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Why Is It So Difficult To Get Into The WNBA?

 
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Genero36



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PostPosted: 02/28/19 12:22 pm    ::: Why Is It So Difficult To Get Into The WNBA? Reply Reply with quote


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Each of the WNBA’s 12 teams must have a minimum of 11 players, though teams have the option to add a 12th player. Most teams choose to have 12 players for roster flexibility, meaning there are 144 roster spots available.

Besides the low number of spaces available, contracts are not guaranteed for first-round draft picks in the WNBA like their NBA counterparts. In the NBA, a first-round pick signs a two-year contract with team options for the third and fourth seasons. A team could renounce its first-round pick, but it rarely happens.


Quote:
There are many young players, especially late draft picks, who are waived before opening day. But veterans also could have a tough time staying on teams because of the lack of roster spots. WNBA veteran guard Noelle Quinn retired earlier this month and became an assistant coach for the Storm. Quinn averaged under 3 points a game during each of the 2016-18 seasons, so it is possible that she may have been waived by Seattle if she decided to try to make the team again.

Quinn isn’t the only notable veteran who has been in a position like this. Longtime WNBA guard Ivory Latta wasn’t re-signed by the Washington Mystics, or any other team, when her most recent contract expired before the 2018 season. Latta averaged 8 points per game in 2017 and presumably had more left in the tank than Quinn. But she hasn’t found a roster spot or a training camp invite since then.


https://www.swishappeal.com/wnba/2019/2/28/18244429/wnba-roster-difficulty-expansion-diamond-deshields-tweet-noelle-quinn-ivory-latta



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toad455



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PostPosted: 02/28/19 1:28 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Expansion!! Too much talent left off teams. Veterans forced off of teams as cheaper, younger players are preferred.



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Genero36



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PostPosted: 02/28/19 1:34 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

toad455 wrote:
Expansion!! Too much talent left off teams. Veterans forced off of teams as cheaper, younger players are preferred.


In your opinion, how much do you think the quality of play and competition will differ from now if there's expansion?



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PRballer



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PostPosted: 02/28/19 4:17 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Genero36 wrote:
toad455 wrote:
Expansion!! Too much talent left off teams. Veterans forced off of teams as cheaper, younger players are preferred.


In your opinion, how much do you think the quality of play and competition will differ from now if there's expansion?


I know you're not asking me, but I will answer with my opinion anyway Very Happy

I think the league can absolutely field 14 teams right now but 16 if things change with salaries and more Europeans (Spain, etc.) commit to playing.


Genero36



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PostPosted: 02/28/19 4:18 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

PRballer wrote:
I think the league can absolutely field 14 teams right now but 16 if things change with salaries and more Europeans (Spain, etc.) commit to playing.


I was all for the league not expanding and having only elite talent to set themselves apart from every other sports league.

Nonetheless, I think the league is ready for two new franchises.



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toad455



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PostPosted: 02/28/19 5:01 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Easily can add two more teams (24 more roster spots). Let's see who doesn't make a roster this season before we jump to 16 teams.



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Aladyyn



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PostPosted: 03/01/19 1:59 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

With how the Fever and Liberty looked last year I don't think expansion is a good idea. And even the top teams are usually pretty shallow...


ClayK



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PostPosted: 03/01/19 10:58 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

toad455 wrote:
Veterans forced off of teams as cheaper, younger players are preferred.


That's true of every professional league, and is a huge issue in baseball right now.

Athletes peak at age 27, so why pay more for a 30-year-old when a 25-year-old a) can give you pretty much the same production and b) will likely improve?



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NYL_WNBA_FAN



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PostPosted: 03/03/19 9:23 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

It's highlighted even more in the WNBA where there's so few spots and a lot of talented players. I'd say 2-3 players on each team would have been star players on several WNBA teams in 1997. Baseball's veterans are essentially paying for the fact that owners overpaid vets past their prime for a long time. The WNBA doesn't have such discrepancies in pay. If you're good enough, no matter your age, you aren't pricing yourself out of the market as it seems some MLB vets currently are.



