WNBA Player Candace Parker to Leave Chicago Sky for Las Vegas Aces

Candace Parker chose to leave the Chicago Sky for the same reason she joined the team in 2021 — to go home.

The Naperville native and two-time WNBA champion on Saturday announced her decision to sign with the Las Vegas Aces as a free agent. In an Instagram post, she cited her family as her primary decision for returning closer to the West Coast.

“My family is my reason and my purpose,” Parker, 36, wrote. “They have given me the greatest joys I’ve ever experienced and continue to show me new levels of love and devotion I never knew existed. … While Chicago will always be my home, my family’s home is on the west coast.”


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Parker will sign a one-year contract with the Aces when free agents are cleared to sign beginning Wednesday, according to ESPN.

When Parker came home to Chicago in 2021 after spending the first 13 seasons of her career with the Los Angeles Sparks, she unlocked the final piece of a championship-seeking puzzle alongside stars Courtney Vandersloot, Allie Quigley and Kahleah Copper. After leading an unlikely 16-16 team to a WNBA title in 2021, Parker returned to cement a franchise-record 26-win season in 2022.

Parker wowed her hometown crowd, earning back-to-back All-Star appearances in her two seasons with the Sky. She is a seven-time All-Star and two-time WNBA MVP.

“When I made the decision to go to Chicago in 2021, I made the decision to go home and be with my family in the place where it all began,” Parker wrote. “I am beyond grateful for the opportunity to win a championship in my hometown and parade down the same streets I watched the Bulls parade down as a young girl first falling in love with the game of basketball.”

Center Emma Meesseman and backup guard Julie Allemand are also uncertain to re-sign with the Sky while Azurá Stevens continues to garner interest throughout the league as a versatile stretch big. The loss of Parker leaves a gaping hole in the frontcourt, making the Sky’s negotiations with Stevens a priority.

“Candace has done so much for our franchise in her time here,” Sky coach/general manager James 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.”

For Chicago, Parker’s two years symbolized the realization of a decades-long battle for a foothold in the WNBA.

“I’m forever appreciative of everyone in Chicago — our fans, teammates, coaches, and ownership,” Parker wrote. “But more than the past two seasons, I’m thankful to the city that raised me, the childhood friends I still have to this day, the teachers I still am learning from, and the moments in time that will forever be in my heart.”