Sparks trim roster ahead of season opener
With the deadline passing for WNBA teams to cut their rosters down to the league maximum of 12 players, the Los Angeles Sparks made their final cuts as they prepare for their season opener.
The Sparks had already made a few cuts over the weekend which left them with 14 players, two above the league limit. The team had recently re-signed veteran guard Riquna Williams, making the final roster spot battles a little more interesting.
Ultimately, the Sparks decided to part ways with Karlie Samuelson and Ashley Walker, ensuring that rookie Marina Mabrey, as well as sharpshooter Sidney Wiese made the final roster.
More from Los Angeles Sparks
- Bet $5 on Sparks vs. Sky, Win $150 Instantly with Limited-Time DraftKings Promo
- Los Angeles Sparks name Curt Miller next head coach
- Your Day in Women’s Basketball, November 2: Shakeup in the ACC with Bollin commit, UNC retool
- Your Day in Women’s Basketball, September 14: Mystics are going dancing
- Your Day in Women’s Basketball, September 10: Dream are (mathematically) stayin’ alive
Mabrey had a very impressive training camp and her ability to shoot from distance and switch between both guard positions made Samuelson a bit expendable. Wiese has spent her two years in the league to this point with the Sparks, but has only played sparingly to this point.
Heading into this season, the Sparks frontcourt was looked upon as a position of strength with Candace Parker and Nneka Ogwumike, and the additions of Chiney Ogwumike and rookie Kalani Brown. There were questions about their backcourt, especially after trading Odyssey Sims and allowing Essence Carson to sign with the Phoenix Mercury as a free agent.
Keeping both Mabrey and Wiese on the final roster gives the Sparks some additional depth in the backcourt along with veterans Chelsey Gray, Alana Beard, Tierra Ruffin-Pratt, and Williams, and newcomer Alexis Jones.
Samuelson had just completed her rookie season after initially coming to camp with the Sparks in 2017, and was known as a shooter from three-point range as well. She hadn’t shown much in her lone season in the WNBA, and the re-signing of Williams might have sealed her fate.
Walker was actually quite impressive in camp, but the Sparks have a crowded frontcourt, and she was probably a long shot to make the final roster to begin with.
With the final roster now set, the Sparks will travel to Las Vegas for their season opener against the Aces on May 26. Tipoff is scheduled for 8 p.m. EST.
Love our 24/7 women’s basketball coverage? Join our Patreon now and support this work, while getting extra goodies and subscriber-only content for yourself.