WNBA free agency is officially underway, and the Los Angeles Sparks aren't wasting time getting busy.
Per Rachel Galligan of Winsidr, the Sparks are bolstering their guard depth by signing Stephanie Talbot.
Stephanie Talbot is expected to sign with the Los Angeles Sparks, sources confirm to @Winsidr— Rachel Galligan (@RachGall) February 1, 2023
The Aussie guard is entering her sixth season in The W, having spent the last two seasons as a reserve with the Seattle Storm. She drained 40.6% of her threes during her two-year stint with the Storm on 4.6 attempts per 36 minutes.
Talbot took on a larger work load last postseason in light of an injury to forward Gabby Williams. She provided valuable spacing for the team, knocking down half of her threes on increased volume while finding herself a part of Seattle's closing five.
The Sparks also announced the re-signing of combo guard Lexie Brown to a multi-year deal.
Brown is coming off the most efficient season of her career, averaging 7.1 points on 58.9% True Shooting. Three-point shooting — both in spot-up situations and off movement — was her primary calling card; she drained a career-high 39.8% of her threes on 3.9 attempts per game. Brown also averaged 2.3 rebounds, 2.1 assists (0.8 turnovers), and 1.0 steals.
Brown appeared in a career-high 34 games, with a slight majority of those (18 games) coming off the bench. Her numbers improved across the board in her 16 starts, particularly her shooting from deep.
- Bench (20.7 minutes): 6.3 points, 1.9 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 34.3% from three on 3.9 attempts
- Starter (29.8 minutes): 8.1 points, 2.7 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 46% from three on 3.9 attempts
“I’m super excited to be returning to LA,” said Brown in the team's press release. “It was a no brainer to come back and be part of this new era of Sparks basketball. It has always been my dream and ultimate goal to be part of this organization. I’ve grown and matured so much as a person and player and after dealing with ups and downs throughout my career, it’s such an incredible feeling to be valued and have a place to call home.”
“Lexie is coming off a career year in 2022,” said Sparks CAO & GM Karen Bryant. “Bringing Lexie back was an important goal, so we’re glad we were able to re-sign her. We’re excited she’ll be a part of the group we’re building with moving forward.”
The Duke University graduate was drafted ninth overall in the 2018 WNBA Draft by the Connecticut Sun. Prior to the 2022 season, she appeared in 15 games in Athletes Unlimited after coming off a championship run with the Chicago Sky. During her time at Athletes Unlimited, she averaged 14.0 points, while shooting 52.3% from the field, including 46.9% from deep on 4.3 attempts per game. She added 4.2 rebounds and 4.6 assists in those contests.
“Lexie is an outstanding shooter who will provide us with invaluable floor spacing,” said Sparks head coach Curt Miller. “She is an underrated defender with her anticipation and strong IQ. I’m excited to have the opportunity to coach her again.”