The Connecticut Sun hyped up Alexis Morris’ WNBA debut game on Wednesday. Unfortunately, she was cut from the team hours later, thus, exposing a league-wide problem.
Alexis Morris was drafted 22nd overall by the Connecticut Sun in April’s WNBA draft. One would assume the former LSU Tigers’ star was a lock to make the team. However, the Sun waived Morris on Wednesday, roughly three hours after their first preseason game again the New York Liberty.
Alexis Morris was 0-2 in field goals but flashed her defensive skills in 8 minutes of action against New York. However, her defense wasn’t enough to justify the roster spot. The Sun also cut Ashten Pretchtel and Diamond Battles. Connecticut didn’t like what they saw from Morris, Pretchtel, and Battles during camp. But, the team’s impatience is evidence of a significant problem in the WNBA, the limited number of teams, and roster sizes.
WNBA teams are limited to a roster size of 12 players. For context, 16 players suited up for the Sun during Wednesday’s preseason game. Such limitations also mean a limited number of the 36 players selected in the WNBA draft will stick around. The dynamic resulted in only 17 players making their team’s roster following the 2022 draft.
WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert has expressed the league’s plans to expand, but the timeline remains unpredictable. Expansion is preferable to fans of the women’s game but requires a financial commitment from cities and ownership groups. Growing the WNBA also requires more interest from fans.
If anything, the success of the 2023 LSU Tigers women’s basketball team helps. However, LSU’s notoriety did not help Alexis Morris’s chance at sticking with the team that drafted her. What’s worse is Morris’s teammate in Baton Rouge, LaDazhia Williams, was cut by the Indiana Fever this week. The Fever drafted Williams 17th overall in April’s draft.
In Indiana’s first preseason game, Williams scored two points in four minutes of action.