Earlier today, the Los Angeles Sparks and Las Vegas Aces agreed to a deal that sent two-time all-star Dearica Hamby and a 2024 first round pick to Southern California in return for the rights to Amanda Zahui B and a 2024 second round pick. Hamby was an integral part of Las Vegas’ rise in the WNBA but off the court issues led to the two sides going their separate ways.

Here are the grades for the Sparks and Aces after the move.

Las Vegas Aces: B-

This grade could very well change by the end of free agency but it all depends on how the front office uses the cap space it opened up by dealing Hamby and her $169,000 figure. The team only had $138,804 to maneuver with and now gives itself enough financial flexibility to pursue the top free agents in this year’s class.. They have a vacancy at center and can fill it by either re-signing Kiah Stokes and add go after another contributor off the bench or sign someone in the ballpark of a max deal.

However, those moves are all theoretical at the moment. Giving up a first round pick and a two-time sixth woman of the year winner is steep for not getting a high-end contributor in return. Zahui B. is an interesting option in the Aces’ front court but the Aces need to replace the interior defense Stokes provided en route to Las Vegas’ first championship.

Las Vegas could have another move up its sleeve and this move could be an indication of more to come. However, if they are betting on bringing in someone through free agency and made this move preemptively, a first round pick is a huge price even if it is towards the bottom of the draft.

Los Angeles Sparks: A-

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The Sparks did well here capitalizing on the strain of Hamby and the Aces’ relationship while regaining draft equity it lost in previous years. Los Angeles only had three guaranteed contracts heading into the start of the weekend and get a player in Hamby who can either start for them or be a strong option coming off the bench.

Annie Costabile of the Chicago Sun-Times reported Candace Parker is only considering re-signing with the Chicago Sky or heading back to the Sparks where she established herself as one of the greatest players in WNBA history. Trading for Hamby is an indication the Sparks want to go for it in 2023 and put themselves in position to aggressively go after Parker. The two-time champion isn’t going to come back to the franchise that drafted her in 2008 without players like Hamby on the roster who can help get the veteran another ring before it is all said and done.

The 2024 first round pick might not seem like a valuable asset given that the Aces will stay competitive over the next few years but the Sparks needed to replenish their draft capital. Losing the No. 3 pick in this year’s draft hurts given how top-heavy this year’s class is (not to mention the unknown status of Chennedy Carter, who was a part of the deal that sent Los Angeles’ 2023 first to the Atlanta Dream). The Sparks have given themselves flexibility in the short- and long-term by making a splash in the early stages of free agency.