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Richard 77



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PostPosted: 03/03/19 10:32 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

As long as the league remains consistent, so will their coverage, which is non-existent. Expansion and a longer season could encourage high school and college players to work harder on developing their talent to make the league. Better talent can encourage greater attendance, better media coverage, better media contracts and increase salaries.



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J-Spoon



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PostPosted: 03/04/19 2:23 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Aladyyn wrote:
With how the Fever and Liberty looked last year I don't think expansion is a good idea. And even the top teams are usually pretty shallow...


Every year in every league there are teams that struggle, suck and under achieve. I don't think that is a comment on the talent level it is just how talent ends up being dispersed.

The NBA has tons of talent and 30 teams but the reality is about 1/3 or ten of the teams are good, 1/3 or 10 teams are OK and 1/3 or ten teams suck. Eventually the talent gets redistributed and some teams get better and move up the rankings and others have drop offs.

It is the same for the W. If we expanded to say 15 teams we would probably go from having 4 great teams to 5 great teams, 4 ok teams to 5 ok teams, and 4 teams that suck to 5 teams that suck (those are all approximations).

Team quality is more about talent distribution than over all talent is all I am saying. There are certainly enough stars to support some expansion, and there are certainly enough role players to put around those stars. (Atlanta and Washington both did really well this season as one to two star teams). Also a lot of bench players when moved to starting level minutes increase their production to be comparable to current starters so some player are stifled by lack of opportunity (Look at how well Breland, Howard and Cloud performed with increased roles) . Also, As it is right now the talent difference between players 19 through 12 on most rosters and say the players who would be players 13 through 15 isn't really that different.

I think the league could easily expand by 2 to 4 teams in the next 5 years with very little drop off over all. I would probably go a little slower based on the financial realities and possible relocation of struggling franchise but in a world with willing owners and locations I don't think the overall quality of the game would suffer due to expansion.


Aladyyn



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PostPosted: 03/04/19 5:25 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

J-Spoon wrote:
Aladyyn wrote:
With how the Fever and Liberty looked last year I don't think expansion is a good idea. And even the top teams are usually pretty shallow...


Every year in every league there are teams that struggle, suck and under achieve. I don't think that is a comment on the talent level it is just how talent ends up being dispersed.

The NBA has tons of talent and 30 teams but the reality is about 1/3 or ten of the teams are good, 1/3 or 10 teams are OK and 1/3 or ten teams suck. Eventually the talent gets redistributed and some teams get better and move up the rankings and others have drop offs.

It is the same for the W. If we expanded to say 15 teams we would probably go from having 4 great teams to 5 great teams, 4 ok teams to 5 ok teams, and 4 teams that suck to 5 teams that suck (those are all approximations).

Team quality is more about talent distribution than over all talent is all I am saying. There are certainly enough stars to support some expansion, and there are certainly enough role players to put around those stars. (Atlanta and Washington both did really well this season as one to two star teams). Also a lot of bench players when moved to starting level minutes increase their production to be comparable to current starters so some player are stifled by lack of opportunity (Look at how well Breland, Howard and Cloud performed with increased roles) . Also, As it is right now the talent difference between players 19 through 12 on most rosters and say the players who would be players 13 through 15 isn't really that different.

I think the league could easily expand by 2 to 4 teams in the next 5 years with very little drop off over all. I would probably go a little slower based on the financial realities and possible relocation of struggling franchise but in a world with willing owners and locations I don't think the overall quality of the game would suffer due to expansion.

2018 was a landmark season for the league, if the level of play is the same or better in 5 years then I'm listening. But right now it's too soon. What if 3 of the next 5 drafts are closer to 2017 level than 2018? That will have a negative impact on the level of play and expansion suddenly doesn't look so feasible.

I'm going to disagree with your great teams assesment. I find it more likely that the number of great teams will decrease because of talent dilution. Even the deepest and best teams like Seattle and Atlanta would struggle big time if they lost 3 of their best bench players. I don't think there's a single team in the league that could handle that without becoming significantly worst.

