Liberty Life with Laimbeer
Happy New Year! I hope everyone enjoyed the holidays with their family and friends.
As the calendar turns over and takes us into 2013, it’s time to get down to New York Liberty business in a more intensive manner. The month of January marks the start of a very active free agency period when teams analyze their rosters and make decisions on both restricted and unrestricted free agents. It is my intention to make the necessary moves to put together the best team to take the court for the 2013 season.
From January 1 through 14, a franchise can make qualifying offers to its restricted free agents, we currently have two on the Liberty roster in Essence Carson and Kia Vaughn. An organization can also decide to “core” a player, whether they are restricted or unrestricted free agents, subsequently keeping that player under contract for one year at the max salary.
In addition, there is the matter of suspended players for the Liberty that includes Quanitra Hollingsworth and Janel McCarville, along with Elisabeth Cebrian, Katarina Lazic and Hajdana Radnovic, whose rights remain property of the team.
On January 15, teams are permitted to make contact with players and begin negotiations with both restricted and unrestricted free agents. The discussions continue until February 1, which is the first day players and teams can put ink to paper and sign finalized contracts. The 2013 Liberty roster will really begin to take shape during this time.
There is also the WNBA Draft on April 15 to look forward to. The evaluation of talent in the draft is an ongoing process of watching film and scouting players live. I am more encouraged with this year’s senior class after taking a longer look. I will continue to look at the eligible players and decide how they may fit in the plans for this team. This year we have the fifth pick overall which is a great opportunity to get a player that can come in and help contribute to our success.
Outside of free agency and negotiations, I will also do some traveling in the coming weeks. First, I will head across the pond to London to catch the Knicks vs. Piston game at The O2 Arena. My European tour then continues into Turkey, specifically Istanbul, for a visit with Cappie Pondexter who is having a great season with Fenerbahce. While in Turkey I’ll also catch a game between her and McCarville’s Turkish team Canik Bld.
The process of putting together my coaching staff continues, but I don’t have a definite timetable. I have been in touch with a few candidates, all of which possess some great qualities you want in an assistant coach. There will be many moves made this offseason, all with the franchise’s best interest in mind and I know Liberty fans will be very excited by the direction we are headed.