Video Credit: Las Vegas Ace

FSM Feature: Who’s in and who’s out for the Las Vegas Aces in 2022

Franchise Sports Media


It’s been a loud offseason for the Las Vegas Aces. They lost their GM, Dan Padover, back in October of 2021 as he left the Aces for the same position with the Atlanta Dream.


But Vegas made a splash of its own just a couple of months later when the organization announced the hiring of Becky Hammon to be the team’s new head coach. Upon the announcement, rumors circulated about her salary being a record-breaking one and the largest ever for a coach in the history of the WNBA.

But that was only the beginning of the offseason. The Aces’ front office, led by former head coach Bill Laimbeer, had decisions to make as February’s free agency period arrived. Here’s what we know.


Who’s out: Liz Cambage


It didn’t take long for the Aces to make a big move after relocating to Las Vegas back in 2018. With A’ja Wilson just a year in — BOOM, here comes Liz Cambage. The Aces acquired Cambage in a trade that sent Moriah Jefferson, Isabelle Harrison and two 2020 draft picks to the Dallas Wings. Cambage had just come off of a season in which she’d made All-WNBA First Team after averaging 23.0 points, 9.7 rebounds, and 1.7 blocks per game during the 2018 season. The trade was one that shook the league and reset the Aces’ timeline — they were immediately expected to compete for a WNBA championship.

They did compete. In 2019, the Aces made it to the semifinals and lost in four games to the eventual 2019 WNBA champion Washington Mystics. 2020 was a missed opportunity — Cambage opted out of the season due to COVID-19 concerns and the Wilson-led Aces were swept out of the WNBA Finals by the Seattle Storm. With the whole team in place for the 2021 season, it could have been the year that Vegas brought home some hardware. But the Aces and the pairing of Wilson and Cambage came up short once again. From there, the writing was on the wall.

Liz Cambage won’t be returning. In February, the four-time All-Star and 2018 scoring champion inked a deal with the Los Angeles Sparks. She’ll return to Vegas for a matchup with the Aces on May 23rd.

Who’s out: Angel McCoughtry

Simply put, Angel McCoughtry signed with the Aces at the wrong time. She made her debut with the Aces during the 2020 Wubble and was the team’s second-leading scorer en route to the Finals. But, of course, that season was irregular and Vegas was missing a lot of its roster that was expected to be there when McCoughtry signed pre-pandemic. The following season ended before it even got started. McCoughtry suffered a torn ACL (her second in three years) during a preseason game against the Sparks, which forced her to miss the entirety of the 2021 season.

Now, McCoughtry has left the Aces without actually ever playing a single minute in the city of Las Vegas during her two-year tenure. The next time she’s back, she’ll be in a Minnesota Lynx jersey.

Who’s in: A’ja Wilson

Great news — the former MVP is back! No surprises there. Wilson became a restricted free agent this offseason after playing out her rookie contract, and the organization extended her to a two-year deal. It was a no-brainer. Wilson is one of the top players in the WNBA and has yet to enter her prime. At just 25 years of age, she has already led the Aces on three deep postseason runs. 

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“Aces fans have embraced me and this team since the day I was drafted, and the city has really become a second home for me,” said Wilson. “I’m looking forward to working with Coach Hammon, and excited about the future of our franchise heading into 2022.”

With Hammon on board, Wilson could potentially be unlocked in a way that she has not yet been. It’s assumed that she’ll have similar responsibilities and usage as she did during the 2020 season when she earned her MVP award and led the Aces to the WNBA Finals. Count on another tremendous season from one of the game’s best.

Who’s in: Kiah Stokes

Kiah Stokes is also back with the Aces. Although, she almost wasn’t. Stokes was reportedly on her way to finalizing a deal with the Atlanta Dream back in January, but the Aces came calling (likely with more money and more of an opportunity) and she’s now officially re-signed. Stokes started eight of 15 games last season in Las Vegas and averaged 1.5 points and 6.1 rebounds in 20.5 minutes per game. With Cambage out of the picture, Stokes could have a more prominent role, and her services on defense and on the glass will be especially needed this upcoming season.

Who’s in: Riquna Williams

Outside of Wilson’s return, Las Vegas‘ retention of Riquna Williams was the most important move that the front office made this offseason. Williams came over as a free agent in 2021 and was initially courted as an off-the-bench scorer. But McCoughtry went down before the season started and Williams moved into the starting lineup. She flourished with the opportunity, averaging 10.5 points and 2.0 threes per game over 32 regular-season games. Williams took a successful regular season and turned it into an even more impressive playoff where she put up 14.4 points, at times looking like one of the Aces’ best offensive options.

With Becky Hammon taking over, you should expect Williams to be a major part of the Vegas offense which is aiming to be more modern. Williams fits that mold as one of the league’s most dynamic scorers and 3-point shooters.

Who’s in: Kalani Brown, Theresa Plaisance

Theresa Plaisance Aces
Photo Credit: Las Vegas Aces

Kalani Brown was drafted as the No. 7 overall pick in the 2019 WNBA Draft by the Los Angeles Sparks. Her tenure there was brief and the following two seasons in Atlanta were unspectacular, but Brown made quite the impression as a member of the newly formed Athletes Unlimited Women’s basketball league in 2022. She’ll bring an element of size and physicality to the frontcourt in her first go-round with the Aces.

Brown will compete with veteran forward Theresa Plaisance, who recently signed a deal with the Aces to compete for a roster spot. The 6’5” center had a very quality 2021 season with the Washington Mystics, where she averaged 6.4 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 1.1 3-point makes per game. Her floor-spacing in lineups alongside A’ja Wilson could become critical in unlocking the Vegas offense, which the front office sought to do in their pursuit of former free agent Stef Dolson.

Who’s in: Sydney Colson

Sydney Colson, a fan favorite, is back for her second stint with the Las Vegas Aces. She played for the club in 2019 when they made a run to the semifinals. Colson will join a crowded Aces backcourt, but her experience as a WNBA guard and familiarity with the organization could be vital in helping the squad through the long season.


Free agency is slowing up but there’s plenty more on the way. Both the WNBA Draft and the beginning of training camp are just around the corner. Be sure to tune back in for more news and updates along the way.

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-Cole Huff– Franchise Sports Media

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