The defending WNBA champions have been hit with some controversy ahead of their title defense.
Despite all of their success during the 2022 season, there has been one big issue that has arisen from the offseason that followed.
The franchise was investigated by the WNBA over issues in the workplace involving their treatment of Dearica Hamby.
Today, the WNBA concluded their investigation and revealed that the Aces had committed a team violation and a violation of the league’s Respect in the Workplace policies.
As a result, the league has decided to suspend Aces head coach Becky Hammon for 2 games without pay to start the 2023 season and has also taken away the Aces’ 2025 first round pick because they already don’t own their 2024 first.
We have rescinded the Las Vegas Aces’ 2025 first-round draft pick for violating league rules regarding impermissible player benefits & suspended head coach Becky Hammon for two games w/o pay for violating league and team Respect in the Workplace policies
Full Statement ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/MtHz1yP2Gm
— WNBA (@WNBA) May 16, 2023
According to the announcement from the league, the team violation involved impermissible benefits in connection to the negotiations of a contract extension for Hamby. Meanwhile, the violation of the workplace policy was related to comments Hammon made to Hamby in connection to her recent pregnancy.
Hamby was traded by the Aces back in January in a deal that sent her to the Los Angeles Sparks along with the Aces’ 2024 first rounder in exchange for Amanda Zahui B. and the Sparks’ 2024 2nd rounder.
The 2-game suspension isn’t really a big deal when the team has 40 games coming up on their schedule. However, losing the 1st rounder is a much bigger deal.
Coupled with the trade, it essentially means that this situation has now cost the Aces their next 2 first round picks.
That leaves them a bit low on tradable picks if they need to add another piece for their title defense this season and will make it harder for them to add younger pieces to a roster that currently has 7 players in their 30s.
The Las Vegas Aces will need to be on their best behavior going forward as they chase a 2nd consecutive ring.