And just because there are lots of players who are good enough to be 10th-12th on WNBA rosters doesn't mean that's some great thing. Most players who already occupy these spots aren't even rotation quality in the first place.


ATL: Billings, McGee-Stafford
WAS: Powers, Hines-Allen
CON: Banham, Laney
CHI: Ndour, Coates
NYL: Coleman, Zahui B
IND: Gwathmey, Ben Abdelkader
SEA: Paris, Quinn
PHO: Little, Robinson
LAS: Vadeeva, Samuelson
MIN: Larkins, Fagbenle
DAL: Plaisance, George
LVA: Coffey, Park

Those are the 9th and 10th players from last season based on minutes per game. I just don't see it.


toad455



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PostPosted: 03/04/19 6:43 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

It also means more opportunities for younger players to make rosters and develop them more than anything else.



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bballjunkie



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PostPosted: 03/04/19 9:14 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Look at how the College season has been. Maybe an upgrade in coaching at the pro level in some areas would increase not only the entertainment value but how teams approach games. I watched a couple of coaches and I am scratching my head. Do they scout, do they follow a scout. Clearly not, some of the same players who had bad habits in college seem to get away with the same in the pros against a couple of those clueless coaches.


ClayK



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PostPosted: 03/04/19 10:22 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

ATL: Billings, McGee-Stafford
WAS: Powers, Hines-Allen
CON: Banham, Laney
CHI: Ndour, Coates
NYL: Coleman, Zahui B
IND: Gwathmey, Ben Abdelkader
SEA: Paris, Quinn
PHO: Little, Robinson
LAS: Vadeeva, Samuelson
MIN: Larkins, Fagbenle
DAL: Plaisance, George
LVA: Coffey, Park

First, thanks for the work on this list ...

If you add three high-quality starters, you could pick and choose from among this group and put together a pretty nice team -- the problem, of course, is where the high-quality starters would come from.

There are three sources: The draft, overseas and other WNBA teams.

The draft: As discussed, there aren't three high-quality starters in this draft, it doesn't appear, though there are some pretty good players (Kristine Anigwe among them). In fact, seldom do more than two high-quality starters emerge from any draft, and they should and do go to existing teams that don't have three high-quality starters already.

Overseas: Presumably if there were a lot more money in the league, a bunch of starter/star-level players would arrive. I'm not sure who they are, exactly, but people here know how many are available. The issue is where that extra money would come from.

Other WNBA teams: All this does is dilute the talent and make the game more defensively oriented. The reason? The fewer offensive threats there are on any team's starting five, the easier it is to contain those who are on the court. The difference between two and three quality scorers is huge in terms of game-planning.

But of course the real bottom line is finding owners. A WNBA franchise is, as often discussed, not a profit center nor an asset with any value so naturally owners are hard to come by. Find two willing owners and expansion happens tomorrow, regardless of the above caveats. Without willing owners, it wouldn't matter if there were all-star-caliber players sitting on a bench behind other all-star-caliber players.



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Richyyy



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PostPosted: 03/04/19 10:43 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

And we're not just talking 'willing owners' on the level of how MGM came in, or the new Liberty owner. A lot of the teams that move or change hands get 'purchased' for virtually nothing, and even then you're taking over a team that at least has a base to work from even if they're terrible (like San Antonio were). As an expansion team you're almost certainly starting off with a much worse roster (which makes it hard to draw and keep your initial fan base), you have to pay the fee to the League to start the franchise (although they'll probably work with you on that if they actively want you in the league), and you have to come in with the kind of cash and overall deal to make it worth the while of the existing 12 owners to let you. Because any central sponsorship or TV deal split 14 ways, rather than 12 ways, means around a 15% drop in income for the existing teams from those deals. If you add 17% more teams, ESPN don't say "oh okay, we'll give you 17% more money, then".

I think the player-base could easily handle a couple of extra teams (or more, even), and we'd recalibrate our valuation of star-good-indifferent-bad players pretty quickly (although it can always be a bit of a mess while you wait the years for the talent to redistribute). But the business and ownership side is another matter.



