FINAL CUTS: WNBA roster deadline produces lots of bleeding

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Alecia “Sug” Sutton was waived by the Washington Mystics on Sunday. She was drafted 36th overall in the 2020 WNBA Draft. | Getty Images

WNBA teams have until May 26 to whittle down their rosters to 12 women apiece. For a league receiving an influx of new talent every year through the draft, and some of the league’s biggest stars playing into their late-30s, this is no easy task. For recent draftees, the 2020 roster-cut deadline is especially painful.

The defending champion Washington Mystics announced on Sunday their decision to waive Jaylen Agnew and Alecia “Sug” Sutton in pursuit of the May 26 roster finalization deadline by which the 12 teams of the WNBA must whittle their rosters to 12 women each.

For Agnew, the final pick of the second round in the 2020 WNBA Draft, and Sutton, the final pick in the third round, it is a case of “last one in, first one out.”

Additionally for Agnew and Sutton, plus Erica Ogwumike (26th pick), who was waived on Sunday by the Minnesota Lynx, the roster-cut deadline of 2020 is especially painful. Due to stay-at-home orders and social distancing guidelines stemming from the coronavirus pandemic, they, and the 33 order selections in this year’s draft, did not benefit from the opportunity to earn a roster spot through team training camps.

The painful cuts cannot be blamed solely on the absence of training camps this year, however. With just 144 total roster spots to fill, competition is fierce every year, and increasingly so in recent times. The talent emerging from the collegiate ranks has never had more depth and Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi, both closer in age to 40 than 35, are redefining the term “career longevity,” with other veteran players also sporting proud membership to that club.

Cierra Dillard — a star at Buffalo who was drafted 20th overall in 2019 — was waived by the Lynx and Los Angeles Sparks prior to the start of the 2019 season and went on to play professionally in Spain. She, and many others like her, still seek a turn in the WNBA, and Dillard thinks opening more roster spots is the way to have that happen.

In an interview last year, Dillard suggested the league allow teams to “… have an extended roster through, maybe June 15.” Allowing 15 women on each roster, for example, even if for a temporarily extended period, would give more of the elite athletes vying for WNBA glory opportunities to succeed. Additionally, coaches and general managers would have more material and time with which to assess players and make decisions.

But this is 2020. The roster limit is 12 players and there are 12 teams.

Here is where each team stands on the way to whittling their rosters:

Originally published on Tuesday, May 26, at 1 p.m. ET.

Atlanta Dream

  1. Elina Babkina
  2. Monique Billings
  3. Brittany Brewer
  4. Kalani Brown
  5. Chennedy Carter
  6. Maite Cazorla
  7. Alaina Coates
  8. Blake Dietrick
  9. Tiffany Hayes
  10. Glory Johnson
  11. Alexis Jones
  12. Renee Montgomery
  13. Shekinna Stricklen
  14. Kobi Thornton
  15. Courtney Williams
  16. Elizabeth Williams

Cuts: Coming soon …

Chicago Sky

  1. Sydney Colson
  2. Kahleah Copper
  3. Japreece Dean
  4. Diamond DeShields
  5. Stefanie Dolson
  6. Kiah Gillespie
  7. Ruthy Hebard
  8. Jantel Lavender
  9. Cheyenne Parker
  10. Alexis Prince
  11. Allie Quigley
  12. Azurá Stevens
  13. Courtney Vandersloot
  14. Gabby Williams

Cuts: Coming soon …

Connecticut Sun

  1. DeWanna Bonner
  2. Kaila Charles
  3. Natisha Hiedeman
  4. Bria Holmes
  5. Briann January
  6. Jonquel Jones
  7. Brionna Jones
  8. Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis
  9. Theresa Plaisance
  10. Alyssa Thomas
  11. Jasmine Thomas

Cuts: Valeriane Ayayi, Jacki Gemelos, Jazmon Gwathmey, Megan Huff, Juicy Landrum.

Dallas Wings

  1. Bella Alarie
  2. Kristine Anigwe
  3. Luisa Geiselsöder
  4. Allisha Gray
  5. Megan Gustafson
  6. Tyasha Harris
  7. Isabella Harrison
  8. Moriah Jefferson
  9. Marina Mabrey
  10. Astou Ndour
  11. Arike Ogunbowale
  12. Satou Sabally
  13. Katie Lou Samuelson
  14. Karlie Samuelson
  15. Kayla Thornton

Cuts: Morgan Bertsch, Kaela Davis.

