Free agent superstar Breanna Stewart returns to Storm on one-year supermax deal
As expected, former WNBA MVP Breanna Stewart is stay in seattle. The superstar striker finalized a deal with the Storm on Wednesday. Although the team did not disclose the terms of the agreement, it is notably expected that it will only be a one-year supermax contract, according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports.
Stewart, who was the Storm’s first pick in 2016, has spent his entire career with the franchise. In just five seasons of action — she missed the entire 2019 season due to a torn Achilles tendon — she led the Storm to two titles, winning Finals MVP twice. Additionally, she was Rookie of the Year in 2016, named MVP in 2018, made three All-Star Teams, four All-WNBA appearances, and three All-Defensive Teams.
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In short, even if she were to retire today, she would still be one of the greatest players of all time, a fact that was confirmed when she was named to the league’s 25th Anniversary Team. last year. She was the youngest player to earn this honor and one of only 10 active players on the list.
“Stewie is the best player in the world and having her on our team means we will always be in the game to compete for another championship,” Noelle Quinn said. “She takes great pride in her preparation, raises everyone’s level of play and, above all, just wants to win.”
The Storm faced a unique situation this year when all of their big three — Stewart, Jewell Loyd and Sue Bird — reached unrestricted free agency at the same time. Bird was never going anywhere and recently announced that she would be back for a 21st season. Loyd and Stewart weren’t quite as sure, however, and the Storm could only use the base designation on one of them. They chose Loyd, which was risky given Stewart’s status, but paid off — at least for now.
It’s very interesting that Stewart only re-signed to a one-year contract, and even more so when taken in conjunction with reports that she met the New York Liberty earlier in free agency. There’s no guarantee she’ll leave Seattle next year, especially since the Storm may give her the primary designation, but it’s a clear sign she’s keeping her options open.
There are still many questions about the Storm’s present and future, but with the return of Stewart they have established themselves as a title contender for 2022.