Former WNBA MVP A’ja Wilson Reportedly Nearing Contract to Return to Aces

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIJanuary 28, 2022

Las Vegas Aces forward A'ja Wilson (22) drives to the basket against Phoenix Mercury guard Skylar Diggins-Smith during the second half of Game 5 of a WNBA basketball playoff series Friday, Oct. 8, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Chase Stevens)
AP Photo/Chase Stevens

The Las Vegas Aces and forward A'ja Wilson are "close to finalizing a deal" that would cement the 2020 WNBA MVP's return to the team, per Khristina Williams of Girls Talk Sports TV.

Wilson, who is a restricted free agent ahead of the 2022 season, averaged 18.3 points and 9.3 rebounds per game in 2021.

The three-time All-Star, who the Aces selected with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 draft out of South Carolina, led a team that finished second in the WNBA standings with a 24-8 record. Las Vegas fell to the Phoenix Mercury in the semifinals.

Wilson has clearly transformed a team that went 8-26 in the year prior to her arrival, when the Aces finished their stint as the San Antonio Stars in 2017.

A move to Vegas transpired in 2018, when the Aces improved by six wins and Wilson posted a team-high 20.7 points per game.

The Aces won 21 games and made the WNBA semifinals in 2019 before Wilson engineered a dominant 2020 campaign, dropping 20.5 points and 8.5 rebounds per game. Las Vegas made the WNBA Finals but lost to the Seattle Storm.

Las Vegas is undergoing a big change this year, as the team hired former WNBA superstar and ex-San Antonio Spurs assistant coach Becky Hammon as its head coach to replace Bill Laimbeer.

Having Wilson back is integral to the Aces finally breaking through and winning the first title in franchise history.