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Stewart returns to Seattle while Dolson heads to New York

Stewart returns to Seattle while Dolson heads to New York

Breanna Stewart is remaining in Seattle for at least one more season while Stefanie Dolson is coming home to New York.

Stewart, a former MVP, helped the Storm win the WNBA championship in 2018 and 2020 and was poised to lead the team on another run last year before she got hurt late in the regular season and missed an overtime playoff loss to Phoenix. Stewart had surgery to repair and reinforce her left Achilles tendon in October. She missed the 2019 season after an Achilles injury she suffered while playing overseas.

“Stewie is the best player in the world and having her on our team means we will always be in the mix to compete for another championship,” Storm coach Noelle Quinn said. “She takes great pride in her preparation, elevates everyone’s level of play and most importantly just wants to win.”

WNBA players could start officially signing contracts on Tuesday, and Stewart's deal was one of several completed since then.

The 30-year-old Dolson joined the Liberty on Thursday after helping the Chicago Sky win last year's championship. She averaged 7.5 points and 3.5 rebounds while shooting 48.6% from the field and 94.7% from the foul line.

“Stef is the definition of New York tough,” Liberty GM Jonathan Kolb said. “We couldn’t be more thrilled to welcome her back to her home state as an integral piece of the Liberty’s future success. She is an incredibly talented player, and her experience, toughness and size will only add to our front court.”

Other moves Thursday included a three-way trade between Chicago, Indiana and Phoenix that sent Bria Hartley to the Fever, Diamond DeShields to the Mercury and Julia Allemand to the Sky. The deal freed up some money that Phoenix could use to try to sign free agent Tina Charles.

The Los Angeles Sparks traded Gabby Williams to Seattle for Katie Lou Samuelson and the Storm's No. 9 pick in the draft. Williams helped France win the bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics last summer. She had been traded in 2021 from Chicago to Los Angeles before the season started. The trade also frees up money for the Sparks to pursue free agents.

Dallas agreed to a multi-year extension with Arike Ogunbowale, who has averaged 19.9 points since getting drafted fifth in 2019.

“We were proud to offer, and thrilled Arike accepted, a multi-year contract extension to remain with the Dallas Wings organization through at least the 2025 season,” Wings President and CEO Greg Bibb said. “Arike has been one of the most prolific offensive players in the WNBA since she entered the league in 2019 and has delivered an all-time-caliber start to her career.”

The Atlanta Dream re-signed forward Monique Billings. She was drafted in the second round by Atlanta in 2018 and has averaged 6.2 points and 5.9 rebounds.

“We are very excited to watch Mo continue to grow in a Dream uniform,” general manager Dan Padover said. “She is an extremely hard worker who brings a ray of positivity to every room she enters. The way Mo shows up every day is the exact kind of passion we want this team to have, and we know her drive will continue to facilitate success on and off the court for both herself and for this franchise.”

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More AP women's basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/womens-basketball and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports