WNBA looking to expand after many players waived for lack of space

The WNBA Needs To Stop Wasting Talent & Expand… Now!

The WNBA is headed in a good direction. The league, heading into its 27th season, is hosting its first-ever 40-game season and finally allowing teams to fly charter. But there’s plenty of work to be done and let’s start with the obvious – expansion!

The WNBA has 12 American teams in the league; clearly, it’s not enough. Currently, each franchise has 12 spots on the roster, limiting opportunity for plenty of talent. Don’t think I’m being dramatic, either. A matter of days before the start of the new season, some of the top athletes and rookies were waived.

Who has been waived in the WNBA?

Charli Collier, the first-overall 2021 pick, was waived by the Dallas Wings. Though she wasn’t posting the best stats in her recent year, the Texas product was shuffled out of the lineup with Dallas having three first-rounders this year.

The Wings couldn’t even fit all their recent draftees, cutting the 2023 No. 11 pick Abby Meyers after giving her just five minutes of opportunity in the preseason.

And that’s how it goes.

Who has been cut for the 2023 season?

Players Cut Ahead Of 2023 WNBA Season
PlayerTeamDraft Pick/Year
Charli CollierDallas Wings1st Overall (2021)
Abby MeyersDallas Wings11th Overall (2023)
Emily EngstlerWashington Mystics4th Overall (2022)
Kalani BrownDallas Wings7th Overall (2019)
Taylor MikesellIndiana Fever13th Overall, 2nd Round (2023)
DiDi RichardsNew York Liberty17th Overall, 2nd Round (2021)
Jazmine JonesWashington Mystics12th Overall (2020)
Brea BealMinnesota Lynx24th Overall, 2nd Round (2023)
Destanni HendersonIndiana Fever20th Overall, 2nd Round (2023)
Monika CzinanoLos Angeles Spark26th Overall, 3rd Round (2023)
Nia CloudenConnecticut Sun12th Overall (2022)

And there's plenty of others who have been waived and left stranded. The worst part? It's nothing new for these girls, who are constantly climbing over barriers to live out their dreams. 

So, what happens next?

The issue is, once the players are scratched, there are very little options left. The WNBA currently doesn’t have a practice squad and the most viable option is to play abroad. But that massive commitment and move is not always possible for players with family ties in North America.

And trust me, some of the gals are getting frustrated. Like former LSU Tiger Alexis Morris, who was cut by the Sun after being drafted 22nd overall.  

I understand the point here. But, it shouldn't be either or. There are veterans who have paved the way, have been generational talents and are exciting to watch every year.

Take the media hype after Breanna Stewart, last year's top point scorer, and Courtney Vandersloot, who led the league in assists for six-straight years, signed with the Liberty, contenders to win the championship. Realistically, that's the type of attention the league needs if it wants to continue growing. 

On the other hand, Morris is right. The league is missing out on the incoming generations of talent and stunting their development. Which, ultimately, isn't good for the future of women's basketball. 

There’s simply just not enough room. But, there can be.

is an expansion possible for the WNBA?

Yes. First, it would solve the problem of roster crunches by making more room available. There are plenty of markets available to expand to and let's start with the Great North -- Canada.

As a trial run, Toronto hosted its first Canadian WNBA game at Scotiabank Arena, home of the NBA's Toronto Raptors. A preseason meeting between the Minnesota Lynx and Chicago Sky drew in a full house, with 20,000 tickets selling out within 24 hours of release.

Players and coaches were open saying that they were stopped by fans in Jurassic Park on gameday. And that's not the end of the support, the league merchandise was sold out by halftime. I think Toronto is ready, eh?

There are 10 to 12 other investors the league is currently speaking with, including Nashville, Bay Area and Charlotte.

The talent is only getting better with coveted players like Caitlin Clark and Angel Reese, a college basketball national champion, prepping for the 2024 draft. The audience is only getting bigger, with Women's March Madness kicking off the momentum this year drawing in a record-high 12.6 million viewers (while the men set a record-low).

It's only up from here. The time for expansion is now.

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