WNBA roster moves needed to be finalized in order for players to begin receiving payments by June 1.
With the deadline looming for WNBA teams to cut down to the league minimum of 12 players on the roster, the Los Angeles Sparks made a series of moves on Tuesday afternoon.
In a pair of expected moves, the Sparks waived 2020 draft picks Beatrice Mompremier and Tynice Martin. While assistant general manager Michael Fischer and head coach Derek Fisher had continually stressed that the draft picks would have every opportunity to make the final roster, it was always going to be a major uphill climb especially with no in-person training camp.
Mompremier was selected in the second round with the 20th overall pick and Martin was selected in the third round with the 34th pick.
In another move, the Sparks announced that backup center Maria Vadeeva would not re-join the team this season. Instead she will remain overseas with the intention to return to the Sparks for the 2021 season. The team placed Vadeeva on the suspended list for this season.
Vadeeva had much more of an impact last season in her second year than she did as a rookie in 2018. She gave the Sparks a dependable reserve with a nice touch around the rim. Her midrange jumper was solid and she was an active presence in the paint.
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In the team’s final roster move of the day, the Sparks brought in a player who could possibly replace Vadeeva in the rotation this season. In a trade with the Dallas Wings, the Sparks sent 2021 second-round draft pick in exchange for Kristine Anigwe and a 2021 third-round pick. The second-round pick the Sparks sent to Dallas is the one they acquired when sending Marina Mabrey to the Wings.
Anigwe was originally drafted by the Connecticut Sun in the first round of the 2019 draft. Playing time was hard to come by on a veteran team with championship aspirations, and the Sun eventually traded her to the Wings where she received more minutes.
Anigwe was a strong defensive player in the paint in college and she was also a very talented rebounder. She also has a nice touch around the rim and should help provide the Sparks with some solid frontcourt depth.
The Sparks also announced that 2020 second-round pick Leonie Fiebich would remain overseas, as expected.