The Storm are reportedly nearing a deal with unrestricted free agent Briann January in a move that would strengthen Seattle’s backcourt but possibly also jeopardize the return of restricted free agent Jordin Canada.
January, a Spokane native and 5-foot-8 point guard, is a 13-year veteran who spent her first nine seasons with the Indiana Fever where she made three trips to the WNBA Finals and won a league championship in 2012 with coach Pokey Chatman, who joins the Storm this season as an assistant.
It’s unclear if January will find a starting spot in the backcourt or back up Storm star Sue Bird, an unrestricted free agent who has said she’s coming back for her 19th WNBA season which will likely be in Seattle.
The Storm used its core designation to secure three-time WNBA All-Star guard Jewell Loyd and keep her off the free-agent market, but it remains to be seen if the two sides will agree on a deal that brings her back.
WNBA teams can finalize deals with free agents starting Feb. 1.
Khristina Williams of Girls Talk Sports TV was the first to report the Storm’s deal with January, which gives Seattle a 35-year-old veteran defensive stalwart and prolific perimeter scorer.
The 2014 WNBA All-Star picked up her sixth WNBA All-Defensive team selection in 2021 and led the league in three-point percentage (. 431) in 2015.
Last season, January averaged 7.0 points, 3.1 assists and 1.8 turnovers while shooting a career best 42.5% on field goals and 38% on three-pointers in 29 games for the Connecticut Sun.
Adding January likely means the Storm will part ways with either Canada or backup point guard Epiphanny Prince, a 12-year veteran who spent the past two seasons in Seattle.
Prince is one of just five players currently on the Storm roster, but the 33-year-old veteran is unlikely to return considering she has a hefty nonguaranteed contract worth $115,000.
Seattle extended a qualifying offer to Canada, who is a restricted free agent, which gives the Storm the right to match any offer she receives and retain her.
Canada, 26, averaged 5.8 points, 3.3 assists and 1.1 turnovers while shooting 38.9% on field goals and 21.4% on threes in 29 games last season.