The Las Vegas Aces have had a busy offseason highlighted by the addition of new head coach Becky Hammon. Now, they have their best player back as well. On Wednesday, the team announced that it has re-signed former WNBA MVP A'ja Wilson.
A restricted free agent, Wilson was always likely to return to Vegas, as the club had the ability to match any offer she received from another team. Still, it's always good to make things official, especially when it involves the face of your franchise and one of the best players in the world.
"A'ja is a generational talent both on and off the court, and I'm excited to have her back in the fold with the Aces," Hammon said. "She has been the leader of this team, and an integral part of the Las Vegas community since the day she was drafted, and I know our fans are ecstatic to once again have her at the forefront of our pursuit of a WNBA Championship."
The No. 1 overall pick in 2018, Wilson has quickly become a star. She was the Rookie of the Year in 2018, has made the All-Star Game in every year that it's been held since she entered the league, has two All-WNBA appearances and was named MVP in the bubble in 2020. That last season was a bit of a "step-back" in some regards statistically, and she still put up 18.3 points, 9.3 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.3 blocks per game, shows exactly what sort of level she's at already.
The next step for Wilson will be leading the Aces to a title -- something she's come close to doing already. In the first 21 seasons of the Aces' existence, which includes their time as the Utah Starzz and San Antonio Stars, they made just three semi-finals and one Finals. Since Wilson joined the team in 2018, she's led the Aces to three semi-finals and one Finals in four seasons, and there's little doubt she'll add to that number.
With Wilson's return settled, Hammon and Co. can set about figuring out the rest of the roster. The team's style of play, which had been an old-school, inside-out approach under former head coach Bill Laimbeer, is expected to change under Hammon. So too could the players. In particular, the team is not expected to bring back Liz Cambage. It will be fascinating to see how Wilson develops as the lone big in a new system. Remember, she won her MVP in 2020 playing without Cambage, who sat out that season.