Are the Seattle Storm signing another former UConn star? (No, not that one.)

Beyond a few procedural moves and applying the core designation to Jewell Loyd, it has been a tame offseason for the Seattle Storm so far. That might be about to change.

The Athletic’s Chantel Jennings reported free-agent big Stefanie Dolson is down to two finalists: the Storm and the New York Liberty. Beyond potentially adding the two-time All-Star, Seattle’s pursuit of Dolson could send a big message about what the team plans to do with Mercedes Russell.

Russell is a restricted free agent, which allows the Storm to match any offer sheet she receives. That doesn’t guarantee she’ll be back, though. Seattle’s front office may have a firm dollar figure in mind for the 2018 second-round pick. Should another team meet or exceed that amount, then the franchise could be prepared to lose a center who has been a key cog over the last few years.

Those are the sacrifices one has to make when your two best players are free agents and only five players are under contract. You can’t keep everybody.

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Storm Free Agency Preview: I’ve got a blank space, baby

Talisa Rhea, it’s your time to shine.

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.

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Storm Right the Wrongs of Last Offseason with Courtney Paris Signing

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Unfortunately, we blew our graphics budget on Sami Whitcomb reaction GIFs

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,”┬áStorm 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.

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