Sparks sign free agent forward Monique Billings

Monique Billings returns to Southern California. She played college ball in UCLA.

LOS ANGELES — The Sparks have stayed busy in this free agent period.

Their latest move has them signing Monique Billings, who has played all 6 of her WNBA seasons in Atlanta. The Southern California native was picked in the second round by the Atlanta Dream in 2018 after a stellar four-year college career in UCLA.

Billings averaged 4.8 points and 5.0 rebounds in a somewhat decreased role with the Dream last season. She did put up 8.5 points and 8.5 rebounds (good for 10th in the league) during the Wubble season in 2020. Her activity in the trenches will be needed with this new Sparks team in 2024.

Obviously, it’s hard to replace an all-world, future hall-of-fame player like Nneka Ogwumike, who made her intentions known of leaving the Sparks and testing the free agency waters. But it does fill a need for the Sparks, who are going to need more rebounding and defense. Billings can certainly do that part.

This follows a series of moves where the Sparks traded for Kia Nurse and the 4th pick of this coming draft and dealt Jordin Canada for Aari McDonald and a swapping of first round picks. The Sparks now have the 2nd, 4th, and 8th picks in the first round, which they will use to help shape the future of this franchise.

But for now, they get a player in Monique Billings, who will undoubtedly battle in the paint and try to gobble up all the boards.