The Seattle Storm promoted Rhea to general manager in April 2021, by which time the team had already executed their biggest offseason moves. While she had been the assistant GM under Alisha Valavanis since 2019, she hasn’t yet had the opportunity to truly leave her imprint on the roster.
That will change this winter.
The Storm’s official roster at the moment is a bit sparse.
This was likely entirely by design based on Seattle’s offseason business in 2021. The team didn’t re-sign Alysha Clark and traded the pair of Natasha Howard and Sami Whitcomb, both of whom were free agents, to the New York Liberty. While that hindered the Storm’s chances of successfully defending their WNBA title, it cleared the deck for 2022, when they had a slew of players out of contract including Breanna Stewart, Jewell Loyd, Mercedes Russell and Jordin Canada.
After an uneventful opening day of WNBA free agency, the Seattle Storm made what’s likely to be their biggest offseason splash Saturday, signing Courtney Paris to what they called a “multi-year deal.”
“Courtney brings a presence inside that we have been eager to add to the roster,” Storm general manager Alisha Valavanis said in the team’s press release. “Her ability to rebound the basketball is a great strength. We are thrilled to welcome her to Seattle!”
The move felt especially satisfying after Seattle was almost completely inactive Thursday, while a number of teams throughout the WNBA teased the arrival of their newest signings. The Storm confirmed they re-signed Sami Whitcomb, but that was largely a formality since Whitcomb was a reserve player, giving Seattle exclusive negotiating rights.
Thursday kind of felt like when you hear your friends got to open a present or two the day before Christmas. Sure, you still got your Christmas presents, but it’s not fair that your friends got to spend an extra day having fun.