Sparks waive guard Chennedy Carter after rocky tenure with team
The Sparks waived guard Chennedy Carter on Friday, undoing one of the residual mistakes from the Derek Fisher era.
After joining the team in a trade from Atlanta, Carter played in 24 games during her one-year Sparks tenure, averaging 8.9 points, 1.9 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 16.4 minutes per game.
She was benched for poor conduct during the season as the Sparks missed the playoffs for a second consecutive year, and Fisher was dismissed as head coach and general manager in June.
Fisher, whose mis-steps last season included the star-crossed signing of center Liz Cambage, sent former All-Star MVP Erica Wheeler, a 2022 second-round pick and a 2023 first-round pick to Atlanta in the deal. The transaction primarily served as a salary dump for the Sparks, who instead tried to tout the potential of Carter, a former No. 4 overall pick who averaged 16.1 points and 3.4 assists in two seasons with the Dream.
Carter, who was previously suspended by Atlanta for conduct detrimental to the team, never delivered more than sporadic bursts of energy. When Curt Miller was hired as head coach after the season, Carter was one of two players under contract with the Sparks, but Miller didn’t give the young guard a ringing endorsement.
"She's currently under contract and a talented player,” Miller said on a conference call soon after he was hired. “And as the roster plays out, everyone will be able to understand what's long term for us."
Miller and general manager Karen Bryant have retooled the Sparks roster in a busy offseason. They got their 2023 first-round pick back through a trade with Connecticut that also brought guard Jasmine Thomas to L.A., signed free agent Azura Stevens, a forward-center from the Chicago Sky, and re-signed star forward Nneka Ogwumike. Guards Jordin Canada and Layshia Clarendon will compete for Carter's roster spot after signing training-camp contracts.
The Sparks open the season at Crypto.com Arena on May 19 against the Phoenix Mercury.
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.