Longtime star and two-time WNBA champion Candace Parker said Saturday she will sign with the Las Vegas Aces for her 16th WNBA season.
Parker, 36, is an unrestricted free agent after playing the past two seasons with the Chicago Sky. The two-time MVP spent her first 13 seasons with the Los Angeles Sparks.
Free agents such as Parker are allowed to sign contracts beginning Wednesday.
“As I’ve gone through free agency this time around, of course I’m thinking of where I can compete for my third championship, but the words home and family are what I kept coming back to … I need to be there for my daughter, for my son, for my wife,” Parker said on Instagram. “I can’t be without them for parts of the season when Lailaa is in school and I won’t miss her volleyball games or school dances simply because of distance. Lailaa starts high school in August and I need to be there for her, just as she’s been there for me.
“After evaluating the landscape together with my family, we’ve decided the Las Vegas Aces are the right organization for us at this point in our lives.”
According to reports, Parker will sign a one-year deal with the Aces. Her salary is still under negotiation.
Parker considered retiring after last season. She also had indicated she would play for either the Sky or Sparks if she continued playing.
Instead, she will be in Las Vegas as part of a powerful club that won the 2022 WNBA title. Parker joins fellow stars A’ja Wilson, Kelsey Plum and Chelsea Gray on the Aces’ roster.
Parker was part of the Sparks’ title team in 2016 and led her hometown Sky to the 2021 title.
Chicago coach James Wade said he was fine with Parker’s decision to continue her career elsewhere.
“Candace has done so much for our franchise in her time here,” Wade said in a statement. “I understand her reasons for wanting to be closer with her immediate family. We wish her nothing but the best. She will always be a part of the Sky family. We will celebrate her time here as she deserves.”
Parker is a seven-time All-Star who ranks 10th on the WNBA’s all-time scoring list with 6,412 points and third in rebounds with 3,370. She was named WNBA Finals MVP in 2016.
She was a college star and two-time NCAA champion at Tennessee and was selected No. 1 in the 2008 draft by the Sparks. Parker also is a two-time Olympic gold medalist (2008, 2012).
–Field Level Media