WNBA teams set to make tough decisions on roster cuts

In this Jan. 8, 2020, photo, New York Liberty's general manager Jonathan Kolb speaks to reporters during a news conference at Barclays Center in New York. Kolb knew that he and first-year coach Walt Hopkins would have to make some tough decisions on the team's roster this year. He just didn't think they'd have to do it so quickly and without seeing players compete on the court in training camp. The WNBA and the players' union decided that teams would have to get their rosters under the salary cap by Tuesday, May 26, so that the players could start getting paid on June 1. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
In this Jan. 8, 2020, photo, New York Liberty's general manager Jonathan Kolb speaks to reporters during a news conference at Barclays Center in New York. Kolb knew that he and first-year coach Walt Hopkins would have to make some tough decisions on the team's roster this year. He just didn't think they'd have to do it so quickly and without seeing players compete on the court in training camp. The WNBA and the players' union decided that teams would have to get their rosters under the salary cap by Tuesday, May 26, so that the players could start getting paid on June 1. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

NEW YORK – New York Liberty general manager Jonathan Kolb knew that he and first-year coach Walt Hopkins would have to make some tough decisions on the team's roster this year.

He just didn't think they'd have to do it so quickly and without seeing players compete in training camp. The WNBA and the players’ union decided that teams would have to get their rosters under the salary cap by Tuesday so that players could start getting paid on June 1.

It's left many teams with tough decisions on who they will cut and little time to figure it out.

“It is the worst part of this job,” Kolb said in a phone interview. “These are dreams that are suddenly altered and you’re a large part of that. These are human beings, not just basketball players.”

Connecticut Sun coach and general manager Curt Miller had set up his training camp roster so a few position battles would determine the final spots on the team. Now he'll have to make choices a different way.

“Ultimately we have to decide, because we can’t do it all together, what skill set strength of theirs makes most sense to round out our roster,” Miller said.

Teams usually have to cut their rosters to get under the salary cap before the regular season begins, which would have been on May 14. The WNBA postponed the start of the season in early April because of the coronavirus pandemic and is still focusing on a handful of scenarios that would allow it to play this year.

Teams typically would be able to evaluate players by their on-the-court actions. Now it's more based on how quickly they pick things up on Zoom conference calls or how well they understand plays online.