Category: WNBA

WNBA News

  WNBA In Early Talks For 22-Game Season – The WNBA is proposing a 22-game regular season, starting July 24, with the league playing at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, multiple sources have confirmed to ESPN. Details of the playoffs, which would end in October, have not been specified, according to sources. The players have not agreed to the proposal, which has been described as tentative, as some teams are still being informed of the known details, sources said. Reached for comment on Thursday, the league said it could not confirm the proposal. The WNBA was set to have a 36-game regular season this year, beginning on May 15, but the league was postponed by the coronavirus pandemic. Specifics about housing and testing have not been confirmed. One source said it’s still too early to say this plan is “set in stone” but confirmed the parameters of what’s being proposed. Part of the proposal might be that with a reduced season, the players would get 60% of their normal salaries, the source said. The source also anticipated that the players might have some counter-proposals. Women’s National Basketball Players Association executive director Terri Jackson said she had been gathering feedback from players all day Thursday and will continue to do so Friday and throughout the weekend. “No decisions have been made,” Jackson told ESPN.com. “Players are considering all their options.” IMG Academy’s basketball complex has four state-of-the-art courts, according to the facility’s website. The WNBA has 12 teams with a maximum roster size of 12 players each. (Mechelle Voepel/ESPN)

Sports News – WNBA

  WNBA Considering Las Vegas As Location To Continue – Two people familiar with the situation say the WNBA plans to hold games at just one location if there is a season this year and that the MGM Resorts in Las Vegas and the IMG Academy in Florida are the top candidates. There is still not date when the 2020 season will tip off. The people spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the possible locations haven’t been publicly announced. WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert told the AP last month that the league was considering a handful of scenarios that included playing at one or two sites. Details of the logistics of how the league and its 12 teams would operate at either location remain unclear. Engelbert told the AP once again on Tuesday that the league has talked about a number of options, but declined to confirm whether IMG Academy or MGM topped the list of possible destinations. “We’re looking at the pros and cons of a number of different locations,” Engelbert said. The commissioner reiterated once again that health and safety of the players and teams was a top priority. If the league goes with MGM Resorts it would have a few options of where the games could be held, but one would likely be ruled out: Mandalay Bay. That is the home court of the Las Vegas Aces, who are owned by MGM Resports. The league wouldn’t want to give the Aces even more of a competitive advantage. IMG Academy is in Bradenton, Florida — about 100 miles from Disney World near Orlando where the NBA is negotiating to restart its season in July. The commissioner did confirm one of many topics of discussion with the union: Players were paid Monday and will receive another check in a couple of weeks. The players, who earn a base salary between $57,000 and $215,000, are usually paid nine times during an Olympic year, but were paid one 12th of their salary this week. The plan is for players to receive checks over 12 pay periods. The league and union will evaluate where they are at the end of the month as far as starting the season and whether players will continue to get paid next month. Normally players would be paid every two weeks starting on June 1 with their last checks coming at the end of the regular season. (Associated Press)

WNBA News

WNBA teams to make tough calls on roster cuts - Bioreports  WNBA Teams To Make Tough Calls On Roster Cuts – New York Liberty general manager Jonathan Kolb knew that he and first-year coach Walt Hopkins would have to make some tough decisions on the team’s roster this year. He just didn’t think they’d have to do it so quickly and without seeing players compete in training camp. The WNBA and the players’ union decided that teams would have to get their rosters under the salary cap by Tuesday so that players could start getting paid on June 1. It has left many teams with tough decisions on whom they will cut and little time to figure it out. “It is the worst part of this job,” Kolb said in a phone interview. “These are dreams that are suddenly altered and you’re a large part of that. These are human beings, not just basketball players.” Teams usually have to cut their rosters to get under the salary cap before the regular season begins, which would have been on May 14. The WNBA postponed the start of the season in early April because of the coronavirus pandemic and is still focusing on a handful of scenarios that would allow it to play this year. Teams typically would be able to evaluate players by their on-the-court actions. Now it’s more based on how quickly they pick things up on Zoom conference calls or how well they understand plays online. While players who are cut won’t get paid, they will be offered health insurance until the end of June. There also is a chance that being let go won’t mean the end of their WNBA dreams. (Associated Press)

WNBA News

  Gianna Among 3 Named Honorary WNBA Picks – Gianna Bryant, Alyssa Altobelli and Payton Chester, who were among nine killed in a January helicopter crash that also claimed the life of Kobe Bryant, were named honorary selections in Friday’s WNBA draft.”It would have been a dream come true for her,” Gianna’s mother, Vanessa, said. “Kobe and Gigi loved the WNBA. Thank you. I want to congratulate all of this year’s draft picks. Congratulations. Work hard. Never settle. Use that Mamba Mentality.” Also on Friday, WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert announced the new Kobe & Gigi Bryant WNBA Advocacy Award, which will recognize “an individual or group who has made significant contributions to the visibility, perception and advancement of women’s and girls’ basketball at all levels.” “Kobe was an incredible champion of women’s basketball and Gianna shared his passion and dedication to our game,” Engelbert said in a statement. “The Kobe & Gigi Bryant WNBA Advocacy Award will honor their legacy and reflect Kobe’s commitment to mentoring the next generation of players, promoting the game and giving back to the community.” The inaugural award will be revealed by the WNBA and the Bryant family at the 2021 NBA All-Star Game in Indianapolis. Vanessa Bryant will have a large role in helping select the recipient of the award and then presenting it to the honoree each year at All-Star Weekend. (Graham Hays/ESPN)

WNBA Draft 2020: 4/17/20

WNBA: HERO Sports Mock Draft Part 1 - HERO Sports

Despite the continued spread of COVID-19 across the country, the WNBA will continue on with the 2020 draft as originally scheduled on Friday. instead of players, family, team representatives and media members being present in New York City for the event, it will be done virtually. League commissioner Cathy Engelbert will announce the selections virtually, while top picks will be available via conference call to react to their names being called.

