Chicago Sky superstar Elena Delle Donne entered the offseason in October as a restricted free agent, and told reporter Howard Megdal on Dec. 16 that “things will be moving forward” for her.
The 2014 WNBA MVP finished fourth in MVP voting this past season, ranking second in the league in scoring (21.5 points per game) while shooting a career-high 48.5% from the field and 42.6% from three. But she suffered a thumb injury in September and missed the Sky’s final 10 games, including their entire playoff run to the Semifinals, where they fell to the eventual-champion L.A. Sparks in four games.
Now, as she detailed on Megdal’s Locked on Women’s Basketball podcast, she is weighing her options for the 2017 season and beyond.
“I can’t wait for this next season,” Delle Donne said on the podcast. “I’m eager and ready to be back and playing — wherever that may be.”
Follow the coverage of EDD’s offseason below:
Locked on Women’s Basketball: Delle Donne Talks Free Agency
Listen in full as Delle Donne joins Howard Megdal to discuss her future.
VICE Sports: Delle Donne Says She’s Ready to Move
The Chicago Sky’s Elena Delle Donne is a restricted free agent this off-season, and the 2015 WNBA MVP said in an interview Friday that she would come to a decision soon about where she wants to play next, and is prepared to sit out the 2017 season if necessary to facilitate a move to her preferred destination.
It represents, potentially, the biggest transaction in the history of the WNBA, a trade-averse league where players at or near Delle Donne’s level typically stay with a single team for the duration of their careers.
VICE Sports: Sky Owner Says EDD Trade ‘A Strong Possibility’
Chicago Sky owner Michael Alter said that there’s “a strong possibility we’ll be looking to trade” 2015 WNBA MVP and 2016 Olympian Elena Delle Donne in an interview with VICE Sports Monday.
Alter stressed that he was under no obligation to trade Delle Donne, but her desire to leave appears irreconcilable with the way he sees incoming coach and GM Amber Stocks building a champion: the Sky only want players who want to be in Chicago.
Asked point blank if it was his understanding that Delle Donne wanted to stay in Chicago, Alter replied, “I think where she is right now is that she wants to pursue other options.”
Chicago Sun-Times: Delle Donne Ponders Possible Move
But asked Tuesday if she felt Delle Donne wants to be part of that plan after speaking with the three-time All-Star, Stocks replied, “Elena is a smart, experienced player and she’s doing what a lot of players in her position (do) when they reach this point in their career where they have restricted free agency status. She’s exploring her options.
“It’s no different than us exploring our options during this free agency period as well.”
The Athletic: Sky Coach/GM Weighing Options
Stocks spoke with The Athletic about Delle Donne and addressed the possibility of Delle Donne sitting out.
“I’m not very concerned about that, and that’s not our focus nor is it Elena’s focus,” said Stocks. “She wants to play basketball. She’s a competitor. During this free agency period we’re all gonna stay focused on finding the right pieces and making the right moves so that come the start of the season, we are competing at full strength. And she wants to compete at her full strength also.
“We’ve discussed several things across the board and she’s gonna look at what options fit her both from a basketball perspective and a personal perspective and we’re going to look at what options fit us.”