WNBA Roundup: Phillips cut by Dallas, and other roster moves

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JULY 9: Erin Phillips
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JULY 9: Erin Phillips /

As the Friday deadline approaches for WNBA teams to submit their official roster, more cuts are trickling in.

The most surprising subtraction on Wednesday came from Dallas, who waived Erin Phillips. The move was astonishing in part because Phillips came to Dallas last year in a major trade with Los Angeles.

ARLINGTON, TX – MAY 2: Erin Phillips
ARLINGTON, TX – MAY 2: Erin Phillips /

Phillips, who turns 32 later this month, is a high-impact player. She doesn’t score in bunches, but she can drill daggers from the three-point line. Her unbelievable performance in the 2012 playoffs was one of several influences that culminated in a WNBA championship for Indiana. In 2014, Phillips led the league in three-point field goal percentage en route to another title with Phoenix. If there is a team in need of a perimeter presence, picking up Phillips would be a huge bargain.

Until her dismissal, Phillips was the most experienced player on the Wings roster with nine years of WNBA service. The most tenured player remaining is Courtney Paris, with seven years of experience. With Ruth Hamblin unavailable due to commitments with the Canadian national team, Dallas has 12 active players, which meets the roster threshold. However, a bevy of rookies means this Wings team could be subjected to a proverbial baptism by fire.

Connecticut drops Hightower, adds Hooper

Connecticut still has several cuts to make before their roster reaches approved limits. They dropped Allison Hightower, a five-year veteran who hadn’t played a game since 2014, and added Jordan Hooper off waivers. Hooper spent three years with the Shock/Wings organization, primarily as a bench player. Her skill set seems to overlap with players already in place for the Sun, but this is only the second year of the Curt Miller regime, and roster refits are a lengthy process.

Indiana cuts Fitzgerald and Lucas

INDIANAPOLIS – MAY 14: Maggie Lucas
INDIANAPOLIS – MAY 14: Maggie Lucas /

Indiana’s roster appears to be set after a pair of Wednesday waivers. The most notable is Maggie Lucas, whose 2016 season was cut short by an ACL injury. Lucas was poised for a breakout year before she was hurt, averaging 7.8 points per game while hitting 52.4 percent from the floor. Lucas suffered another knee injury last month, rendering her unable to play for the 2017 season.

Priorities have also shifted in the first year of Pokey Chatman’s tenure at Indiana. Although Lucas won’t be part of that transition, there is a chance that another team will make room for the Penn State graduate when her health returns.

Feyonda Fitzgerald, Indiana’s second-round draft pick from this year, was also released.

Alston released by Liberty again

New York waived Ameryst Alston after the Ohio State graduate made a second attempt at making the roster. Alston, a second-round draft pick from 2016, played a total of 16 seconds in her rookie season before being released by the Liberty that year. The team signed her to another training camp contract in February.