Sky add former Sun guard Courtney Williams amid departures

ByAlexa Philippou ESPN logo
Friday, February 3, 2023
ESPN

Former Connecticut Sun guard Courtney Williams will be signing with the 2021 champion Chicago Sky, Williams confirmed to ESPN on Thursday.

Williams broke the news by tweeting at new teammate Kahleah Copper -- the 2021 WNBA Finals MVP -- "Aye @kahleahcopper what's up! Let's get to it!"

Copper responded to Williams: "wake em' uppppppppp."

Williams heads to Chicago after previous stints in Phoenix, Connecticut (twice) and Atlanta.

She was part of the Sun's Finals runs in 2019 and 2022, most recently averaging 11.1 points, 4.6 rebounds and 3.3 assists in 27.9 minutes per game with Connecticut. During her final season in Atlanta in 2021, she earned her first All-Star bid, averaging 16.5 points, 4.0 assists and 6.8 rebounds.

The Sky, meanwhile, are looking to reload after losing four major contributors from their 2022 squad. Two-time WNBA MVP Candace Parker, five-time all-WNBA selection Courtney Vandersloot and burgeoning post Azura Stevens -- all of whom were free agents -- opted to join the Las Vegas Aces, New York Liberty and Los Angeles Sparks, respectively. Four-time 3-point shooting contest champion Allie Quigley is sitting out the 2023 season but is not retiring.

The only other players besides Copper currently on the Sky's roster are reserves Ruthy Hebard, Julie Allemand, Dana Evans and Li Yueru.

The Sun, who are welcoming in new coach Stephanie White, are similarly looking like a much different group than last year heading into 2023, as Jonquel Jones requested a trade to New York and Jasmine Thomas was sent to Los Angeles. In return, Connecticut received Rebecca Allen, Tyasha Harris, Jasmine Walker, Olivia Nelson-Ododa and the rights to Kianna Smith. They've given the core designation to two-time All-Star Brionna Jones and could retain guard Natisha Hiedeman, who is a restricted free agent.

Elsewhere in the WNBA, the Seattle Storm announced they have signed former Phoenix Mercury guard Kia Nurse.On Thursday, Nurse said on social media that she won't be returning to Phoenix, where she spent the past two years following a trade from the New York Liberty.

Nurse, a two-time Canadian Olympian, was sidelined last season while recovering from an ACL tear she suffered in the 2021 playoffs but returned to the court in September with Team Canada during the 2022 FIBA World Cup in Australia.

She has averaged 11.0 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game throughout her WNBA career, starting in 91 of 121 contests.

Nurse's agent, Bernie Lee, told ESPN that the deal with Seattle is two-years fully guaranteed.

She's the first signing for the Storm since they lost 2018 MVP Breanna Stewart and missed out on Vanderslootin free agency, both of whom are joining the Liberty. The Storm also have under contract four-time All-Star Jewell Loyd and Mercedes Russell. Ezi Magbegor, a reserved free agent, could also return to four-time champion Seattle.

6-3 forward/center Elizabeth Williams, who has previous stints with Connecticut, Atlanta and most recently Washington, has agreed to a two-year, fully guaranteed deal with the Chicago Sky where she'll receive $135,000 per year, her agent, Allison Galer, confirmed to ESPN. Her Hoop Stats first reported the agreement.

Drafted out of Duke in 2015, Williams has averaged 8.4 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game across her WNBA career.