Updated July 4, 2020 - 7:59 pm
When the Las Vegas Aces make the trip to Florida for the WNBA season later this month, they will be without one of their brightest stars.
Center Liz Cambage won’t play for the team this season because of fears related to the COVID-19 pandemic, Aces General Manager Dan Padover confirmed Saturday.
“Liz is a generational talent, and we are going to miss her this year on the court and in the locker room,” Padover said in a statement. “She has been incredibly active this offseason in the community raising money for first responders who battled the brush fires in Australia, shining a light on mental health awareness and standing at the forefront of the peaceful protests in her country battling racial and social inequality, and I have no doubt she will continue to do so.”
Cambage, a 6-foot-8-inch center, has played in the last two WNBA All-Star games and was a second-team All-WNBA selection last season, her first with the Aces. She averaged 15.9 points and 8.2 rebounds and upped those totals to 23.6 points and 114 rebounds per game in the postseason.
The Cambage news is the latest setback in an up-and-down offseason for a team that was hoping to make a championship push.
Cambage’s agent Allison Galer told the Associated Press on Saturday that Cambage has pre-existing health conditions that make her high risk if she were to get the coronavirus. Galer did not specify what those pre-existing conditions were.
“Although Liz won’t be with us in Florida, she has our full support and will continue to be a part of the Aces family and the city of Las Vegas for years to come,” Padover said.
The Aces will also be without starting guard Kelsey Plum, who tore her left Achilles tendon in early June, but they should be bolstered on the perimeter by the free-agent signings of All-Stars Alex Bentley and Angel McCoughtry.
In Cambage’s absence, the Aces could use a smaller lineup, with A’ja Wilson at center and Dearica Hamby at power forward. When they decide to use a bigger lineup, Carolyn Swords will likely be at center after averaging 8.9 minutes per game as Cambage’s backup last season.
The Aces also signed center Avery Warley-Talbert on Saturday to fill Cambage’s roster spot and add depth. Warley-Talbert is a six-year WNBA veteran who played in three games for the New York Liberty last season.