February 6, 2023
How Layshia Clarendon fits the Los Angeles Sparks
And what questions remain for the LA roster?
The Los Angeles Sparks have been active on the trade front and free agency market this offseason as they look to retool their roster under new general manager Karen Bryant and new head coach Curt Miller. Since the duo’s arrival, they have spoken about the need to build a strong culture and the team’s latest free agency signing of veteran guard Layshia Clarendon certainly adds to that. As per Rachel Galligan, the Sparks and Clarendon have agreed to terms on a free agent contract. The Next‘s Howard Megdal has confirmed the move.
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Clarendon, who uses he/him, she/her and they/them pronouns interchangeably, joins the Sparks after having not played last season after they were cut by the Minnesota Lynx in training camp. Prior to that, Clarendon added a solid boost to the Lynx during the 2021 season despite being hampered by injury issues late in the year. He averaged 10.4 points per game and a career-high 5.7 assists while shooting 51.7 percent from the field and 35.7 percent from the three-point line in 21 games, including 20 starts with the Lynx that season.
As far as Clarendon’s fit with the Sparks, the team was in need of an additional ball-handler and playmaker for the second unit and she definitely fits that bill. Now in their 10th season in the league, Clarendon will give the team a nice boost off the bench as well as a valuable locker room presence. They are capable of playing both guard positions and shot the three-ball well in recent seasons.
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With the expected re-signings of Nneka and Chiney Ogwumike, this latest move brings the Sparks current roster to 11 players. In recent seasons, the Sparks have kept the full compliment of 12 players on the roster out of training camp. Baring any unforeseen moves, it’s likely the No. 10 overall pick that the team acquired from the Connecticut Sun in the Jasmine Thomas deal will have a shot at winning the last roster spot.
Written by David Yapkowitz
David has been with The Next team since the High Post Hoops days when he joined the staff in 2018. He is based in Los Angeles and covers the LA Sparks, Pac-12 Conference, Big West Conference and some high school as well.