The greatest? Who are the best Aces since relocating to Las Vegas
The Aces won the first major league professional sports championship in Las Vegas history, so who are the greatest players in the team’s six-year tenure in the city?
The Aces have lots of history. They’re one of the original eight WNBA franchises and can count players like Sophia Young-Malcolm, current general manager Natalie Williams and, of course, Becky Hammon among the organization’s best players from its San Antonio and Utah roots.
Since the team’s move to Las Vegas before the 2018 season, the Aces have made an undeniable impact on the city’s sports scene, most notably winning the city’s first major league professional championship.
Here is the Review-Journal’s list of the five best players in Aces history since the team’s relocation to Las Vegas.
5. Jackie Young (2019-Present)
The No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 WNBA draft, Young’s Aces career didn’t get off to the greatest start. However, the WNBA’s reigning Most Improved Player earned her first All-Star appearance during the 2022 season and has grown into one of the league’s premier wings.
Young will play her fifth season with the Aces in 2023. Her career to this point, combined with her buzzer-beating layup to force overtime in Game 3 of the WNBA semifinals against the Seattle Storm during the 2022 playoffs, has for now put Young on this list over the likes of Liz Cambage and Chelsea Gray.
4. Kayla McBride (2018-20)
Originally drafted by the San Antonio Stars during the 2014 WNBA draft, McBride spent seven seasons with the Aces. Only three of those campaigns were in Las Vegas, but all three were highly productive.
McBride earned two of her three All-Star appearances in Las Vegas. She averaged a career-best 18.2 points per game in 2018 as the franchise established itself in Las Vegas and helped guide the team to a WNBA Finals appearance in 2020. She departed for the Minnesota Lynx in free agency after the 2020 season.
3. Kelsey Plum (2018-Present)
The only remaining player on the roster who arrived with the franchise from San Antonio, Plum is one of two players to earn first-team All-WNBA honors with the Aces. The former Washington guard, who also has a Sixth Player of the Year award to her name, was dynamic in 2022 under coach Becky Hammon as she helped guide the franchise to its first championship.
2. Dearica Hamby (2018-22)
Her acrimonious exit and subsequent accusations of bullying against the organization can’t overshadow Hamby’s contributions to the Aces franchise.
A two-time Sixth Player of the Year and a two-time All-Star, Hamby’s sacrifice defined her time with the franchise. She was one of only two players to play in every season of the organization’s first five campaigns in Las Vegas, had one of the franchise’s first iconic moments in Las Vegas with the Hamby Heave and helped the team win its first championship.
1. A’ja Wilson (2018-Present)
Who else could it possibly have been? Wilson has won almost every award under the sun since arriving in Las Vegas. A two-time MVP and reigning Defensive Player of the Year, Wilson transformed the team’s trajectory when they drafted her No. 1 overall in the 2018 WNBA draft.
Only 26 years old and entering her sixth season in the league, Wilson is already one of — if not the best — player in franchise history. As long as she remains in Las Vegas, the Aces will be competitive.
Honorable mentions: Liz Cambage, Chelsea Gray, Angel McCoughtry.
Contact reporter Andy Yamashita at email@example.com. Follow @ANYamashita on Twitter.