WNBA favorites? Free agency signing enhances Las Vegas Aces title hopes

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Sean D. Elliot/The Day / AP

In this July 17, 2018, file photo, Atlanta Dream forward Angel McCoughtry shoots over Connecticut Sun forward Alyssa Thomas during the first half of a WNBA basketball game, in Uncasville, Conn.

Mon, Feb 10, 2020 (10:02 a.m.)

The Las Vegas Aces are making a splash in free agency in their pursuit of a championship.

The third-year WNBA franchise announced this morning the signing of guard Angel McCoughtry, a five-time All-Star who has spent her entire career with the Atlanta Dream.

McCoughtry, the No. 1 overall pick of the Dream in 2009, helped the franchise to the WNBA Finals in 2010, 2011 and 2013. For an Aces team that reached the playoff semifinals last season, ultimately losing to the champion Mystics, the signing of McCoughtry should make it the championship favorites in 2020.

“Angel was a primary target for us during free agency,” Bill Laimbeer, the Aces coach and president of basketball operations, said in a statement. “She is an elite-level scorer who loves to attack the basket and is also one of the best defenders in the league. When she steps on the court, we immediately become a stronger team on both ends of the floor out on the perimeter.”

The Aces have four former No. 1 picks on the roster, including Kelsey Plum (2017), A’ja Wilson (2018) and Jackie Young (2019).

“Angel knows the kind of culture we are building here with our core group, and her addition moves us another step closer to our goal of bringing a championship to the city of Las Vegas,” Laimbeer said.

The Aces, with Wilson and Liz Cambage combining for the league’s best post-player duo, weren’t as strong in the backcourt last season. That could change with McCoughtry, who averages 19.1 points and 2.09 steals per game for her career.

“I am truly honored for the opportunity to continue my career and make my return to the WNBA with the Las Vegas Aces,” McCoughtry said in a statement. “I can’t wait to get to know the fans and the community, and bond with my new teammates. It is truly a blessing to continue playing the game that I love and to help make history in this amazing organization.”

Ray Brewer can be reached at 702-990-2662 or [email protected]. Follow Ray on Twitter at twitter.com/raybrewer21

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