Five-time WNBA All-Star Angel McCoughtry signs with Las Vegas Aces

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WNBA free agency technically began a few weeks ago, but Monday was the first day that teams could officially sign players to contracts, and it didn't take long for the action to get started. Early on Monday morning, the Los Angeles Sparks traded Kalani Brown to the Atlanta Dream in exchange for Brittney Sykes and Marie Gulich. 

That was a pretty big move, but now it seems almost irrelevant after the Angel McCoughtry left the Atlanta Dream. The 10-year veteran missed all of last season while rehabbing from a knee injury, and seemed to sour on the franchise, which led to a surprising agreement between the two sides to let her hit unrestricted free agency. 

The Las Vegas Aces pounced on that opportunity and agreed to a contract with the veteran early on Monday afternoon. As is usually the case in the WNBA, terms of the deal were not announced. 

"Viva Las Vegas, baby!" McCoughtry said in a statement on Twitter. "I am truly honored for the opportunity to continue my career and make my return to the WNBA with the Las Vegas Aces. I can't wait to get to know the fans, community and bond with my new teammates. Thank you to the city of Atlanta and the Atlanta Dream for everything."

The No. 1 pick in the 2009 WNBA Draft, McCoughtry has accomplished just about everything besides winning a WNBA title. She's a five-time All-Star, made six All-WNBA teams, eight WNBA All-Defensive teams, won two scoring titles and also captured two Olympic gold medals. Now, she's in a perfect position to get her first ring. 

Last season, the Aces made it to the semi-finals, where they fell in four games against the eventual champions, the Washington Mystics. And this time around, they should be one of the favorites to win it all, especially with McCoughtry in the fold. 

The Aces have one of the best frontcourts in the league in Liz Cambage and A'ja Wilson, but their perimeter play aside from Kayla McBride was inconsistent for much of last season. McCoughtry will fix that immediately. She's one of the steadiest players in the league, and even late in her career is a dynamite scorer. Teams won't be able to double team Cambage or Wilson as much with McCoughtry on the floor, and the Aces' other talent will mean McCoughtry herself won't face as much defensive attention. It's a win-win for both parties.

On the defensive end, she'll make them even scarier. They already had the top defense in the league, allowing just 95 points per 100 possessions, and now add one of the best defensive players in WNBA history. McCoughtry has the size and athleticism to guard multiple positions, and will fit right in with head coach Bill Laimbeer's hard-nosed style. 

There's still a long way to go in free agency, but right now the Aces are the clear winners by adding McCoughtry. 

NBA Writer

Jack Maloney lives and writes in Milwaukee, where, like the Bucks, he is trying to own the future. Full Bio

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