UConn women's basketball great Breanna Stewart reportedly choosing between two WNBA teams

Photo of Christine Butterfield

Former UConn women's basketball great and WNBA star Breanna Stewart has a slew of options during her free agency.

The four-time NCAA champion has been sending out ambiguous tweets hinting at her future, but multiple media reports indicate she has narrowed her decision to only two WNBA teams: Seattle Storm and New York Liberty.

Earlier reports indicated Stewart was also considering the Washington Mystics and Minnesota Lynx. The free agent signing period begins Wednesday.

The Storm drafted Stewart with the first overall pick in the 2016 WNBA draft. She has been a standout in Seattle alongside fellow UConn legend Sue Bird, who retired after last season.

The 2016 WNBA Rookie of the Year could carry on Bird's legacy in Seattle. She has already won two titles for the Storm (2018, 2020) and was awarded Finals MVP both years.

But Stewart is from Syracuse and, of course, played college basketball in Connecticut, so the Liberty may have a geographic pull.

"Seattle currently can pay Stewie more (than New York), unless you do the sign-and-trade. But the money, like the margin is like 20 or 30 thousand dollars, so it's not millions. And so right out the gate, money's not a player. Why? Because Stewie goes overseas, because Stewie has marketing deals that are paying her far more than her WNBA salary," Bird recently said on the Ringers' NBA Show podcast.

If she were to stay in Western Conference, Stewart would be going head-to-head against the 2022 WNBA champion Las Vegas Aces. And the Aces will only look stronger after agreeing to terms with two-time WNBA champion and seven-time WNBA All-Star Candace Parker

With A'ja Wilson, Kelsey Plum and now Parker, the Aces have formed a super team.

The Liberty recently made a deal with the Connecticut Sun for their star player, Jonquel Jones. She will be joining Sabrina Ionescu, the first overall pick in the 2020 WNBA draft.

Media reports also indicate Stewart has shared conversations with free agent point guard Courtney Vandersloot in hopes of signing with the same team. Vandersloot has played for the Chicago Sky since the franchise drafted her with the third overall pick in 2011.

But now that Parker has left Chicago, Vandersloot could also leave — possibly to New York. Vandersloot, a Gonzaga product, is a Washington state native who could be interested in replacing Bird in Seattle..

If Stewart and Vandersloot join Jones and Ionescu in New York, they will form a team capable of challenging the Aces for the title.

"New York is New York. She's from Syracuse, which obviously is not New York City, but it makes difference, it's closer," Bird said on the Ringer podcast. "Her wife is from Spain, it's closer. Like, she has a family now. Your priorities and what you need from a team start to shift and change because money is not the only thing at play."

Stewart has not publicly pronounced her decision, but Bird said one thing is certain.

"If I'm playing next year, she's staying (in Seattle)," Bird said.