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Here’s Where The Teams Stand Before 2024 Season
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Here’s Where The Teams Stand Before 2024 Season

While WNBA pre-season games have started, the official season doesn’t kick off until May 14. But right before that, there’s a key deadline: The final roster has to be cut down by May 13.

Yep, not everyone who is currently in the WNBA will actually stay in the pro league (and some people who were drafted won’t actually play a regular season game). Right now, the WNBA is in preseason, which is a good time for coaches and teams to see what does and doesn’t work. But it also means that plenty of excellent players—like Caitlin Clark, Kamilla Cardoso, and Angel Reese—could be on the chopping block.

But there is good news for Iowa fans: Caitlin’s former teammate Kate Martin has survived multiple Las Vegas Aces rounds of cuts. And while anything could change, we could very well see a battle of the Hawkeyes soon.

Here’s everything you need to know about WNBA roster cuts, and who’s likely to make the team.

How many players can be on a WNBA team?

Each WNBA team has to have a minimum roster size of 11 players and a maximum roster size of 12 players, according to the WNBA’s website. With 12 teams across the country, that’s only a maximum of 144 spots to be filled by veterans and newbies, making the WNBA really, really competitive.

Up to 18 players can sign with WNBA teams, but six will be cut. Given how short the turnaround is between the college season and start of the WNBA season, the whole thing is just tough, especially for newcomers.

Who has been cut from the WNBA?

In 2023, just 15 of the 36 WNBA draftees made the final cut, according to the Indy Star. While the final cut day is still ahead, a lot of the big names who were drafted—including Caitlin, Kamilla, and Angel—haven’t been waived, per CBS Sports.

Rookies Morgan Jones and Virag Kiss have been cut so far, but a lot of teams haven’t made any decisions yet.

Most recently, Kate Martin (who played with Caitlin throughout her college career with the Hawkeyes) survived the Las Vegas Aces’ cuts to stay on the 12-person roster, per Inside the Hawkeyes. (However, anything could change before May 13.) After initially traveling to New York only to support her teammate Caitlin, Kate was selected in the second round of the WNBA draft by the Aces, a.k.a. reigning WNBA champs.

Will Caitlin Clark start in the WNBA?

It’s highly likely that Caitlin will start in the WNBA, given her level of talent and huge following. Caitlin just started in a preseason game against the Dallas Wings and scored 21 points, per ESPN.

“My biggest goal coming into tonight was to continue to be myself, play aggressive,” she said afterward, per ESPN. “I thought that’s what I did. I think there’s a lot to be proud of.”

What happens after a WNBA player is cut?

It depends. Again, the WNBA is incredibly competitive and it’s really hard to make one of these spots.

“If you get cut after training camp, that does not mean you’re not good,” Atlanta Dream’s Laeticia Amihere said in a recent TikTok. “That does not mean that player sucks. Don’t stop supporting that player.”

Laeticia also said that things like fit on a team and chemistry can play a role in who makes the final roster. That said, people who get cut can get snapped up by another team or could go overseas to play—and overseas teams tend to pay higher salaries than they do in the U.S.

The good news in all of this is that WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert is talking about expanding and wants to have 16 WNBA teams by 2028—which, again is four more than currently exist, AP News says.

The WNBA season kicks off in less than two weeks—and a lot can change before then.

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Korin Miller is a freelance writer specializing in general wellness, sexual health and relationships, and lifestyle trends, with work appearing in Men’s Health, Women’s Health, Self, Glamour, and more. She has a master’s degree from American University, lives by the beach, and hopes to own a teacup pig and taco truck one day.