WNBA legend Candace Parker is not done yet. The two-time MVP, now 37 years old, has been publicly flirting with retirement for a few years, but has decided to re-sign with the Las Vegas Aces, the team announced Wednesday. According to Rachel Galligan, it's a one-year deal.
Parker, who signed with the Aces in free agency in a stunning move last winter, missed the majority of the 2023 season with a fractured foot that required surgery. So, while she was a part of the title team and, she wasn't on the floor during the playoffs. If she had been, perhaps that would have been it for the future Hall of Famer, but it's no surprise she doesn't want her career to end on that bittersweet note.
Now well past her prime, Parker wasn't playing heavy minutes or putting up huge numbers last season: nine points, 5.4 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.5 steals on 46.5% shooting over 23 minutes per game. But she remains a highly impactful player on both sides of the ball.
That was evident in the first half of last season, when she was the perfect connector for the Aces' core four of Chelsea Gray, Kelsey Plum, A'ja Wilson and Jackie Young. When Parker was healthy, that starting five outscored opponents by a staggering 23.9 points per 100 possessions and boasted a 16-2 record. The Aces went on to set all sorts of records and became the first back-to-back champs in two decades anyway, but that road would have been easier with Parker.
Her return is a welcome sign as the Aces look to become the first team to win three consecutive titles since the Houston Comets won four in a row from 1997-2000. They'll face stiff competition from the New York Liberty, whom they defeated in the Finals last season, and the Seattle Storm,to form a new superteam in the Pacific Northwest.
Parker, who was the No. 1 overall pick in 2008 and remains the only player in WNBA history to win MVP and Rookie of the Year in the same season, has two MVPs, three championships, a Finals MVP and a Defensive Player of the Year award to her name. She has also made 10 All-WNBA Teams, seven All-Star Games and two All-Defensive Teams. In 2021, Parker was named to the WNBA's 25th anniversary team as one of the league's greatest 25 players.