NEW YORK (AP) — Maya Moore and Tina Charles aren’t going anywhere.
Two people familiar with the deals told The Associated Press that the former UConn teammates were given the franchise tag by Minnesota and New York for the upcoming WNBA season.
It’s no real surprise that the perennial All-Stars won’t hit the free-agent market.
Other tagged players include Courtney Vandersloot (Chicago), Jasmine Thomas (Connecticut), DeWanna Bonner (Phoenix) and Glory Johnson (Dallas). The people spoke Monday night on condition of anonymity because no official announcement has been made.
Top unrestricted free agents include Allie Quigley (Chicago), Rebekkah Brunson and Seimone Augustus (Minnesota), Alana Beard (Los Angeles) and Briann January (Phoenix). All four are expected to re-sign with their teams. Other unrestricted free agents include Essence Carson (Los Angeles), Crystal Langhorne (Seattle) and Epiphanny Prince (New York).
Chelsea Gray (Los Angeles) and Natalie Achonwa (Indiana) are the top two restricted free agents. Their current teams are allowed to match any offer they get from another club.
Teams can start to negotiate with their own restricted and unrestricted free agents Tuesday, but deals may not be finalized until Feb. 1.
Financial constraints tend to limit bidding wars — and thus player movement — in the WNBA. The league knows a more active free agency period could draw increased interest from the casual fan.
Free agency this year could be impacted by the fact that WNBA players exercised their right to terminate their collective bargaining agreement after the 2019 season, cutting the deal short by two years. With the unclear situation when it comes to salaries in the new CBA, players may be hesitant to sign long-term deals.