. We’re familiar with Clean Sweeps around these parts.
The Liberty are determined to bring a championship home to their fans, and they’re as close to achieving that goal as they’ve been in years. The season can’t get here soon enough.
- New York Liberty sign star guard Courtney Vandersloot - Alexa Philippou - ESPN
- Vandersloot to New York, the rise of superteams and a Liberty-Aces WNBA Finals? - ESPN
- Courtney Vandersloot Announces She’s Signing With Liberty - Nick Selbe - Sports Illustrated
- Sky’s the Limit! Courtney Vandersloot Joins Liberty - Geoff Magliocchetti - Sports Illustrated
- Courtney Vandersloot to Sign with Liberty, Join Breanna Stewart, Sabrina Ionescu - Joseph Zucker - Bleacher Report
- Vandersloot latest star to join New York Liberty - Doug Feinberg - AP
- Courtney Vandersloot signing with Liberty, joining potential super-team with Breanna Stewart and Jonquel Jones - Jack Baer - Yahoo! Sports
- Liberty sign Courtney Vandersloot to add to WNBA superteam - Jonathan Lehman - New York Post