Two questions will define the Sky’s offseason:
Who will be their next head coach?
And who will be their next general manager?
One leading candidate for the coaching role is Hall of Fame player Teresa Weatherspoon, who, according to multiple WNBA sources, is in serious contract negotiations with the Sky. It’s unclear whether Weatherspoon is the only candidate the Sky are negotiating with at this point.
Weatherspoon, a former assistant with the NBA’s Pelicans, has been in talks with the Sky since at least August.
She was hired by the Pelicans in 2019 — the same year she was inducted into the Hall of Fame — as a two-way player-development coach and was promoted to assistant coach in 2020. She parted ways with the team in June.
Last year, Weatherspoon reportedly was one of four finalists for the Mercury’s vacant head-coaching job before withdrawing her name from consideration.
A five-time WNBA All-Star and two-time defensive player of the year, Weatherspoon spent seven of her eight playing seasons with the Liberty before joining their coaching staff as their first director of player development in 2015. She coached at Louisiana Tech, her alma mater, in 2008-14, leading the program to back-to-back NCAA Tournament berths in 2010 and 2011.
During exit interviews after the Sky were eliminated from the playoffs, three-time All-Star Kahleah Copper clarified the Sky would be splitting what had been a dual role of coach and GM, which she said was great news.
‘‘The head coach can focus on the coach’s responsibilities, and the GM can focus on being a GM,’’ Copper said. ‘‘Also, as a player, if you have a problem with something, you shouldn’t have to go to the same [person]. You shouldn’t have to go to your head coach; you should be going to the GM. So it splits that, and that’s good for the organization.’’
The Sky announced last week they would not retain interim coach/GM Emre Vatansever. The longtime Sky assistant took over for James Wade after Wade’s midseason resignation and said he wouldn’t be opposed to returning as an assistant. He also acknowledged that decision ultimately will be up to the new head coach.
Sky CEO Adam Fox told the Sun-Times last week that the franchise isn’t beholden to a timeline to fill the vacancies.
‘‘We’re looking to make the most informed and best decisions possible to make sure we have the right people,’’ Fox said.