2023 WNBA Prioritization Tracker

The new WNBA CBA introduced Section 9 of Article XIV entitled WNBA Prioritization and 2023 is the first season in which any of its provisions apply. As a result, many people are wondering about the exact impacts that this new provision will have on players, especially as the rules get stricter next season. This page will attempt to keep an updated record of players who would fall under WNBA punishment due to this section. We will interpret the rules as best as we can given the wording in the CBA and it is possible that the WNBA will apply the rules differently than listed here.

Many WNBA players do not fall under the category of players where this section applies. Those who finished the last season with 0,1, or 2 years of service are not affected. Previous WNBA indicators of years of service have not always provided matching numbers to the count that would result from the most literal application of the rules surrounding their calculation as detailed in the CBA. For any players who could be borderline in either direction, we will include them and an explanation of their situation.

Players subject to the second set of punishments, suspension for the whole season or being rendered ineligible to sign for this season, are being updated below. We will be very cautious with adding players to the tracker, not including players who are in practice or training with some other entity and only adding them once they verifiably dress for an exhibition or competitive game. It is a daunting task to try to keep up with every single organized basketball team in the world. If you are aware of any players who should be listed here, please let us know in the comments.

Updated 6/2

PlayerOffseason-Playing Obligation Team
Emma MeessemanNational Team of Belgium (outside of prioritization-compliant window)
Danielle AdamsAdelitas de Chihuahua (Mexico)
Leilani MitchellInner West Bulls (Australia)
Kennedy BurkeVilleneuve-d’Ascq (France)
Blake DietrickLyon (France)
Sandrine GrudaLyon (France)
Alexis JonesFuerza Regia Monterrey (Mexico)
Lynetta KizerRojas de Veracruz (Mexico)
Damiris DantasFuerza Regia Monterrey (Mexico)
Marie GulichNational Team of Germany (outside of prioritization-compliant window)
Erika de SouzaSampaio (Brazil)
Jazmine JonesPlateras de Fresnillo (Mexico)
Kayla AlexanderNational Team of Canada (outside of prioritization-compliant window)
Ramu TokashikiNational Team of Japan (outside of prioritization-compliant window)
Unusual Cases

Gabby Williams: Williams was one of the few players subject to prioritization who had WNBA interest who signed a contract in a league with a schedule that was not prioritization-compliant when she signed with Lyon in France. As the playoffs started and there seemed to be a possibility that her team would not reach the championship, there was more and more reporting about a path for her to sign and play this season once available, which only got louder as she suffered and injury. Her team ended up reaching the finals and she played in Game 1, but the stories continued. Just before the game that would leave her in clear violation of prioritization rules, it was announced that she would not play and then subsequent reporting had her successfully terminating her contract before Friday, which would keep her eligible to sign in the WNBA. It was not immediately clear whether there were any other obstacles or steps involved in the process of clearing her to sign.

Marine Johannes: The WNBA does not usually publicly release information about the number of years of service that a player has accumulated, but they did actually did for this season’s free agency. In that list, they unexpectedly put 3 years as the total for Marine Johannes. Our initial argument would be that Johannes should only be attributed 1 year of service according to the CBA, but 2 seems to be a fair consensus. Our position is that 2022 obviously counts and the league could reasonably also award a year of service for 2020 given that players who opted out of the season later in the process seem to have been granted a year of service. It seems more likely that her actual other year of service was 2019, but a very clear reading of the CBA would give room to her or her team to argue that the year should not count. She signed before the season, but did not show up at the start of the season and was suspended until her arrival in July. That seems to very clearly fall under the definition of her withholding service from the team for 21 days to start the season, language used in the CBA. Either way, it is pretty clear that the league and the New York Liberty both consider her to not have enough service time to fall under the rules of prioritization this year as she finished her season with Lyon in France so the particulars of her career will likely not face more scrutiny until next season.

Temi Fagbenle: This is another case of a player who would have an argument against falling under prioritization. Fagbenle has played in 3 seasons, but did not report to the Lynx until after the 2019 EuroBasket tournament so she could claim withholding service for 21 days in her final season. EuroBasket is also being contested this year and she is currently training with the Great Britain national team so if she was subject to prioritization, she would have had to avoid making it clear that she was actually with the team prior to June 1st, which was the date of their first exhibition, in order to sign this season with Indiana, which holds her rights still. That date falls within the prioritization window, which is two weeks before the 15th. Based on that rule, the relevant dates this year are June 12th for the 8 teams in Division A in Asia, June 17th for the 10 teams in the Americas, July 14th for the teams that reach AfroBasket with the same two weeks allowed for any players on teams still in qualifying for the event, and July 30th for teams in Division B in Asia. The 3×3 World Cup started less than 14 days before the 1st game of the WNBA season so players would have been allowed to miss any time related to it.

Our tracker for the first set of punishments is preserved below:

The first set of punishments is fines for players who are not able to make it to training camp in time at 1% of salary per day missed. For players who are not under contract at the start of training camp, they would still be subject to a fine after signing during training camp based on when they were available. Players who are under contract will have their fine percentage determined by the day that they actually report to camp. We will attempt to determine whether players who have completed their Offseason-Playing Obligation before training camp actually physically reported in time, but it is possible that the only way to actually find out is from any announced discipline.

It is a daunting task to try to keep up with every single organized basketball team in the world. If you are aware of any players who should be listed here, please let us know in the comments. We will err on the side of caution in terms of adding players, only doing so with non-contracted players who dress for a game during WNBA training camp. That means that some players who play on the Saturday before camp opens will not be added until their next game.

Updated 5/16

The following players who are under contract are subject to a fine based on the number of days of training camp that they miss:
PlayerOffseason-Playing Obligation Team
Marina MabreySchio (Italy)
Cheyenne ParkerVirtus Bologna (Italy)
Bridget CarletonAvenida (Spain)
The following players who are not under contract would be subject to a fine if they signed a contract:
PlayerOffseason-Playing Obligation TeamLast Day Played
Markeisha GatlingZaragoza (Spain)April 30th
Cierra BurdickValencia (Spain)May 7th
Marie GulichValencia (Spain)May 7th
Kayla AlexanderBourges (France)May 13th
Kiara LeslieCharleville-Mezieres (France)May 6th
Kristen MannLandes (France)May 6th
Haley PetersLattes Montpellier (France)May 13th
Blake DietrickLyon (France)Ongoing
Sandrine GrudaLyon (France)Ongoing
Gabby WilliamsLyon (France)Ongoing
Kaleena Mosqueda-LewisRoche (France)May 6th
Kennedy BurkeVilleneuve-d’Ascq (France)Ongoing
Asia TaylorLanderneau (France)May 16th
Adut BulgakToulouse (France)May 16th
Alexis PrinceAvenida (Spain)May 7th
Alexis JonesFuerza Regia Monterrey (Mexico)Ongoing
Lynetta KizerRojas de Veracruz (Mexico)Ongoing
Leilani MitchellInner West Bulls (Australia)Ongoing
Danielle AdamsAdelitas de Chihuahua (Mexico)Ongoing
Shay MurphyBucaros de Bucaramanga (Colombia)Ongoing
Erika de SouzaSampaio (Brazil)Ongoing

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