Roster Cuts Change the Dynamic of the Storm Roster
Out of twenty players on the Storm’s training camp roster, only thirteen remain as teams are set to announce their Opening Day rosters.
Seattle waived Natalie Kucowsk, Tamera Young, Kitija Laksa, Haley Gorecki, and N’dea Jones, and also temporarily suspended the contracts of Mercedes Russell and Epiphanny Prince. Both of those players are active on a Turkish team overseas. While those contracts are on hold, Prince and Russell will both count against the Storm’s salary cap.
With Russell out of the mix to start the season, second-year player Ezi Magbegor will have a chance for a much bigger role. Last season Magbegor averaged just 6.5 points and 2.5 rebounds per game. Look for her numbers to significantly improve this year with more consistent minutes and many more touches. Magbegor has been effective in the post but will need to expand her game with a mid-range jumper as well as improving her shot-blocking ability on defense. She has the length and athleticism to be an outstanding player if she can take advantage of this opportunity.
While it was bad news for many players all over the W, rookie Kiana Williams was impressive in training camp, and she’s not going anywhere. Williams had twelve points in fifteen minutes in a scrimmage against the Phoenix Mercury. The former Stanford star is a floor general who can shoot from the outside and will be a solid point guard behind Sue Bird and Jordin Canada.
The Storm open the season against the Las Vegas Aces on Saturday at 3:00 PM ET on ABC.
Brenna Stewart Inks Shoe Deal
Seattle’s star player, and the centerpiece of our WNBA meme obsession, Breanna Stewart, is leaving Nike to sign with Puma. Stewart will be the first WNBA player with her own signature shoe in the last decade.
Only nine WNBA players have had signature shoes. Pioneers of the WNBA were first to have signature shoes. Sheryl Swoopes, Dawn Staley, Lisa Leslie and Cynthia Cooper with Nike, Rebecca Lobo with Reebok, and Nikki McCray with Fila. In the 2000s, Chamique Holdsclaw, Diana Taurasi, and Candace Parker had signature shoes, with Parker being the last player to have shoes. Hopefully, the deal with Stewart and her growing popularity will open the door for more women to get signature shoe deals.
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Image courtesy of Seattle Storm Twitter