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Elena Delle Donne won’t be playing, but she plays a larger part in WNBA CBA negotiations than most

The WNBA CBA negotiations are going on, and the Washington Mystics’ franchise player will be at the table.

WNBA: Finals-Washington Mystics at Connecticut Sun
Elena Delle Donne will be spending much of her offseason sorting out the conditions of the new WNBA Collective Bargaining Agreement.
David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Washington Mystics forward Elena Delle Donne won’t be playing on the court very much this winter to heal her back. But she will be a major figure behind the scenes with the WNBA CBA negotiations going on.

The WNBPA announced the results of its Executive Committee elections on Monday. While the announcement focused on Los Angeles Sparks forward Nneka Ogwumike’s re-election as union president and Connecticut Sun guard Layshia Clarendon’s role as first vice president, Delle Donne is one of three vice presidents, along with Los Angeles Sparks forward Chiney Ogwumike and Seattle Storm guard Sue Bird. Las Vegas Aces center Carolyn Swords is the treasurer and Atlanta Dream center Elizabeth Williams is the secretary.

It’s unclear what the WNBPA specifically wants from the teams. Yes, we know they want better travel accommodations, marketing opportunities and pay. But we’re not exactly sure how much the salary cap will change or if the core player designation will be removed.

We’re also not sure what they want to do in respect to the international basketball calendar. The USA Basketball women’s national team must participate in the FIBA Women’s AmeriCup, and all qualifiers for it, the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup and the Olympics. I’m particularly interested seeing whether the union will create flexibility for players who participate in these international tournaments, in particular non-American players.

So though Delle Donne won’t be playing for Team USA this winter, she will have a seat at the negotiating table for the next CBA.