WNBA Roster Cuts are Underway: Alexis Morris, Destinni Henderson, & More Waived


Jahniya Marion

The WNBA (Women’s National Basketball Association) season starts May 19th and the teams are making final cuts before the May 15th league deadline for setting opening night rosters. No mercy is being given to veterans or rookies. The WNBA, with just 144 available roster spots, is the toughest professional league to get and stay in. As calls for expansion grow louder, it doesn’t appear that commissioner Cathy Englebert is in a rush to add teams for the 2024 season, though fans are becoming nervous as more and more players are cast aside. 

   What does it mean to be waived? Being waived is an official term for being cut by a team. The waiver procedure in the WNBA begins with a team ending its contractual obligation to a player, removing her from its roster and placing her on waivers. Over the next 48 hours, the other teams in the league are able to claim the player’s contract. If multiple teams submit a claim, then the league will award the contract to the team with the highest waiver priority. If no team claims the player, then she is considered cleared and becomes an unrestricted free agent. She will then be able to negotiate and sign a new contract with any team. A player can be placed on waivers at any time during the season, except for a short period prior to the playoffs. 

  Many huge top marketing players were waived from the 2023 WNBA rosters. Top important names include Alexis Morris, Destinni Henderson, Brea Beal, Charli Collier, and Monika Czinano.  The Connecticut Sun waived the LSU national champion point guard Morris, hours after she played her first preseason game she tweeted, “Welp I just got waived. Thank you Sun nation.”  Destinni Henderson was going on her second year in the league after getting waived from the Indiana Fever. Henderson was a part of the 2021-2022 season with the South Carolina Gamecocks, and their 34-1 record of the year led to them winning the National Championship. The championship also included Brea Beal who was starting her 2023 rookie year on the Dallas wings. Destinni Henderson was a huge name for the Indiana Fever. So why cut her? The Dallas Wings waived both former No. 1 overall pick Charli Collier and 2019 first-round pick Kalani Brown in  the morning of Wednesday, May 16th

  A lot of people have come to realize that the WNBA isn’t what we all expect or hope for due to so much backlash. The WNBA has a total of 12 teams and can only fill up to 12 spots on each team. While in comparison, the NBA has 30 teams and can fill up to 15 spots on a team. While some may think, “Well, it’s only three spots more,” those three spots matter a lot. This affects a lot of people, especially kids that are growing up in today’s society. Many young girls dream to one day be drafted to the WNBA. But when you see players that you look up to or see the same players that put in the exact same time and effort as you, you start to rethink or reconsider. 

Being someone who eats, sleeps and breathes basketball, I can admit I have a lot of doubts. My main goal in basketball is to play high-level college ball, and to be as successful as I can be. WNBA hasn’t been my number one option for after college but if I feel like I want to do more and play professional ball, my first option is playing overseas. Growing up, I used to dream about it and feel for it but as I got older and understood and watched the game more, I began to have plenty of doubts. I have a lot of thoughts on what I wanna major in or study in school but my main thought is journalism.  I wanna major in journalism and be able to just write a lot and maybe even some day write my own story. I have fear when it comes to competing in the WNBA because everything isn’t promised no matter who you are. The league is just so small and there’s many flaws as not everyone is able to prove themselves in the best way.