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The Mystics and all WNBA teams will pare rosters down to 12 players by May 26, probably won’t play in same venues as NBA, according to report

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There is no indication that the 2020 WNBA season is about to start in the next month. However, there are some things in place to ensure that players are still getting paid since the season would have already started last weekend.

WNBA Finals-Practice and Media Availability
The Mystics, like other teams will have to pare their rosters down before May 26 so players can get paid.
Photo by Khoi Ton/NBAE via Getty Images

As the coronavirus pandemic continues its ravoc on sports, we are now entering an era where players are getting paid even though no games are being played in the immediate future.

According to Doug Feinberg on Tuesday night, the WNBA is requiring that all teams cut their rosters to 12 players before Tuesday, May 26. The reasoning behind this is so players can get paid on June 1, presumably when new contracts start getting paid.

The logistics behind this are primarily procedural. A new Collective Bargaining Agreement between the league and the players’ union has forced this moment of reckoning. That said, roster cuts are not necessarily final. In practice, it is reasonable to assume that players cut before May 26 MAY get a chance to join a preseason training camp. the emphasis is mine.

And after all, there is likely going to be a training camp of some sort before the season starts, right?

Assuming the 2020 WNBA season happens, the league is looking at a number of scenarios to start play. League Commissioner Cathy Engelbert is optimistic that a season could happen this summer.

There are some scenarios the league is looking at to start a season. Perhaps this includes the “bubble city” format that the NBA could also consider. However, Engelbert noted in an interview with Feinberg that the WNBA is probably not playing in the same venues the NBA chooses to.

For example, if the NBA season goes on at the Mandalay Bay Resort Las Vegas, the WNBA could be in Orlando instead. Or perhaps, they could be in Uncasville, Conn., the home of the Connecticut Sun. And if they play in Las Vegas, maybe they play at the MGM Grand instead of the Mandalay Bay. Either way, I don’t see games being played with fans in the stands.

As for the number of games, it is still possible that a full 36-game season could be played if the regular season starts before mid-June. But it’s also possible that there could be an abbreviated season of some type.

It will be interesting to see how the Mystics’ roster looks like once we get toward June 1.