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January 15, 2010 at 11:14 AM

WNBA free agency open

KatieTweety.jpgThe WNBA began its free agency period today. Teams are in the midst of talking to players and agents to finalize deals, which can be signed Feb. 1. The Storm has the benefit of having a strong core under contract with the valuable two-year verbal agreement with PF Lauren Jackson. But there are gaping holes in the backcourt and question marks with the frontline — specifically who’s the backup PG and are Suzy Batkovic-Brown and Janell Burse returning?
Adding spice is the WNBA and players’ union agreeing to a decrease in salary cap for 2010. It’ll be $775,000 for the 11-player roster, which is $28,000 less than teams had to spend last summer when the cap was $803,000. The cap was supposed to be $827,000 this summer, according to the collective bargaining agreement signed in 2008.
Storm CEO Karen Bryant said recently that the drop shouldn’t crimp the Storm’s plans since the team had a little room under the cap last year. The organization also isn’t certain newly wed Suzy Batkovic-Brown is returning. The native Australian did not speak with media prior to returning home to play in the WNBL in September and has hinted a wanting to start a family.
Center Ashley Robinson, who enters a higher price range, also becomes vulnerable under the lowered cap. If the Storm doesn’t re-sign her and Batkovic-Brown, coach Brian Agler, who’s also director of player personnel, could go after a big-name free agent guard and have money for a talented La’Tangela Atkinson and another addition up front.
Since a source back east said meddling led to the trade of PG Lindsay Whalen and the second overall draft pick from Connecticut to Minnesota for PG Renee Montgomery and the top overall pick (which isn’t confirmed), I’m wondering what you’d conjure up for the Storm or your favorite team.
Is it Katie Smith (pictured left by the WNBA) or Kara Lawson? Maybe the return of Sheryl Swoopes? Or Atkinson and some real blockbuster trade?
Post about it. And to help, here’s the list of free agents released by the WNBA. You can track player movement on their site. As a guideline, restricted free agents and reserved players must negotiate with their original team first. Core players are unable to test the market.
Kiesha Brown (Connecticut)
Renae Camino ( Rookie Free Agent)
Dominique Canty (Chicago)
Tamecka Dixon (Indiana )
Kristi Harrower (Los Angeles)
Lauren Jackson (Seattle)
Kara Lawson (Sacramento)
Hamchetou Maiga-Ba (Sacramento)
Taj McWilliams (Detroit)
Coco Miller (Atlanta)
Kelly Miller (Minnesota)
Anna Montanana (Minnesota)
Ticha Penicheiro (Sacramento)
Ruth Riley (San Antonio)
Ashley Robinson (Seattle)
Katie Smith (Detroit)
Penny Taylor (Phoenix)
Nikki Teasley (Detroit)
Le’Coe Willingham (Phoenix)
Seimone Augustus (Minnesota)
Mistie Bass (Chicago)
Ashley Battle (New York)
Nikki Blue (Washington)
Shanna Crossley (San Antonio)
Monique Currie (Washington)
Erika DeSouza (Atlanta)
Candice Dupree (Chicago)
Kristin Haynie (Washington)
Roneeka Hodges (Minnesota)
Dalma Ivanyi (San Antonio)
Temeka Johnson (Phoenix)
Jennifer Lacy (Atlanta)
Edwige Lawson-Wade (San Antonio)
Kristen Mann (Washington)
Katie Mattera (Chicago)
Jessica Moore (Indiana)
Chelsea Newton (Seattle)
Cappie Pondexter (Phoenix)
Scholanda Robinson (Detroit)
Belinda Snell (San Antonio)
Tan White (Connecticut)
Cheryl Ford (Tulsa)
Deanna Nolan (Tulsa)
Ann Wauters (San Antonio)
Suzy Batkovic-Brown (Seattle)
Jessica Bibby (Seattle)
Agnieszka Bibrzycka (San Antonio)
Jessica Davenport (Indiana)
Kerri Gardin (Connecticut)
Tasha Humphrey (Minnesota)
Anete Jekabsone-Zogota (Connecticut)
Ha Eun Joo (Los Angeles)
Ivory Latta (Atlanta)
Yelena Leuchanka (Atlanta)
Laura Macchi (Chicago)
Evanthia Maltsi (Connecticut)
Raffaella Masciadri (Minnesota)
Bernice Mosby (Washington)
Shay Murphy (Indiana)
Emmeline Ndongue (Los Angeles)
Erin Phillips (Connecticut)
Brooke Smith (Phoenix)
Francesca Zara (Seattle)



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