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Aces waive rookie guard four games into WNBA season

Updated May 26, 2024 - 2:30 pm

The Aces waived rookie guard Dyaisha Fair, the team announced Sunday.

The club selected Fair in the second round of April’s WNBA draft with the 16th overall pick.

Fair, 22, made her Aces debut in Saturday’s 99-80 win over the Indiana Fever at Michelob Ultra Arena. Fair entered the game late in the fourth quarter and recorded two assists.

The former Syracuse guard scored 3,403 points during her collegiate career. She ranks third on the all-time scoring list behind Iowa’s Caitlin Clark (3,951) and Aces guard and Washington alum Kelsey Plum (3,527). All three appeared in Saturday’s game, along with former Ohio State standout Kelsey Mitchell, who sits fourth all-time in career NCAA points with 3,402.

The Aces now need to decide what to do with their open roster spot.

They could continue with 11 players or add additional help. One spot to watch is point guard, as 2022 WNBA Finals MVP Chelsea Gray has yet to play this season because of a left lower-leg injury.

Jackie Young is running the offense in the interim but is taking on a heavy workload. She is averaging a team-high 36.5 minutes per game this season, which also ranks fourth in the WNBA. She didn’t leave the floor in the Aces’ 98-88 loss to the Phoenix Mercury on Tuesday.

Coach Becky Hammon has said it’s important to give Young some rest during games. Hammon was trying to develop Fair into more of a point guard and consistently praised the rookie’s ability to make shots.

It didn’t lead to much playing time. Fair, listed at 5-foot-5, didn’t appear in the Aces’ first three games. Hammon said after the team’s season opener — an 89-80 win against the Mercury on May 14 — that Fair could’ve helped the team offensively but didn’t know the defense well enough.

“She just has a whole lot to learn and she’s playing the hardest position on the floor,” Hammon said.

The Aces likely determined they couldn’t risk giving Fair extended minutes given their struggles on defense. They’re allowing 85 points per game, third-most in the WNBA. They ranked second in points allowed per game last season.

The Aces’ lack of bench depth has also been tested in other ways this season. Forward Kierstan Bell has missed the last two games with a right lower-leg injury.

The Aces begin a three-game road trip Wednesday against the Minnesota Lynx.

Contact Callie Lawson-Freeman at clawsonfreeman@reviewjournal.com. Follow @CallieJLaw on X.

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