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After a long and generally uneventful first few months of the offseason, it's time for things to pick up in earnest. On Saturday, the 2022 WNBA free agency period will officially get underway. For most of the league's history, free agency wasn't much of an event, but that's changed thanks to the most recent collective bargaining agreement. 

Like last year, this year's class features a number of big names, including three of the last four MVPs: Jonquel Jones, A'ja Wilson and Breanna Stewart. Reigning Finals MVP Kahleah Copper is also hitting the market, as are other stars like Liz Cambage, Courtney Vandersloot, Jewell Loyd and Angel McCoughtry. 

Ahead of Saturday, here is everything you need to know about 2022 WNBA free agency:

When does it start?

Teams are allowed to start talking with players on Jan. 15, but no deals can officially be signed until Feb. 1. While those rules are generally skirted to some extent, teams that are caught breaking them will get punished, as we saw recently when the Seattle Storm were fined for announcing a new deal with Sue Bird well ahead of the starting dates. 

How does WNBA free agency work?

In general, it works just like it does in the NBA. Once free agency begins, teams can start talking to players, who are grouped into different classifications based on their contracts. Most players will be unrestricted (can talk to and sign with any team they want) or restricted (prior team has the ability to match any contract offer). 

There are also some players who are reserved. These are players who have spent three or fewer seasons in the league, and their prior team has exclusive negotiating rights. Often these are veterans who came into the WNBA later in their career, but they can also be younger players who went undrafted or were not on a typical rookie scale contract for whatever reason. 

Finally, the WNBA has a unique designation called "core players." This operates similar to a franchise tag in the NFL, and grants teams exclusive negotiating rights with a player. Most often players who are "cored" will re-sign with their former team, but in some instances, teams will negotiate sign-and-trade deals. Teams generally use the core designation on stars, but they must do so wisely because players can only be "cored" three times in their career. 

2022 free agents

Here's a look at every player hitting free agency this winter, separated by classification. 

Core

PlayerPrior teamNew teamPositionStatus

Kahleah Copper

Chicago Sky

G

Unsigned

Jonquel Jones

Connecticut Sun

F/C

Unsigned

Jewell Loyd

Seattle Storm

G

Unsigned

Unrestricted

PlayerPrior teamNew teamPositionStatus

Rebecca Allen

New York Liberty

G/F

Unsigned

Jillian Alleyne

Minnesota Lynx

F

Unsigned

Rachel Banham

Minnesota Lynx

G

Unsigned

Sue Bird

Seattle Storm

G

Announced she'll return on one-year deal

Crystal Bradford

Atlanta Dream

G/F

Unsigned

Jessica Breland

Indiana Fever

F

Unsigned

Cierra Burdick

Seattle Storm

F

Unsigned

Liz Cambage

Las Vegas Aces

C

Unsigned

Tina Charles

Washington Mystics

F/C

Unsigned

Layshia Clarendon

Minnesota Lynx

G

Unsigned

Nia Coffey

Los Angeles Sparks

G/F

Unsigned

Sophie Cunningham

Phoenix Mercury

G

Unsigned

Blake Dietrick

Atlanta Dream

G

Unsigned

Stefanie Dolson

Chicago Sky

F/C

Unsigned

Candice Dupree

Atlanta Dream

F

Unsigned

Sylvia Fowles

Minnesota Lynx

C

Unsigned

Reshanda Gray

New York Liberty

F

Unsigned

Tiffany Hayes

Atlanta Dream

G

Unsigned

Briann January

Connecticut Sun

G

Unsigned

Angel McCoughtry

Las Vegas Aces

G/F

Unsigned

Leilani Mitchell

Washington Mystics

G

Unsigned

Astou Ndour-Fall

Chicago Sky

F/C

Unsigned

Sonja Petrovic

Phoenix Mercury

G

Unsigned

Theresa Plaisance

Washington Mystics

F/C

Unsigned

Allie Quigley

Chicago Sky

G

Unsigned

Angel Robinson

Phoenix Mercury

F/C

Unsigned

Odyssey Sims

Atlanta Dream

G

Unsigned

Alanna Smith

Phoenix Mercury

F

Unsigned

Breanna Stewart

Seattle Storm

F

Unsigned

Kiah Stokes

Las Vegas Aces

C

Unsigned

Shekinna Stricklen

Atlanta Dream

G/F

Unsigned

Courtney Vandersloot

Chicago Sky

G

Unsigned

Shatori Walker-Kimbrough

Washington Mystics

G

Unsigned

Courtney Williams

Atlanta Dream

G

Unsigned

Elizabeth Williams

Atlanta Dream

C

Unsigned

Riquna Williams

Las Vegas Aces

G

Unsigned

Shavonte Zellous

Washington Mystics

G

Unsigned

Restricted 

Player

Prior team

New team

Position

Status

Lindsay Allen

Indiana Fever

G

Qualifying offer extended

Monique Billings

Atlanta Dream

F

Qualifying offer extended

Lexi Brown

Chicago Sky

G

Qualifying offer extended

Jordin Canada

Seattle Storm

G

Qualifying offer extended

Diamond DeShields

Chicago Sky

G

Qualifying offer extended

Myisha Hines-Allen

Washington Mystics

F

Qualifying offer extended

Kia Nurse

Phoenix Mercury

G

Qualifying offer extended

Mercedes Russell

Seattle Storm

C

Qualifying offer extended

Stephanie Talbot

Seattle Storm

F

Qualifying offer extended

A'ja Wilson

Las Vegas Aces

F

Qualifying offer extended

Reserved

PlayerPrior teamNew teamPositionStatus

Te'a Cooper

Los Angeles Sparks

G

Qualifying offer extended

Anna Cruz

Minnesota Lynx

G

Qualifying offer extended

Temi Fagbenle

Indiana Fever

C

Qualifying offer extended

Bernadett Hatar

Indiana Fever

C

Qualifying offer extended

Stephanie Jones

Connecticut Sun

F

Qualifying offer extended

Ji-Su Park

Las Vegas Aces

C

Qualifying offer extended

Nayo Raincock-Ekunwe

New York Liberty

F/C

Qualifying offer extended

Victoria Vivians

Indiana Fever

G

Qualifying offer extended

CBS Sports will continue updating this story.