With the 2023 WNBA season set to tip-off this Friday, May 19, much of the discourse this week has been focused on roster cuts. WNBA teams are allowed a maximum of 12 players on their regular season rosters with a few teams carrying only 11 due to salary cap restraints. With only 12 teams and 144 roster spots, the WNBA has become one of, if not the toughest professional league to break into. First round picks and college stars are routinely cut. For some of those players, however, being cut gives them the opportunity to latch on to another team. Such was the case for former first round pick Nia Clouden. Nia Clouden was claimed by the Los Angeles Sparks on Thursday after being cut by the Connecticut Sun.

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Nia Clouden will join the Sparks in time for their season opener at home on Friday against the Phoenix Mercury, Clouden was originally drafted by the Sun with the No. 12 overall pick in the 2022 draft. In her lone season with the Sun, she suited up in 28 games. She averaged 2.1 points per game with shooting splits of 34 percent shooting from the field, 41.4 percent shooting from the three-point line and 58.8 percent shooting from the free-throw line. During the playoffs, she played in seven games and shot 44.4 percent from the field and 50 percent from the three-point line.

The Sparks are a team that needs outside shooting and Clouden can provide that consistently. She’s a combo guard who can play on ball and off ball. She will be reunited with Curt Miller who was the head coach of the Sun during her rookie season.