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Chiney Ogwumike: WNBA would benefit from developmental league

(Katharine Lotze/Getty Images)

Los Angeles Sparks star Chiney Ogwumike spoke out Tuesday amid a flurry of roster cuts across the WNBA.

“In no circumstance should we have a league where top draft picks aren’t on a roster,” Ogwumike said.

The Sparks forward said the WNBA would benefit from a developmental league in the style of the NBA’s G League to hold the growing talent pool in women’s basketball.

With just 144 roster spots available, breaking into the WNBA and staying in the league is notoriously challenging.

The Las Vegas Aces announced Monday that the team had waived Mya Hollingshed, the No. 8 overall draft pick in this year’s WNBA draft. Elsewhere, Minnesota cut trusted guard Layshia Clarendon and 2020 Rookie of the Year Crystal Dangerfield in a move that made waves across the league.

Players and league onlookers have been clamoring for WNBA expansion to house the immense talent entering the league for some time.

“If we can move faster on transforming the economics of the league and our 12 teams, then we’ll feel comfortable that we have the right model to bring in new teams to thrive and not just survive,” WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert told Just Women’s Sports in February. “That’ll definitely open up opportunities for us to move to the next step on expansion.”