WNBA free agency: Former MVP Tina Charles signs with Atlanta Dream

The 35-year-old Charles last played in the WNBA in 2022 with the Phoenix Mercury and Seattle Storm. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

Tina Charles is returning to the WNBA after signing with the Atlanta Dream, the team announced on Thursday.

According to Howard Megdal of The Next, Charles' deal is for one year, worth $130,000 with no protection.

“Having a player who has been tried and true throughout her career will be impactful as our young core continues to mature,” said head coach Tanisha Wright in a statement. “There is a mutual respect between Tina and I because of the years we spent as teammates, and her competitiveness and desire to win will be an added boost for our team. In all candor, I look forward to now telling her what to do instead of vice versa.”

The 35-year-old Charles last played in the WNBA in 2022 where she began the season with the Phoenix Mercury and ended it helping the Seattle Storm reach the second round of the playoffs.

[2024 Yahoo Sports WNBA free agency preview]

Charles' time in Phoenix started with promise after she signed to join a roster featuring Diana Taurasi, Skylar Diggins-Smith and Brittney Griner. But her tenure with the Mercury ended after 16 games after both sides agreed to a contract divorce. Charles was reportedly unhappy with her usage in then-head coach Vanessa Nygaard's offense.

An eight-time WNBA All-Star, three-time Olympic gold medalist, and 2012 WNBA MVP, Charles is fourth all time in scoring with 7,115 points and second all time behind Sylvia Fowles (4,007) in rebounds with 3,640. She joins a Dream roster coming off its best season since 2018 when Atlanta last made the postseason.

Charles wasn't the only move the Dream made on the opening day of WNBA free agency. They also added guard Aerial Powers (one year, $155,000, protected, per Megdal) and re-signed forward Nia Coffey (two years, $300,000, protected). Jordin Canada, a two-time All-Defensive First Team guard, was also acquired along with the 12th pick in the 2024 draft in a trade that sent Aari McDonald and the eighth overall pick to the Los Angeles Sparks.