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Iowa star Monika Czinano cut by Sparks amid WNBA roster crunch

(Juan Ocampo/NBAE via Getty Images)

The WNBA roster crunch continues, with the Los Angeles Sparks waiving former Iowa star Monika Czinano.

The No. 26 overall pick in the 2023 draft, Czinano played nine minutes in Los Angeles’ preseason win over the Phoenix Mercury on Friday, contributing six points and two rebounds off the bench. But the Sparks cut their third-round pick early Tuesday.

With her exit from the Sparks, all three draftees who played in the 2023 national title game – Czinano and LSU’s Alexis Morris and LaDazhia Williams – have been waived by their WNBA teams.

With Czinano’s cut, 19 of the 36 picks from the 2023 draft appear on WNBA rosters as of Tuesday morning. On Monday, the Dallas Wings cut first-round pick Abby Meyers.

Last season, just 17 of the 36 picks from the 2022 WNBA Draft made opening day rosters. Nearly every team still has cuts left to make to fit under the 12-player maximum by Thursday’s roster deadline.

LSU president Willam Tate IV criticized the move and the WNBA’s business model on Twitter.

“Remained quiet when my students were released. No claim of sour grapes here…but the @wnba business model is suboptimal,” wrote LSU president Willam Tate IV. “Players are better served in college or with other transparent options to aspire. I hope this market learns to tap into the passion of WBB.”