Tuesday, June 4, 2019
Arica Carter waived by Phoenix Mercury -- TUESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE
CARTER DROPPED TO MAKE ROOM FOR MITCHELL
Another UofL women's basketball player finds herself on the waiver/cut list, with Arica Carter being dropped from the Phoenix Mercury's roster. Carter joins Sam Fuehring and Asia Taylor as Cardinals who started the pre-season with WNBA squads but were eventually dropped.
Myisha Hines Allen (Washington), Asia Durr (New York) and Angel McCoughtry (Atlanta) are the only three Cardinal WBB players still on WNBA Rosters.
The cutting of Carter comes as a surprise. She had made the roster before the start of-regular season cuts and appeared to be a part of the Phoenix guard rotation. In a reversal of fortunes, though, Phoenix resigned Lelani Mitchell (a 10 yr. WNBA veteran), who they had previously cut back on May 23rd....so they could slide in under the WNBA Team salary cap. Mitchell was on-line to be paid over $96,000 by the Mercury. Carter was earning the rookie salary of $41,000+.
So, they let Mitchell go, waited to see if she would be picked up off waivers and, when she wasn't...re-signed her at 20% less than her original salary. Must be the new math, I guess. This whole shuffling of players to fit dollar requirements and such in the WNBA strikes an off-key chord with me. Especially when, in Phoenix's case, you got almost 1/3 of your salary total who hasn't played yet.
The troubling aspects of finances, a budget, a "cap" and backward-gear shifting to get around dollar figures. This is the world of the WNBA.
Carter was not part of the team introduction video on Friday night against Las Vegas but still saw three minutes of court time. Her Phoenix stay ends with 8 minutes played in two games. She was cut on Saturday to make room for Mitchell who hopes to join the Mercury tomorrow for their road trip.
Sad news, indeed for Cardinal WBB fans. The affable, smiling Carter won a lot of hearts during her time at UofL and we were all hoping that her making the opening day roster with the Mercury would lead to a full season with them.
It is the politics of finances, though in the WNBA.
The Phoenix total salary cap is $996,100 for the 2019 season. You have Diana Taurasi making $117,000 (and not playing yet because of injury), starters Brittany Griner ($115,000), DeWanna Bonner ($115,500) and reserves Sancho Lyttle ($108,000) Briann January ($115.000) and Camille Little...who's still out with an injury... ($101,000. ).
That's six players...all making over $100,000 a season. Yvonne Turner, a starter, leaves in a couple of weeks to go back and play in the European championships.
I wonder how many individual players in the NBA are making over $1 million a season?
Nevertheless, we feel certain that Arica Carter will bounce back on her feet and continue her career overseas or maybe even as a "roster add" for another WNBA franchise.
We certainly hope this is the final Cardinal WBB cut from the WNBA. I guess, though, when you're dealing with a fixed amount of dollars and finite number of players you have to piece together to meet that 'cap...anything is possible. A shame it had to happen to Carter, who was a huge Cardinal Couple and UofL WBB fan favorite.
We'll hold a microphone open for her on the CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO HOUR on Saturdays, in case she ever comes back to "the Ville" to visit. After all, she was Paulie's valued assistant interviewer on UofL WBB pre-season Media Days and, goodness knows, we always got open microphones in the "off-season".
Have a terrific Tuesday.