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Nixtreefan



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PostPosted: 03/04/19 12:04 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

I agree with Rich, the league could definitely handle it. This is the perfect time for someone who is willing to go out there and push for this and use the "women movement" to advantage.

I don't agree with Clay. No-one knows who will be starting, great player material etc. that's like saying I will lose 50lbs by next week. Easy to say but I know I am making an over the top claim. For the play to improve, we need to have players who know the game, making lay ups in college against small defenders is not exciting. We need to improve flow of the game, better passing and movement.

Look at the increase in social media by some of the college players. I don't think we have tapped into social media enough and the personalities who have followings and no I am not taliking sex tapes, LOL

The biggest problem I see is hiring someone who has a vested interest in working hard for the league and not just paying lip service.



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PostPosted: 03/04/19 12:38 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Nixtreefan wrote:
For the play to improve, we need to have players who know the game, making lay ups in college against small defenders is not exciting. We need to improve flow of the game, better passing and movement.


Couldn't agree more -- but USA Basketball's attempt to reform the system failed miserably.

Right now, the system is designed to produce players who win games at AAU age-group tournaments; it is not designed to foster player development or basketball IQ.

As long as parents feel winning tournaments is more important than their daughters improving (and losing games while doing so), we will continue to see superior athletes going to the basket over and over again, and minimal emphasis on team play. The college scholarship system exacerbates the problem, because college coaches need athletes to win games, and so they recruit athletic players, to an extent, regardless of skill level. (Athleticism erases skill ...)

It's understandable how we got to where we are, but it's less clear how we change the direction to upgrade skill level, basketball IQ and team play. I always advocate girls playing more pickup, which might help, because as it is most girls only play in clinics, practices or organized games, and don't develop the same kind of feel for the game that guys do.



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root_thing



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PostPosted: 03/04/19 12:41 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Richyyy wrote:

I think the player-base could easily handle a couple of extra teams (or more, even), and we'd recalibrate our valuation of star-good-indifferent-bad players pretty quickly (although it can always be a bit of a mess while you wait the years for the talent to redistribute). But the business and ownership side is another matter.


I think this is exactly right. If you dilute the talent, it will affect both the offensive and defensive ends of the court. In other words, the league may lose some scoring ability, but it will also lose defensive ability. This would balance out and likely result in a similar level of scoring -- which is how fans tend to judge "good" or "bad" basketball. Plus, you'd see people who didn't get much of an opportunity before suddenly receive playing time and perform much better. I also agree with J-Spoon that you will always have good teams, mediocre teams, and bad teams no matter the size of the league. I'm old enough to remember the NHL with only six teams. For a while, New York and Boston always brought up the rear. Someone always has to win and someone always has to lose so all team sports are .500 leagues. If the league is top heavy, then people can argue that you shouldn't expand because the bad teams are so weak. But if you achieved perfect parity and every team was .500, then wouldn't people argue that there shouldn't be expansion because the league is so mediocre?

So really, it comes down to whether there are enough owners who want to own WNBA franchises either as a potential money-making enterprise or as a money-losing political cause where the loss level is tolerable.



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Nixtreefan



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PostPosted: 03/04/19 1:28 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

ClayK wrote:
Nixtreefan wrote:
For the play to improve, we need to have players who know the game, making lay ups in college against small defenders is not exciting. We need to improve flow of the game, better passing and movement.


Couldn't agree more -- but USA Basketball's attempt to reform the system failed miserably.

Right now, the system is designed to produce players who win games at AAU age-group tournaments; it is not designed to foster player development or basketball IQ.

As long as parents feel winning tournaments is more important than their daughters improving (and losing games while doing so), we will continue to see superior athletes going to the basket over and over again, and minimal emphasis on team play. The college scholarship system exacerbates the problem, because college coaches need athletes to win games, and so they recruit athletic players, to an extent, regardless of skill level. (Athleticism erases skill ...)

It's understandable how we got to where we are, but it's less clear how we change the direction to upgrade skill level, basketball IQ and team play. I always advocate girls playing more pickup, which might help, because as it is most girls only play in clinics, practices or organized games, and don't develop the same kind of feel for the game that guys do.


