The Storm’s decision Saturday to waive guard Sheryl Swoopes came down to maintaining flexibility. Swoopes’ contract called for her 2009 salary to become guaranteed if she was on the roster on Feb. 1, forcing the Storm to make a decision on her future in the midst of putting together a complicated free-agent puzzle with multiple moving pieces.
With Swoopes’ salary on the cap, the Storm would have limited its options in addressing other needs in free agency.
“It was a very tough decision to release Sheryl,” explained Storm Head Coach Brian Agler in a statement. “Our free agency priorities right now are to secure depth both at the post and point guard positions.”
The Storm continues to negotiate to re-sign incumbent starting posts Lauren Jackson and Yolanda Griffith while also attempting to secure Janell Burse’s return to the WNBA after she decided to sit out the 2008 season. The additional flexibility makes it possible for the Storm to retain all three players while also looking to add depth at the point-guard position behind All-Star Sue Bird.
Agler was appreciative of what Swoopes brought to the Storm during her season in Seattle.
“We were fortunate to be able to add Sheryl to our roster last year as her leadership and experience were a key part of our 22-win season. We are thankful for her contributions to the Storm on and off the court and wish her the best as she moves on to the next step in her career.”