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

Indiana Fever

  1. Natalie Achonwa
  2. Julie Allemand
  3. Kennedy Burke
  4. Lauren Cox
  5. Kathleen Doyle
  6. Candice Dupree
  7. Betnijah Laney
  8. Stephanie Mavunga
  9. Teaira McCowan
  10. Kelsey Mitchell
  11. Tiffany Mitchell
  12. Victoria Vivians
  13. Erica Wheeler

Cuts: Jessica January, Paris Kea, Erica McCall, Kamiah Smalls.

Las Vegas Aces

  1. Lindsay Allen
  2. Liz Cambage
  3. Dearica Hamby
  4. Kayla McBride
  5. Angel McCoughtry
  6. Kelsey Plum
  7. Danielle Robinson
  8. Sugar Rodgers
  9. Carolyn Swords
  10. A’ja Wilson
  11. Jackie Young

Cuts: Lauren Manis, Raisa Musina, Avery Warley-Talbert.

Out for season: JiSu Park (personal decision).

Los Angeles Sparks

  1. Seimone Augustus
  2. Leonie Fiebich
  3. Chelsea Gray
  4. Marie Gülich
  5. Tynice Martin
  6. Dominique McBryde
  7. Beatrice Mompremier
  8. Chine Ogwumike
  9. Nneka Ogwumike
  10. Candace Parker
  11. Tierra Ruffin-Pratt
  12. Brittney Sykes
  13. Kristi Toliver
  14. Maria Vadeeva
  15. Sydney Wiese
  16. Riquna Williams

Cuts: Coming soon …

Minnesota Lynx

  1. Kayla Alexander
  2. Rachel Banham
  3. Lexie Brown
  4. Karima Christmas-Kelly
  5. Napheesa Collier
  6. Crystal Dangerfield
  7. Damiris Dantas
  8. Sylvia Fowles
  9. Mikiah Herbert Harrigan
  10. Shenise Johnson
  11. Jessica Shepard
  12. Odyssey Sims
  13. Cecilia Zandalasini

Cuts: Linnae Harper, Erica Ogwumike.

New York Liberty

  1. Rebecca Allen
  2. Layshia Clarendon
  3. Asia Durr
  4. Reshanda Gray
  5. Sabrina Ionescu
  6. Marine Johannes
  7. Jazmine Jones
  8. Kia Nurse
  9. Leaonna Odom
  10. Kylee Shook
  11. Kiah Stokes
  12. Megan Walker
  13. Jocelyn Willouh=ghby
  14. 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

  1. Sara Blicavs
  2. Jessica Breland
  3. Nia Coffey
  4. Te’a Cooper
  5. Sophie Cunningham
  6. Skylar Diggins-Smith
  7. Olivia Epoupa
  8. Brittney Griner
  9. Bria Hartley
  10. Stella Johnson
  11. Alanna Smith
  12. Diana Taurasi
  13. Brianna Turner
  14. Kia Vaughn
  15. Shatori Walker-Kimbrough

Cuts: Coming soon …

Seattle Storm

  1. Sue Bird
  2. Jordin Canada
  3. Alysha Clark
  4. Natasha Howard
  5. Crystal Langhorne
  6. Jewell Loyd
  7. Ezi Magbegor
  8. Epiphanny Prince
  9. Mercedes Russell
  10. Breanna Stewart
  11. Morgan Tuck
  12. Sami Whitcomb

Cuts: Haley Gorecki, Joyner Holmes.

Washington Mystic

  1. Ariel Atkins
  2. Tina Charles
  3. Natasha Cloud
  4. Elena Delle Donne
  5. Tianna Hawkins
  6. Myisha Hines-Allen
  7. Kiara Leslie
  8. Leilani Mitchell
  9. Emma Meesseman
  10. Aerial Powers
  11. LaToya Sanders

Cuts: Jaylen Agnew, Rebecca Greenwell, Alecia “Sug” Sutton.

This is a developing story. Updates will be provided as new information becomes available.