NEW YORK — Breanna Stewart, the most coveted WNBA free agent in years and one of the best basketball players alive, announced on Wednesday she would be going to the New York Liberty, launching a new era in her career and in the league.
After trading for 2021 league MVP Jonquel Jones last month, the Liberty positioned themselves to improve upon last season. By adding Stewart, New York will be vaulted to among the top favorites to win the championship, said hosts Howard Megdal and Jackie Powell on Wednesday’s Locked On Women’s Basketball podcast.
“The amount of things that Breanna Stewart has done in her career up until now, they’re fun to just throw out there,” Megdal said. “Who’s won four national championships while being the MOP all four times? Only Breanna Stewart. … She is an offensive force, she is a defensive force, if they had special teams, she’d be a special teams force. She does everything.”
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Beyond Stewart, Jones and 2022 WNBA All-Star Sabrina Ionescu, the Liberty also have high-level role players and reserves who will provide a great supporting cast for the superstars the team added this offseason.
“The Liberty already have a bench,” Powell said. They’re not going out and trying to get a bench.”
New York also has one of the better two-way wings in the WNBA to fill out a starting lineup next to Ionescu, Stewart and Jones.
“The Liberty really value Betnijah Laney,” Powell said. The Liberty believe that Betnijah Laney can guard one through four, they believe that her two-way skill set is something that is not very common in this league.”
Of course, the Liberty may not be done yet. They are reportedly pursuing four-time All-Star Courtney Vandersloot as well.