The Phoenix Mercury have opened free agency with a bold move, signing Odyssey Sims to a max offer sheet.
As broken by Rachel Galligan of WNBAInsidr the Phoenix Mercury have signed restricted free agent Odyssey Sims to a three-year max offer sheet.
As is the nature of restricted free agency, the Los Angeles Sparks have four days to match the offer sheet. However, given the state of the Sparks roster, this seems highly unlikely to happen.
The Sparks have only five players signed for next season. They have the talents of Alana Beard, Essence Carson, Chelsea Gray and Riquna Williams who are all off contract. The Sparks have only $500,000 of salary cap room to play with.
Sims was below her best last season, averaging less than her career numbers in every statistical category. She also started only 24 of a possible 34 games.
Her two years with the Sparks were the lowest production levels of her five-year career. She averaged less than ten points per game in both seasons, compared to her three seasons with the Tulsa/Dallas franchise where Sims averaged 15.5 points per game.
Now that the Mercury has signed Sims to an offer sheer, they are upping the ante in the WNBA. They were only narrowly beaten by the eventual champions, the Seattle Storm. Sims is another scorer who can take the load off Diana Taurasi, Brittney Griner and DeWanna Bonner, assuming she is re-signed.
Sims also went to college at Baylor with Mercury cornerstone Griner. There is already a level of chemistry and understanding between these two, developed during these couple of years of college ball. This could be a move to the future for the Mercury, with an eye on the now.
Taurasi is not going to be around forever, she is already one of the older players in the WNBA. Griner is going to be the franchise player in a couple of years. Having a point guard to get her the ball moving forward is an insurance policy. This would be why the Mercury have offered the three-year max.
If they can bring most of the core from last season, the Mercury might be in line for another championship in one of Taurasi’s last seasons. The would be a fitting end to one of the greatest careers in basketball. The signing of Sims could facilitate that.
For full coverage of the 2019 WNBA free agency, visit the WNBAfan.blog free agency central page.