McCoughtry missed last season with a knee injury. She has reached an agreement with the Dream, which will not use its core designation to retain exclusive negotiating rights with the 33-year-old veteran. McCoughtry is an unrestricted free agent.
Other top WNBA players who have received max $215,000 contracts under the core designation are Brittney Griner of the Phoenix Mercury, Tina Charles of the New York Liberty and Skylar Diggins-Smith of Dallas. Diggins-Smith told The Associated Press on Sunday she hopes to play with another team after missing last season.
McCoughtry has returned from torn ligaments in her left knee to play for Dynamo Kursk in Russia in this WNBA offseason. She is on the USA women's national team roster.
McCoughtry, a two-time Olympian, was the No. 1 overall pick by Atlanta in the 2009 WNBA draft. She has been the face of the Dream her full career and has averaged 19.5 points per game for her career. She led the league in scoring in 2012 and 2013.
The Dream said in a statement released Monday night ''The door remains open for Angel to return to Atlanta as she explores other opportunities.''