Lynx waive Layshia Clarendon, both 2022 draft picks three days before WNBA season

The Minnesota Lynx just shook up their roster three days before the start of the WNBA season. The team announced the signing of guard Odyssey Sims on Tuesday. As part of that signing, the team waived Layshia Clarendon, Crystal Dangerfield, Rennia Davis, Yvonne Turner and the team's two 2022 draft picks, Kayla Jones and Hannah Sjerven.

The most surprising release is Clarendon, who started 20 games with the team last season. Clarendon averaged 10.4 points and 5.7 assists with the Lynx in 2021. Clarendon was not happy with the news.

Dangerfield saw her stats drop off in her second season. She averaged 7.7 points in 2021 after putting up 16.2 points per game in 2020. Turner has not appeared in a WNBA game since 2019, but has played overseas.

Despite being selected with the No. 9 overall pick in last year's draft, Davis — who missed her entire rookie season with a foot injury — was also released. Both of the Lynx's 2022 draft picks, Jones and Sjerven, were also waived. The Lynx selected Jones with the No. 22 overall pick. It took Sjerven at No. 28 overall.

Lynx head coach and general manager Cheryl Reeve hinted Sunday big changes were coming to the franchise.

Why did Lynx release Layshia Clarendon now?

The timing of the Lynx's announcement was deliberate. Waived players can sit on waivers for two days before they are signed. The Lynx are likely hoping to bring one or two of those players back on hardship exemption deals.

Hardship deals do not count against the salary cap, and the Lynx are extremely close to exceeding the cap. With Napheesa Collier expecting her first child in May, the team will have a hardship spot open. At least one of the players the Lynx released could return to fill that spot.

Minnesota Lynx logo on shorts.
The Lynx are making moves days before the WNBA season. (Photo by M. Anthony Nesmith/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)