On Saturday, Russia National Team Head Coach Boris Sokolovsky announced the 20 players invited to a training camp starting May 27, and the big story was someone who wasn’t on the list – former Storm forward Svetlana Abrosimova, long a fixture for the Russian team. Abrosimova, who began her National Team career in 1997 at age 14, won bronze representing her country in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. She captained last year’s squad that emerged victorious in EuroBasket, earning a berth in the Olympics. Abrosimova averaged 5.9 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.2 assists in the tournament, playing 20.3 minutes per game off the bench.
Sokolovsky indicated that Abrosimova was left out of the squad because she has played limited minutes for her club team, UMMC Ekaterinburg. But Abrosimova remains a valuable WNBA contributor, having served as the first perimeter player off the bench during the Storm’s 2010 championship run. After finding out that Abrosimova would be free this summer, Storm Head Coach Brian Agler reached out to Abrosimova’s agent to gauge her interest in rejoining the Storm.
“There’s been some discussions about it, I will say that,” Agler told reporters after the Storm practiced Monday afternoon. “It just happened over the weekend, so I think there were a lot of people – including ourselves – who were caught off guard there from the standpoint that it’s unexpected she would be left off the roster. I think Svetlana really enjoyed being in Seattle. I know – she’s told me – that at some point she’d like to play again. Whether this is the time I don’t know yet.”
Complicating the matter is the Storm’s precarious situation with respect to the salary cap. Adding Abrosimova would not be as simple as replacing one of the players vying for a spot on the end of the roster, because the minimum salary for players with at least four years of experience (Abrosimova has nine) is higher than for players in their first three seasons. In other words, don’t start counting on Abrosimova in a Storm uniform this season just yet. So soon after finding out she might be available, Agler can’t yet say whether Abrosimova’s return is realistic.
“I don’t know if it would be something we could do smoothly right now,” said Agler. “It would be a negotiation. It would depend on what she would be expecting salary-wise.
“There’s just so much discussion. We haven’t even had the chance to talk about it thoroughly within our own organization, but we will.”