March 17, 2023
Sparks trim roster with waiving of Chennedy Carter
Carter's tenure in Los Angeles ends after just one season
The Los Angeles Sparks took a step towards trimming their roster on Friday morning by cutting Chennedy Carter in a move that actually wasn’t too surprising. Carter was one of the returning players from last season but it didn’t appear as if she was in the plans for the new Sparks front office and coaching staff.
Earlier in the offseason, new Sparks head coach Curt Miller was asked during a media availability about how he saw Carter fitting in with the team and his system. His response was brief and a little telling.
“She’s currently under contract and a talented player. And, again, as the roster plays out, everyone will be able to understand what’s long term for us,” Miller said.
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With some of the moves the Sparks made this offseason, it just sort of pointed towards Carter being on the way out either via trade or as the team ultimately ended up doing, simply cutting her. With the addition of Jasmine Thomas along with the signings of Lexie Brown, Jordin Canada and Layshia Clarendon, there just didn’t appear to be any room in the Sparks backcourt for Carter.
Carter first arrived in LA in a 2022 offseason trade with the Atlanta Dream that saw the Sparks ship out Erica Wheeler and their 2022 draft pick. Despite rumors of locker room issues in Atlanta, it appeared to be a good move by the Sparks to add a potential star caliber player capable of providing a high scoring punch.
Carter’s time with the Sparks didn’t quite go as planned, though. Her minutes fluctuated under former head coach Derek Fisher as she juggled starting and coming off the bench, and she never found a consistent rhythm on the court. She filled in admirably as a point guard at times when the Sparks were hit with injuries but the star the team thought they were getting just didn’t materialize.
After Fisher was let go and assistant coach Fred Williams took over, things got a little more dicey. Carter dealt with a nagging knee injury; she was eventually removed from the lineup and became a fixture on the bench even when the Sparks were struggling to stay afloat in the playoff picture and in desperate need of a scoring infusion.
Carter was able to patch things up with Williams by the end of the season and, prior to the Sparks’ staff overhaul, she sounded like a player who definitely wanted to be back.
“I love basketball, just even getting an opportunity to be out there with my teammates, it made me happy,” Carter said back during the final days of the Sparks 2022 season. “I know we fell short but I feel like I was able to get better … I understand you haven’t seen me, hopefully you guys see me a lot more next season.”
There’s no question that a player of Carter’s caliber can help a team out tremendously. It will be interesting to see where her WNBA career goes from here.
On the Sparks side of things, the move brings the current roster down to 13 players. It will eventually be down to 12 with the absence of Katie Lou Samuelson who is not going to play this season due to the upcoming birth of her child.
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.