Renee Montgomery seems unlikely to return to Dream in free agency

Atlanta Dream guard Renee Montgomery reacts to a score against the Washington Mystics during a come back that came up three points short during the second half in a WNBA semifinal playoff game on Sunday, August 26, 2018, in Atlanta. The Mystics beat the Dream 87-84.   Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com
Atlanta Dream guard Renee Montgomery reacts to a score against the Washington Mystics during a come back that came up three points short during the second half in a WNBA semifinal playoff game on Sunday, August 26, 2018, in Atlanta. The Mystics beat the Dream 87-84. Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com

Credit: ccompton@ajc.com

Credit: ccompton@ajc.com

When Renee Montgomery opted out of the 2020 WNBA season, she was in the last year of her contract with the Dream. Montgomery signed a two-year deal with the Dream in 2018, and because she opted out of the season, the WNBA considers it a year of service and Montgomery becomes a free agent.

Though Montgomery opted out to focus on activism work, with a particular focus on voting initiatives, she said she does plan to return to the court next season. But it doesn’t sound like it will be with the Dream.

“Well, (I plan to return to) the WNBA, yeah,” Montgomery told the AJC on Friday when asked if she planned to return to the Dream. She didn’t comment further on the Dream, but the impression was that Montgomery expects to be wearing a different jersey in 2021.

In 2019, Montgomery had the second-worst shooting season of her career and made only 37% of her shots from the floor. She’s been known as a perimeter shooter throughout her career, and in 2019, became the 13th player in WNBA history to make 500 career 3′s, but her 3-point percentage dipped to near-career low numbers in 2019 as well.

Adding complexity to the issue is the fact that Montgomery and the Dream’s 2020 first-round pick Chennedy Carter both are point guards. Carter had a strong rookie season in 2020 and became the youngest player in league history to score 30 or more points in a game.

While Montgomery could serve as a backup to Carter, the Dream have other possible options, such as Maite Cazorla or Blake Dietrick, who could fill that backup role at a lower cap hit than Montgomery would carry. Montgomery will turn 34 before the next WNBA season begins, which raises questions about how a player in her mid-30s will perform after not having played basketball in more than 18 months.

In short, it seems that Montgomery’s tenure as the Dream’s point guard may be nearing its conclusion.

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