The WNBA may be the most competitive professional sport to make a roster in, and we're reminded of this fact every year in the lead-up to the start of the season.

Despite having roughly the same amount of college basketball teams as men, women basketball players find themselves with less than one-third the number of professional opportunities in the WNBA than are given in the NBA.

In the NBA, 30 teams are afforded 15 roster spots, plus two two-way contracts where players are able to be called up from the G League (a developmental league for players not quite ready to play in the pros). That's a total of 450 roster spots plus an additional 60 two-way players.

In the WNBA, 12 teams have just 12 roster spots. Due to salary cap restraints, some teams aren't even able to field 12 players. At most, 144 roster spots are available, but in reality, that number is even smaller.

So, that means good players are cut every single year — and with no developmental league to hone their skills in. The cuts include veterans and players who were drafted just five weeks prior. Note: as of May 16, six of the top 24 picks in April's draft were already cut.

Remember, the women's Final Four was played in the first week of April. There are just days between the end of the college season and the draft, and weeks between the draft and the start of the WNBA season.

Here's the complete list of players who so far have been cut ahead of the season tip-off on May 19.

Looking for the official rosters for each WNBA team? Find those here!

Atlanta Dream

  • Alaina Coates, waived May 5

  • Mikayla Pivec, waived May 5

Chicago Sky

  • Anneli Mlaey, waived May 18

  • Feyonda Fitzgerald, waived May 17

  • Kayana Traylor, waived May 17

  • Angel Baker, waived May 14

Connecticut Sun

  • Nia Clouden, waived May 16 (picked up by the Sparks on May 18)

  • Jayla Everett, waived May 16

  • Ashten Prechtel, waived May 10

  • Diamond Battles, waived May 10

  • Alexis Morris, waived May 10

  • Victoria Macaulay, waived May 5

  • Kiara Smith, waived May 3

  • Khaalia Hillsman, waived May 3

  • Mikiah Herbert Harrigan, waived May 3

  • Lasha Petree, waived April 30

  • Nirra Fields, waived April 15

Dallas Wings

Indiana Fever

  • Taylor Mikesell, waived May 17

  • Destanni Henderson, waived May 16

  • LaDazhia Williams, waived May 9

  • Rennia Davis, waived May 3

  • Emily Engstler, waived April 26 (picked up by Mystics, later waived again)

  • Chelsea Perry, waived April 23

Las Vegas Aces

  • Alexis Peterson, waived May 15

  • Courtney Range, waived May 9

  • Brittany Davis, waived May 9

  • Aisha Sheppard, waived May 9

  • Elizabeth Balogun, waived April 24

Los Angeles Sparks

  • Yang Liwei, waived May 17

  • Rae Burrell, waived May 16

  • Karlie Samuelson, waived May 16 (signed again on May 19 via hardship exception)

  • Monika Czinano, waived May 15

  • Reshanda Gray, waived May 13

  • Crystal Bradford, waived May 13

Minnesota Lynx

  • Damiris Dantas, waived May 18

  • Taylor Soule, waived May 18

  • Brea Beal, waived May 16

  • Myah Selland, waived May 14

  • Maya Dodson, waived May 14

  • Kiana Williams, waived May 8

  • Stephanie Watts, waived May 8

  • Keishana Washington, waived May 3

New York Liberty

Phoenix Mercury

  • Sam Thomas, waived May 18

  • Jennie Simms, waived May 18

  • Liz Dixon, waived May 13

  • Destiny Slocum, waived May 13

  • Essence Booker, waived May 10

  • Kylee Shook, waived May 8

  • Destiny Harden, waived May 5

  • Sydney Wiese, waived April 27

Seattle Storm

  • Theresa Plaisance, waived May 18

  • Jasmine Walker, waived May 16

  • Madi Williams, waived May 13

  • Jade Loville, waived May 9

Washington Mystics

  • Jazmine Jones, waived May 17

  • Emily Engstler, waived May 17

  • Elena Tsineke, waived May 14

  • Stephanie Jones, waived May 14

  • Alisia Jenkins, waived May 7

  • Evina Westbrook, waived May 7 (claimed by Phoenix)

(Photo by: David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images)


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