WNBA roster cuts are at the point of ridiculousness

WNBA final roster cuts are brutal every year. But this season they were especially harsh considering that the COVID-19 pandemic prevented all of the draftees from trying out for their teams. And this came after a round of earlier cuts that left out some favorites from the last few years. There are so many great basketball players out of a job right now that is is painful.

What’s even worse is that it won’t be getting better anytime soon. League commissioner Cathy Engelbert said last summer, her fourth day on the job, that the WNBA wouldn’t see expansion teams until its remaining 12 franchises were financially stable. Then came COVID-19, and the indefinite postponement of the season. Even if a partial season is revived, which has yet to be decided, women’s sports are taking a hit – and just when they were gaining momentum.

Further, overseas leagues might be limited or shutdown this coming winter, depending upon the progress of the pandemic. These leagues have been the bread and butter for every cut player, every undrafted athlete who loved the game too much to stop, and for WNBA players who needed to supplement their meager salaries. South Korea and Australia have already said no to foreign players next year. What if others around the world follow? U.S. hoopers would be forced to fall back on their college degrees sooner than anticipated – and in a job market that some have said will be the worst we’ve seen since the Great Depression.

What can be done to create more professional basketball opportunities for women in this country?

One site had all the rosters and all the cuts:

Atlanta Dream

Monique Billings
Brittany Brewer
Kalani Brown
Chennedy Carter
Blake Dietrick
Tiffany Hayes
Glory Johnson
Alexis Jones
Renee Montgomery
Shekinna Stricklen
Courtney Williams
Elizabeth Williams
Cuts: Elina Babkina, Alaina Coates.

Out for season: Maite Cazorla (elected to sit the 2020 season), Mikayla Pivec (elected to sit the 2020 season), Kobi Thornton (elected to sit the 2020 season).

Chicago Sky

Sydney Colson
Kahleah Copper
Diamond DeShields
Stefanie Dolson
Ruthy Hebard
Jantel Lavender
Cheyenne Parker
Allie Quigley
Azurá Stevens
Courtney Vandersloot
Gabby Williams
Cuts: Japreece Dean, Alexis Prince.

Out for season: Kiah Gillespie (personal reasons).

Connecticut Sun

DeWanna Bonner
Kaila Charles
Natisha Hiedeman
Bria Holmes
Briann January
Jonquel Jones
Brionna Jones
Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis
Theresa Plaisance
Alyssa Thomas
Jasmine Thomas
Cuts: Valeriane Ayayi, Jacki Gemelos, Jazmon Gwathmey, Megan Huff, Juicy Landrum.

Dallas Wings

Bella Alarie
Allisha Gray
Megan Gustafson
Tyasha Harris
Isabella Harrison
Moriah Jefferson
Marina Mabrey
Astou Ndour
Arike Ogunbowale
Satou Sabally
Katie Lou Samuelson
Kayla Thornton
Cuts: Morgan Bertsch, Kaela Davis, Luisa Geiselsöder, Karlie Samuelson.

Trades: Kristine Anigwe (to Los Angeles Sparks).

Out for season: Imani McGee-Stafford (law school).

Indiana Fever

Natalie Achonwa
Julie Allemand
Kennedy Burke
Lauren Cox
Kathleen Doyle
Candice Dupree
Betnijah Laney
Stephanie Mavunga
Teaira McCowan
Kelsey Mitchell
Tiffany Mitchell
Victoria Vivians
Erica Wheeler
Cuts: Jessica January, Paris Kea, Erica McCall, Kamiah Smalls.

Las Vegas Aces

Lindsay Allen
Liz Cambage
Dearica Hamby
Kayla McBride
Angel McCoughtry
Kelsey Plum
Danielle Robinson
Sugar Rodgers
Carolyn Swords
A’ja Wilson
Jackie Young
Cuts: Lauren Manis, Raisa Musina, Avery Warley-Talbert.

Out for season: JiSu Park (personal decision).

Los Angeles Sparks

Kristine Anigwe (via trade from Dallas Wings)
Seimone Augustus
Chelsea Gray
Marie Gülich
Chiney Ogwumike
Nneka Ogwumike
Candace Parker
Tierra Ruffin-Pratt
Brittney Sykes
Kristi Toliver
Sydney Wiese
Riquna Williams
Cuts: Tynice Martin, Dominique McBryde, Beatrice Mompremier.

Out for season: Maria Vadeeva (overseas, with plans to rejoin team in 2021), Leonie Fiebich (overseas).

Minnesota Lynx

Kayla Alexander
Rachel Banham
Lexie Brown
Bridget Carlton
Karima Christmas-Kelly
Napheesa Collier
Crystal Dangerfield
Damiris Dantas
Sylvia Fowles
Mikiah Herbert Harrigan
Shenise Johnson
Cecilia Zandalasini
Cuts: Linnae Harper, Erica Ogwumike.

Out for season: Maya Moore (personal), Jessica Shepard (ACL recovery), Odyssey Sims (personal).

New York Liberty

Rebecca Allen
Layshia Clarendon
Asia Durr
Sabrina Ionescu
Jazmine Jones
Kia Nurse
Leaonna Odom
Kylee Shook
Kiah Stokes
Megan Walker
Jocelyn Willoughby
Amanda Zahui B
Cuts: Brittany Boyd, Reshanda Gray, Tayler Hill.

Out for season: Han Xu (overseas), Marine Johannés (overseas), Stephanie Talbot (personal decision).

Phoenix Mercury

Jessica Breland
Nia Coffey
Sophie Cunningham
Skylar Diggins-Smith
Brittney Griner
Bria Hartley
Alanna Smith
Diana Taurasi
Brianna Turner
Kia Vaughn
Shatori Walker-Kimbrough
Cuts: Sara Blicavs, Te’a Cooper, Olivia Epoupa, Stella Johnson.

Out for season: Yvonne Turner (knee injury).

Seattle Storm

Sue Bird
Jordin Canada
Alysha Clark
Natasha Howard
Crystal Langhorne
Jewell Loyd
Ezi Magbegor
Epiphanny Prince
Mercedes Russell
Breanna Stewart
Morgan Tuck
Sami Whitcomb
Cuts: Haley Gorecki, Joyner Holmes.

Washington Mystics

Ariel Atkins
Tina Charles
Natasha Cloud
Elena Delle Donne
Tianna Hawkins
Myisha Hines-Allen
Kiara Leslie
Leilani Mitchell
Emma Meesseman
Aerial Powers
LaToya Sanders
Cuts: Jaylen Agnew, Rebecca Greenwell, Alecia “Sug” Sutton.

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