Not All of the 2024 WNBA Draftees Will Wind Up on a Team. Here’s What to Know.

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WNBA roster cuts are approaching. Here's what to know about the fate of the 2024 draftees.

Excitement for the 2024 WNBA season is at an all time high, following April 15’s WNBA draft, where collegiate players including Caitlin Clark, Angel Reese, and Cameron Brink were offered their bids. Coming off a record-breaking NCAA women’s tournament, fans are eager to see the rookies play; so much so, that WNBA ticket sales are already experiencing a surge, per CNN. But one thing many people, especially newer fans, may not realize is that your favorite draftee isn’t actually on a WNBA team just yet.

As pointed out by Washington Mystics’s Laeticia Amihere in a recent TikTok video, “everybody got to try out.” In other words, getting drafted by one of the 12 teams in the league doesn’t guarantee you a spot on the team’s roster. It means you’re invited to training camp and tryouts, where cuts will be made and a select number of slots will be filled. In fact, about half of this year’s draft picks could go on to be cut. More about the road ahead for the 2024 rookie class, here.

What Happens After WNBA Draft Night?

After the WNBA draft, rookies are given about a week and half to get settled in the cities that their teams are based. Training camp for all teams begins on April 28, per the WNBA. During this time, the rookie draft class will train and compete with a host of athletes, including players who were on the team last year, as well as those that weren’t drafted but did receive invites to training camp.

There are some players who are protected, like “the very high players, the vets,” Amihere says. But everyone else has to compete for a spot on the roster, including the draft class. “Whether you get drafted super high or last round, it’s free game,” Amihere says. “I got drafted first round last year and I’m still trying out.” By May 13, WNBA teams are expected to have decided their final roster, just a day before the season begins.

@laeticiaamihere

Replying to @dantavius.washington #wnba #draft

♬ original sound – Laeticia Amihere

How Many Players Will Make the Cut?

There are only 144 slots across the 12 WNBA teams in the league. Each WNBA team has a minimum roster of 11 players and a maximum roster size of 12 players. In both 2023 and 2024, 36 collegiate players were drafted. But last year, only 15 of the draftees made the roster. So it’s possible that upwards of half of the 2024 draftees won’t make it onto the team.

It’s brutal, but it’s also sparked some conversation around the need to add more teams to the WNBA. “WNBA needed an expansion like 10 years ago it’s ridiculous,” wrote one commenter under Amihere’s video. “We REALLY NEED more teams in the WNBA aannddd a pay increase for players,” wrote another. Fortunately, WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert is already in talks about expansion, aiming to have 16 WNBA teams by 2028, per AP News. Philadelphia, Toronto, Portland, Oregon, Denver, Nashville, and South Florida are all on the perspective list of locations.

What Happens After You Get Cut?

Getting cut is a normal part of the WNBA drafting process. “If you get cut after training camp, that does not mean you’re not good,” Amihere emphasizes. “That does not mean that player sucks. Don’t stop supporting that player.” Athletes can get cut for a number of reasons, many of which have nothing to do with their talent or skills, including fit and chemistry, she adds.

Getting cut also doesn’t mean that your pro career is over. You can still get signed by another team to try out, or you can go overseas and play there, Amihere says. In fact, compensation is substantially higher internationally, which is why many players who are in the league also choose to play overseas during off-season.


Alexis Jones is the senior health and fitness editor at POPSUGAR. Her areas of expertise include women’s health and fitness, mental health, racial and ethnic disparities in healthcare, diversity in wellness, and chronic conditions. Prior to joining POPSUGAR, she was the senior editor at Health magazine. Her other bylines can be found at Women’s Health, Prevention, Marie Claire, and more.


Image Source: Melanie Fidler/NBAE via Getty Images

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