The Las Vegas Aces have signed second-year forward Jaime Nared to a seven-day contract, the team announced Tuesday.
The Aces drafted Nared with the No. 13 overall pick in the 2018 WNBA Draft out of Tennessee. She logged 283 minutes with the team last season.
Nared was one of the team’s final roster cuts ahead of the start of the 2019 season. The Aces navigated the first 23 games of the season with just 11 players on their roster rather than 12 in order to stay under the salary cap.
The Aces changed course on cut-down day, opting to keep veteran point guard Sydney Colson with the 11th roster spot and buy out the contract of veteran center Kelsey Bone.
Point guard play was a more pressing need at the time. Aces head coach and president of basketball operations Bill Laimbeer has leaned on Tamera Young and Sugar Rodgers off the bench behind starters Kayla McBride and Jackie Young.
The makeup of the Aces’ perimeter rotation has changed quite a bit since last season. Nared and Nia Coffey, now a member of the Atlanta Dream, were the team’s two wings off the bench. 2019 No. 1 overall pick Jackie Young entering the starting lineup pushed Tamera Young into a reserve role, and the team acquired Rodgers to give the team another shooter off the bench—something the team lacked last season.
With A’ja Wilson still sidelined by an ankle injury, Nared and Tamera Young could slide up to the 4 spot in short bursts to spell Dearica Hamby.
“Making progress,” Laimbeer said Monday when asked for an update on Wilson’s recovery. “Still not there yet. My guess is two weeks.”
Nared would make a big impression cashing in open spot-ups in said role backing up Hamby. The team doesn’t have another true 4 with Wilson out of the lineup. Nared shot 7-of-31 from distance last season and 28.8 percent on 295 attempts at Tennessee.
A seven-day contract beginning on Tuesday would keep Nared with the team through their next two games. The Aces host the Chicago Sky on Friday then welcome the league-leading Connecticut Sun to town on Sunday.
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