You act like every player and every club and every college team and USA and so on and so on just lets its players never play team basketball. Glad I am not you, I actually watch some players who play team basketball and know the game. Maybe it is the people choosing those players that have the problem.



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PostPosted: 03/04/19 1:49 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

"we'd recalibrate our valuation of star-good-indifferent-bad players pretty quickly" just sounds like a roundabout way of saying "the level of play will drop" to me Laughing


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PostPosted: 03/04/19 2:28 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Aladyyn wrote:
"we'd recalibrate our valuation of star-good-indifferent-bad players pretty quickly" just sounds like a roundabout way of saying "the level of play will drop" to me Laughing

Well yeah, I guess if you could produce an exact figure for every skill/attribute for every player, like in a video game, the average would go down. You'd be adding 12 (or 24, or whatever) players who currently can't get onto a roster.

But I'm saying that I think the overall level of play would be negligibly different. And if a Hawkins/Clarendon/Lavender etc. become a 4th-5th starter rather than 6th-7th woman, then forcing a Walker-Kimbrough/Vadeeva/Billings etc. to play slightly bigger roles slightly more quickly, it wouldn't be a particularly big deal. We might even run into a few extra players like Yvonne Turner or Kayla Thornton who slip through the cracks before showing that they can contribute at this level.



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ClayK



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PostPosted: 03/05/19 10:21 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Nixtreefan wrote:
ClayK wrote:
Nixtreefan wrote:
For the play to improve, we need to have players who know the game, making lay ups in college against small defenders is not exciting. We need to improve flow of the game, better passing and movement.


Couldn't agree more -- but USA Basketball's attempt to reform the system failed miserably.

Right now, the system is designed to produce players who win games at AAU age-group tournaments; it is not designed to foster player development or basketball IQ.

As long as parents feel winning tournaments is more important than their daughters improving (and losing games while doing so), we will continue to see superior athletes going to the basket over and over again, and minimal emphasis on team play. The college scholarship system exacerbates the problem, because college coaches need athletes to win games, and so they recruit athletic players, to an extent, regardless of skill level. (Athleticism erases skill ...)

It's understandable how we got to where we are, but it's less clear how we change the direction to upgrade skill level, basketball IQ and team play. I always advocate girls playing more pickup, which might help, because as it is most girls only play in clinics, practices or organized games, and don't develop the same kind of feel for the game that guys do.


You act like every player and every club and every college team and USA and so on and so on just lets its players never play team basketball. Glad I am not you, I actually watch some players who play team basketball and know the game. Maybe it is the people choosing those players that have the problem.


I agree -- not all teams focus on winning to the detriment of player development, but I think it's fair to say that a lot of them do.

It's funny you should bring that up because I just met a team of sixth graders I'll be coaching this spring (not at all at the prospect level -- maybe they'll be high school starters at best). One of the girls asked "Can we play zone? We're good at zone."

If we wanted to win at this level of play, we'd sit in a 2-3 zone and make the other team make shots. (A good 2-3 is a good defense ...) But we'll play man almost all the time and maybe throw in a little trapping zone for variety if they do well in man.

It's understandable that everyone likes winning, but you don't necessarily learn as much as you could if you focus on winning.



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PostPosted: 03/05/19 10:53 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

I get the whole AAU argument, but too many times there is a focus on a small number of teams. There are other players and teams out there. As I said it may be that those recruiting are too singularly focused. IE lazy as you said. But just like the W and the NBA, the best teams play team basketball so the whole argument of winning now should go out of the window.



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PostPosted: 03/06/19 1:18 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Of course the quality will suffer. The only question is for how long. The difference between the top 20 players and the next 20 players is quite dramatic. The difference between players 120-139 and 140-159 is rather small. The additional players in the league will be "WNBA quality" (at least to the extent that the bottom 20 players are), but the stars will be spread over more teams.

Whether the W can handle the diminution of talent is a separate question that relates much more to the business side than the talent side. Right now I see no evidence to suggest it is.


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