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WNBA players sound off on roster cuts: ‘Extend the roster to 14!’

WNBPA president Nneka Ogwumike joined the voices voicing their displeasure with the roster crunch. (Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images)

Former No. 1 pick Charli Collier joined the long list of WNBA roster cuts Wednesday morning, as the Dallas Wings waived the top pick from 2021 draft.

Many players have found themselves on the wrong side of the league’s roster squeeze, include DiDi Richards, Monika Czinano, Brea Beal and Destanni Henderson — too many, if you ask WNBPA president Nneka Ogwumike.

“A whole league is training at home…” she wrote on Twitter.

In the aftermath of the recent cuts, Ogwumike was far from the only player calling for WNBA expansion to increase the number of available roster spots. The 12-team league has a maximum of 144 spots available.

As of Wednesday morning, 18 of the 36 picks from the 2023 draft appear on WNBA rosters. Last season, just 17 of the 36 picks from the 2022 WNBA draft made opening day rosters. And many teams still have cuts left to make to fit under the 12-player maximum by Thursday’s roster deadline.

While much attention has been given to possible expansion teams, former All-Star MVP Erica Wheeler suggested a quicker fix to the roster crunch.

“We pushing get more teams in the W! NO,” wrote Erica Wheeler. “EXTEND the roster to 14 players! That’s just a quick signature!! Adding a new teams gotta go thru 500000 layers! Adding 2 more spots to 12 teams is 24 more spots in the league! This is a easy change!

“And thennnnnn talk about adding teams! Of course we want more teams but extending the roster spots are easier right now!”

Former No. 1 overall pick and 2022 rookie of the year Rhyne Howard called the cuts – and the surrounding discussions – “stressful.”

Connecticut Sun guard Natisha Hiedeman provided encouragement to any player who finds herself suddenly without a team.

“Being a player who has been cut from a WNBA roster in the past I just want ppl to know your value as a person or basketball player does not decrease,” she wrote. “There WILL be another opportunity & when it comes be ready for it. But expansion… WE NEED YOU!!”

Yet despite the criticism of the league, Phoenix Mercury forward Brianna Turner encouraged fans to follow the WNBA and to help the league grow.

“I know there’s upset fans at WNBA roster cuts & I see many people saying how they won’t support the league bc their fave got cut,” she wrote. “I would actually encourage the opposite! Please continue to support the league so it can grow & create more opportunities to support future players!!”