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Sparks waive former lottery pick Chennedy Carter after 3 years of turmoil in league

The Los Angeles Sparks waived guard Chennady Carter after one season with the team, they announced on Friday.

The 24-year-old has played 24 for the Sparks in the 2022 season. He averaged 8.9 points, 1.9 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 16.4 minutes per , one of the least used players on the Sparks roster.

Former Sparks head coach and general manager Derek Fisher exercised a fourth-year rookie scale option for Carter at the start of the 2022 season. Under the league's current CBA, fourth-year team options are guaranteed if exercised by the team, which would require Sparks to pay her $86,701 protected salary if she goes unclaimed via waivers.

Carter is objectively brilliant. She is currently showcasing her skills in a strong overseas season for Bursa in Turkey, where she is averaging 21.9 points and 5.7 assists per game on 63.6% shooting.

The news of his release comes as the latest development in a tumultuous professional career. A -time All-American for Texas A&M, Carter was drafted by the Atlanta Dream with the fourth overall pick of the 2020 WNBA Draft. In his rookie season, Carter averaged 17.4 points, 3.4 assists and 2.3 rebounds per game. His breakout season was limited to just 16 games due to an ankle injury.

In 2021, he was suspended midway through the season for “conduct detrimental to the team” and did not return for the rest of the year.

Dream did not provide any additional details about the suspension of the player who finished second in Rookie of the Year voting last season. Some reports painted a vague, but still unclear, explanation of what may have led to the suspension.

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In February 2022, the Sparks traded for Carter. During a season of little use, he also dealt with a knee injury and a non-Covid illness.

Under a new general manager and head coach in Kurt Miller, the Sparks are hoping to make their first playoff appearance since 2020 with veterans Nneka Ogwumike, Chinay Ogwumike, Jasmine Thomas and Azura Stevens. The team also acquired former forward Diorica Hamby from the Las Vegas Aces before the trade deadline.

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