Aces Secure Future With Wilson


The Las Vegas Aces have locked up their future. A’ja Wilson isn’t going anywhere. 

According to multiple reports, Wilson has signed the maximum possible contract she can as a restricted free agent: a fully protected two-year deal for $196,267 and $202,155. The deal will keep Wilson in Vegas through the 2023 season.  

Wilson was drafted to the new-to-Vegas Aces in 2018, where she quickly rose to stardom. In her four years in the league, she already has three All-Star appearances, a Rookie of the Year award, and the 2020 MVP trophy. The Aces have made two Semifinals and a Finals during Wilson’s tenure but have yet to win a championship.  

In the press conference held by the Aces last week, Wilson said, “Vegas has become my second home, a place that I love. I don’t see myself leaving.” With this quote and the contract news, Aces fans are sure to be relieved that the former MVP wants to stay in Vegas. New coach Becky Hammon noted, “To have her secured up for a few years puts my mind at ease…she is the central figure in that pursuit [of a championship].” 

Hammon is right. Only a few players could be considered the best player in the league, and Wilson is one of them. When you have a player of that caliber, your team can contend, regardless of who else is on the roster.

The Rest of the Roster

On that note, we do know about some 2021 Aces that won’t be on this year’s squad. Angel McCoughtry signed with the Lynx, although she only appeared in one game for the Aces last season. Liz Cambage, after tweeting about her frustrations with the salaries and travel conditions for WNBA players, will reportedly sign with the Los Angeles Sparks. While she is one of the league’s top talents, she seemed to hinder Wilson’s ability to play at her full potential. We’ll see if Cambage’s departure allows Wilson to play at an MVP level again. 

Aside from McCoughtry and Cambage, most of last season’s team will be returning. Riquna Williams and Kiah Stokes have both re-signed with the team. They’ll re-join a core of Kelsey Plum, Dearica Hamby, Jackie Young, Chelsea Gray, Destiny Slocum, and Wilson.  

How does it all come together?

Hammon, reportedly the first coach in WNBA history to make over $1 million, has the privilege and the burden of coaching a championship-caliber team. She’s looking for Wilson to be a leader, saying, “To have a player with that kind of humility, that kind of talent, that kind of selflessness, is tremendous.” 

With a young star, perimeter talent, and a new voice in charge, all the pieces are in place. Now it’s time for them to go out and execute. Basketball is a player-driven sport. As the superstar goes, so does their team. With Wilson, the Aces are going in the right direction.  

About Jack Levenberg

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