"I don't plan on playing in Dallas next year," she said to the Associated Press' Doug Feinberg. "I'm happy to be playing in this league and I want to play."
Wings president and CEO Greg Bibb told Feinberg the team applied the core designation to the four-time All-Star, which entitles her to earn the new $215,000 max salary for the upcoming season.
Diggins-Smith's comments affirm what many expected as the WNBA offseason gets underway.
The 29-year-old missed the entire 2019 campaign following the birth of her first child. In October, she tweeted she had played throughout 2018 while pregnant and criticized what she felt was a lack of support from her team:
Skylar Diggins-Smith @SkyDigg4
People called me a quitter, said I gave up on my team, etc., etc. Not knowing I took two FULL months away from everything because of postpartum depression. With limited resources to help me be successful mentally/physically. But just wait though....KEEP THAT SAME ENERGY.
Bibb told reporters the Wings paid Diggins-Smith her full salary while on maternity leave. The new collective bargaining agreement makes that the standard throughout the league, with the previous CBA stipulating teams were only required to pay half of a player's wages.
Bibb also told The Athletic's Dorothy Gentry the Wings "expressed our support for her, including several times communicating to her the medical services that were available to her and her family through our team."
Diggins-Smith said she'd be open to staying with the Wings but that she wanted to see changes from the franchise:
"The organization has changes that it needs to make. Everyone knows that. That's no secret to the public. It's out of my hands now. I would love to finish my career in Dallas. If those conditions aren't improved for myself, for the women on the team, for the WNBA, our children ... I'm not coming back to that and that's exactly what I told (Wings president and CEO) Greg Bibb and the organization. I've been transparent with that the whole time."
This is the second time in two years in which Dallas is at risk of losing one of its best players.
The Wings eventually traded Cambage to the Las Vegas Aces for Moriah Jefferson, Isabelle Harrison and the Aces' first- and second-round picks in 2020.
Dallas' leverage will have eroded with Diggins-Smith's preference out in the open, but she should still have a robust trade market. She averaged 17.9 points, 6.2 assists and 1.4 steals in her last season.
The Wings, meanwhile, already have the foundation in place for a rebuild. Arike Ogunbowale was runner-up in the 2019 Rookie of the Year voting after averaging 19.1 points, and Allisha Gray emerged as a dynamic long-range threat, hitting 38.4 percent of her three-pointers.
Dallas also has the No. 2 pick in the draft, which will allow the front office to either fortify the frontcourt or find a backcourt partner to play alongside Ogunbowale.