Satou Sabally will be back in Dallas this summer.
Sabally, the league’s reigning Most Improved Player, will return to the Dallas Wings next season on a one-year deal, she told ESPN on Tuesday night. Sabally, who was a restricted free agent this offseason, will sign a one-year, $195,000 deal. That’s about $12,000 less than the regular max deal she could have earned.
“Just engaging in those basketball conversations really made us realize that we want to work together and we want to bring a championship to Dallas,” Sabally said, via ESPN. “It could really be termed as unfinished business.”
Sabally was first selected by the Wings with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2020 WNBA Draft out of Oregon. She had a career-year last season, and earned her second All-Star nod while averaging 18.6 points and 8.1 rebounds per game. That earned her Most Improved Player honors in the league, and she finished fifth in the MVP voting. The 6-foot-4 forward also had career-highs in assists and steals per game, and 14 double-doubles and shot just better than 36% from behind the arc.
Sabally was a restricted free agent this offseason, and had six other teams reach out to her about signing a deal, per the report. Sabally was playing in China earlier in the WNBA offseason, though she will head next to Brazil to try and qualify for the 2024 Olympics in Paris with the German national team.
The Wings went 22-18 last season and made the playoffs for a third straight year, though they were knocked out in the semifinals to the Las Vegas Aces — who won a second straight championship. Sabally is one of several key players returning for Dallas, along with Arike Ogunbowale, Natasha Howard and Teaira McCowan. The franchise has won three WNBA championships back when it was the Detroit Shock, but it hasn’t won since it relocated first to Tulsa and eventually to Dallas.
“The most important thing for me next year is really finishing the mission of actually being the greatest team in the league and being a leader, developing as a leader, and really paving the way for the future,” Sabally said, via ESPN. “I think the WNBA is at such an amazing point right now in women’s sports and history, so being one of the faces that can be part of that is such an honor to me. … I’m grateful to be able to come back to a place that I call home. That is also super special and something I’ve worked hard for, so I’m just really excited and happy.”