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April 24, 2007 at 2:26 PM

Early cuts

Storm coach Anne Donovan, who’s also director of player personnel, made eight early cuts to her roster, two because the players weren’t healthy.
Guard Shaunzinski Gortman is recovering from a season-ending knee injury and still needs two weeks of rehabilitation. She wouldn’t be healthy in time for Donovan to evaluate her before the May 1 deadline to trim rosters to 15 players. Plus Gortman was entering her fifth year in the league, jumping her salary to a minimum of $49,134. Donovan said that’s too high for the team’s league-mandated $728,000 maximum salary cap. Especially with big offseason signings for Janell Burse, Iziane Castro Marques and Sue Bird, whose deal should be announced soon. As it is, Donovan believes she can only keep 11 players this season, one less than last summer, due to the salary cap.
Free agent Debbie Merrill opted not to report to Storm training camp and guard Shereka Wright was cut today because her left Achilles needs more rehabilitation.
“I talked to her last night and I think she’s at peace with it,” said Storm rookie Katie Gearlds, the team’s first-round draft pick who played with Wright at Purdue. “I just don’t think she’s quite healthy, yet. That’s a tough injury to come back from, but she’s not ready to quit playing. It was good to have her around for the first couple of days because she helped me out a lot.”
Donovan also cut former Washington standout Cameo Hicks, who blended in. Not good when most of the field of nine free agents that were at camp had a slim chance to make the team.

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