Becky Hammon Reportedly to Serve as Aces' GM as Well as Head Coach

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVDecember 31, 2021

PHOENIX, AZ - DECEMBER 6:  Becky Hammon of the San Antonio Spurs warms up her players before the game against the Phoenix Suns on December 6, 2021 at Footprint Center in Phoenix, Arizona. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE (Photo by Michael Gonzales/NBAE via Getty Images)
Michael Gonzales/NBAE via Getty Images

The Las Vegas Aces are tabbing Becky Hammon to be their next general manager, according to Khristina Williams of Girls Talk Sports TV.

The Athletic's Shams Charania and Chantel Jennings reported Thursday the Aces were working toward a deal with Hammon to have her replace head coach Bill Laimbeer.

It remains unclear whether Laimbeer will retain an official role within the organization. Charania and Jennings reported he "could potentially take a front office or advisory role." 

Being a great player doesn't guarantee one will be a great coach or general manager right out of the gate.

The 44-year-old was a six-time WNBA All-Star and named to the league's 25th-anniversary team earlier in the fall. However, all of her coaching experience came in the NBA with the San Antonio Spurs, and she has yet to occupy any front-office duties.

Keeping Laimbeer around could ease Hammon's transition back into the WNBA.

Assuming she becomes the GM, she'll have big shoes to fill after two-time WNBA Executive of the Year Dan Padover left for the same role with the Atlanta Dream. Padover helped build a roster that reached the WNBA Finals in 2020 and won the second-most games (24) in 2021.

The Aces also have some veteran stars hitting free agency.

A'ja Wilson is only eligible for restricted free agency, so she's a lock to return to Sin City. But the same can't be said of Liz Cambage and Angel McCoughtry, and a case could be made for letting both go. Cambage is a poor offensive fit in a prominent role alongside Wilson, while McCoughtry was limited to one game in 2021 because of a torn ACL.

Per Her Hoops Stats, Las Vegas is on track to have $724,968 in salary cap space. That provides the GM with some flexibility to give Wilson a supermax deal and pursue another major addition.

With dual coach/GM powers, Hammon would have the opportunity to tailor the Aces to her preferences.