Natasha Cloud signed an offer sheet with the New York Liberty, according to Rachel Galligan of WNBAInsidr.
League sources have confirmed that restricted free agent Natasha Cloud has signed an offer sheet with the New York Liberty. Washington now has 4 days to match the offer. #wnbainsidr @WNBAinsidr— Rachel Galligan (@RachGall) February 1, 2019
But after knowing that Cloud could be packing her bags for the Big Apple to be reunited with former guard Bria Hartley, the Mystics matched that offer on Friday. Cloud is coming back to “Rep the District!”
OFFICIAL: @T_Cloud4 is staying in the district.— Washington Mystics (@WashMystics) February 1, 2019
(also official: we're on cloud 9)
>> https://t.co/z1CKDRwINI#TogetherDC pic.twitter.com/L6FjuULDHC
Huw Hopkins of Double Clutch NBA posted an interview of Mystics General Manager and Head Coach Mike Thibault when the Mystics went to London with the Wizards last month. He explained the team’s priorities heading into free agency in rather good detail here.
Here is @WashMystics Mike Thibault talking about the prospect of @T_Cloud4 free agency recently. He sounded confident about matching offer sheets like the one offered by Liberty #wnbainsidr @WNBAinsidr @RachGall @SnottieDrippen #WNBAOffseason #wnbafreeagency @DoubleClutchUK pic.twitter.com/p2geeORFei— Huw Hopkins (@coach_huw) February 1, 2019
Don’t worry Mystics fans. Washington wasn’t letting their starting shooting guard (or is Cloud more of a point guard in a small forward’s body?) go for nothing.
Cloud improved considerably with her shooting last season and became a starting guard alongside Kristi Toliver for most of the 2018 season. She can play multiple positions on defense and helped get Washington to their first WNBA Finals appearance.
Bottom line: like Thibault said, Cloud’s offer sheet would get matched. This move is sort of like what the Brooklyn Nets did with Otto Porter, signing him to a maximum-level contract offer sheet before the Wizards matched it soon after in the 2017 NBA Free Agency period. The Mystics have enough room to re-sign Cloud to a maximum salary and have enough powder to make a run at someone else. Apparently, Thibault was in negotiations with another player back in mid-January, so we’ll see what happens!