Round 1:

1. New York Liberty: Sabrina Ionescu — G, Oregon
2. Dallas Wings: Satou Sabally — F, Oregon
3. Indiana Fever: Lauren Cox — F, Baylor
4. Atlanta Dream: Chennedy Carter — G, Texas A&M
5. Dallas Wings: Bella Alarie — F, Princeton
6. Minnesota Lynx: Mikiah Herbert Harrigan — F, South Carolina
7. Dallas Wings: Tyasha Harris — G, South Carolina
8. Chicago Sky: Ruthy Hebard — F, Oregon
9. New York Liberty: Megan Walker — F, UConn
10. Phoenix Mercury: Jocelyn Willoughby — F, Virginia
11. Seattle Storm: Kitija Laksa — G, Latvia
12. New York Liberty: Jazmine Jones — G, Louisville

Round 2:

13. New York Liberty: Kylee Shook — F, Louisville
14. Indiana Fever: Kathleen Doyle — G, Iowa
15. New York Liberty: Leaonna Odom — F, Duke
16. Minnesota Lynx: Crystal Dangerfield — G, UConn
17. Atlanta Dream: Brittany Brewer — F, Texas A&M
18. Phoenix Mercury: Te’a Cooper — G, Baylor
19. Seattle Storm: Joyner Holmes — F, Texas
20. Los Angeles Sparks: Beatrice Mompremier — F, Miami (FL)
21. Dallas Wings: Luisa Geiselsöder — C, Germany
22. Los Angeles Sparks: Leonie Fiebich — G, Germany
23. Connecticut Sun: Kaila Charles — G/F, Maryland
24. Washington Mystics: Jaylyn Agnew — F, Creighton

Round 3:

25. Atlanta Dream: Mikayla Pivec — G, Oregon State
26. Minnesota Lynx (via trade with New York Liberty): Erica Ogwumike — G, Rice
27. Atlanta Dream: Kobi Thornton — F, Clemson
28. Indiana Fever: Kamiah Smalls — G, James Madison
29. Phoenix Mercury: Stella Johnson — G, Rider
30. Chicago Sky: Japreece Dean — G, UCLA
31. Seattle Storm: Haley Gorecki — G, Duke
32. Chicago Sky: Kiah Gillespie — F, Florida State
33. Las Vegas Aces: Lauren Manis — F, Holy Cross
34. Los Angeles Sparks: Tynice Martin — G, West Virginia
35. Connecticut Sun: Juicy Landrum — G, Baylor
36. Washington Mystics: Sug Sutton — G, Texas

WNBA News

  Liberty Trade Tina Charles, Get 3 Picks In 3-Team Deal – The New York Liberty have traded All-Star Tina Charles to the Washington Mystics as part of a three-team deal on Wednesday. New York will receive the 12th pick in the WNBA draft from Washington as well as the ninth and 15th picks from Dallas. The Liberty also will receive Tayler Hill from the Wings and Shatori Walker-Kimbrough from the Mystics. Dallas gets Washington’s first-round pick in 2021 and New York’s second-round pick in 2021. The Liberty also received the Mystics’ second- and third-round picks next season. The Liberty now have four of the top 15 picks in Friday’s draft, including the No. 1 pick, which they are expected to use on Oregon star Sabrina Ionescu. The trade reunites Charles, 31, with her former coach Mike Thibault. The pair were together with the Connecticut Sun for Charles’ first four years in the league after the team drafted her No. 1 in 2010. She was traded to New York in 2014 on draft night and had been the cornerstone of the Liberty franchise ever since. The New York native, who has averaged 18.1 points in her career, is still looking for her first WNBA championship. The Liberty signed the 31-year-old Charles to a one-year deal for $175,000 before trading her to Washington so that the Mystics would still fit under the salary cap. Washington is coming off the franchise’s first WNBA championship. Most of the key players are back for Thibault, including reigning league MVP Elena Delle Donne and finals MVP Emma Meesseman. The Wings, who had five of the first 15 picks in the draft before the trade, had a potential roster crunch. A team can have a maximum of 15 players on its roster, and Dallas would have been over that number on draft night. (Associated Press)

WNBA News

WNBA Primary Dark Logo - Women's National Basketball Association ...   WNBA Delays 2020 Season – The WNBA has delayed the start of its 24th season because of the coronavirus pandemic, commissioner Cathy Engelbert announced Friday. The league was supposed to begin training camps April 26 and open the regular season May 15. “While the league continues to use this time to conduct scenario-planning regarding new start dates and innovative formats,” Engelbert said in a statement, “our guiding principle will continue to be the health and safety of the players, fans and employees.” The WNBA will still conduct its draft on April 17, as the league announced last week. The draft, which will begin at 7 p.m. ET (ESPN), will be held “virtually,” with Engelbert announcing picks from New York and top prospects taking part remotely. Oregon guard Sabrina Ionescu is expected to be the No. 1 overall selection by the New York Liberty. The WNBA had a monthlong break — July 11 to Aug. 15 — planned this year because of the Tokyo Olympics. But with the Summer Games postponed, the WNBA has a little more leeway in terms of potential rescheduling.  Engelbert said that whenever the WNBA does start, it will follow a strict protocol regarding the health and well-being of players, coaches and fans. The Washington Mystics are the league’s defending champions, having defeated the Connecticut Sun last year in a five-game Finals. (Mechelle Voepel/ESPN)