Could WNBA Players Look For Roster, Wage Changes In Next CBA?
Only 144 women "will make the 12 WNBA rosters announced before the regular season starts on May 18," and not only are there fewer players in the WNBA, the "odds of being drafted are worse than in other sports," according to Eli Horowitz of the N.Y. TIMES. Unlike the NBA, which "guarantees all first-round picks a two-year contract, nothing is certain for WNBA draft picks." Under the current CBA, rosters are "capped at 12." L.A. Sparks coach Brian Agler said that "probably would not change until there was a new agreement or more teams were added to the league." The current agreement runs through '21, but "has an opt-out clause after this season." If a new CBA added more players to the rosters, each player would, on average, "make less money, unless the salary cap went up." The league's maximum salary in '18 is $115,500, and the minimum is $41,202. With many teams in the league "struggling to make a profit in a given year, it is unclear if owners are willing to raise the cap and risk further financial instability." Sparks Exec VP & GM Penny Toler said that she "wished the league could expand the rosters and develop more talent." Toler: "If I can develop a player, then we don't have to go into the market trying to sign free agents for more money than they're worth." Toler noted that there was a "talent gap between college and WNBA players." Toler said, "When you get up here, everybody is either all-American, all-world or all-universe. In college, you can be one of few, but up here you're one of many." Both Toler and Agler said that more college players "should watch the WNBA and study their future competition to have an edge in training camp." Toler: "I wish a lot more women in college would watch the WNBA, and the coaches have to promote the WNBA. A lot of them get here and they're like deer in the headlights" (N.Y. TIMES, 5/6).