Gabby Williams Is Being Traded To The Los Angeles Sparks, But Can’t Play Until 2022

Gabby Williams is being traded away from the Chicago Sky. After Williams made it clear that she intended to play for the French national team in the FIBA 2021 EuroBasket tournament, the Sky started to seek out a trade destination. The Sky, according to reports, wanted a player that was going to be playing the majority of this season, and the tournament, which runs from June 17-27, would pull Williams away from the team.

On Saturday, the Sky finally found a destination for Williams. According to multiple reports, she’ll be traded to the Los Angeles Sparks and will be working on a contract extension once the trade is completed.

Unfortunately for any Sparks fans that were hoping to see Williams in action this season, they’re going to have to wait. When the Sky were unable to find a trade suitor for Williams in time, they placed her on the full-season suspension list. This list means that the Sky wouldn’t have to pay Williams since she was, as the CBA describes it, “holding out” by choosing to play in EuroBasket.

In addition to any fine or suspension that a Team may impose on a player for failing to report at the start of the Season at the time and place designated by the Team, a Team may suspend such player for the remainder of such Season if: (a) she notifies the Team in writing that she will not be playing in the WNBA during such Season (it being understood that a player providing any such notification to a team shall not be construed to have consented to any fine imposed on the player for her failure to report); (b) within fourteen (14) days after the start of the Season, she fails either to report to the Team or to provide written notice to the Team stating that she intends to report within twenty-one (21) days after the start of such Season; or (c) she fails to report to the Team within twenty-one (21) days after the start of such Season.

That list also means that anyone placed on it can’t play for the entire season even if they’re traded to another team. By placing her on the list Thursday, the Sky essentially removed Williams from the 2021 WNBA season. This is really disappointing for not only the Sparks, but WNBA fans as a whole. Williams is an exciting player and a piece the Sparks can build around, and we want to see players like that on the court, even if it’s delayed because of international obligations. This is a bummer, but at least we’ll get to see Williams in 2022.