The Liberty is continuing its rebuild, waiving veterans and putting more and more of the upcoming season’s onus on its youth movement.
In the past week, the Liberty has waived Brittany Boyd, their long-time point guard, and Tayler Hill, another veteran they acquired from the Dallas Wings two weeks ago in a three-team, draft pick-heavy trade that sent Tina Charles to the Washington Mystics. Both Boyd and Hill have a history of injuries.
High Post Hoops’ Howard Megdal reports that Hill took a $90,000 buyout, about 75 percent of her salary.
The Liberty also announced Wednesday that Stephanie Talbot will remain overseas for the 2020 season. Talbot, a 6’2” forward, was acquired via trade on Draft Night from the Minnesota Lynx in exchange for New York’s 26th overall selection, Erica Ogwumike. Talbot will remain in Australia.
With the moves, six of the Liberty’s 15-woman roster are rookies led by overall No. 1 pick Sabrina Ionescu. Three others, including last year’s No. 2 overall pick, Asia Durr, are second year players. WNBA teams carry 12 players.
With the season opener, originally set for May 15, postponed, the WNBA is permitting “virtual training camps” —voluntary meetings with players. Like Joe Tsai’s other team, the Liberty has been trying to keep players up to date and in good condition.
“In addition to our trainer sending out daily workouts, we have been doing more individual and small group calls by position in order to make coordination less challenging,” Liberty GM Jonathan Kolb has said.
One issue for the Liberty, for their virtual meetings and ultimately in bringing players to Brooklyn, is how many of the players live overseas. The Liberty have players in Canada, Australia, Sweden, China and France who might have travel challenges.
“In New York, we have one of the most internationally diverse teams in the league,” said Kolb. Joe and Clara Wu Tsai have said they’d like to have the team gain an international fan base.
The Liberty’s Canadian player, All-Star guard Kia Nurse, spoke from her Ontario home with the Daily News’ Sarah Valenzuela this week about her routine.
“I wake up, throw on some sweatpants, go outside and jog or run around the neighborhood,” Nurse, 24, told the Daily News. “I do a lift usually in the garage and then for the rest of the day it’s pretty up in the air on what happens.”
Nurse, although she’s had limited access to a basketball court, said she doesn’t expect that the enforced layoff will hurt her shooting touch.
“I’m not gonna forget how to shoot just because I haven’t shot in a couple weeks and that’s how I’ve kinda seen it,” Nurse said. “I’ve been doing this for many years now. It’s ingrained in what I do.”
The Liberty also announced the start of a new, weekly Instagram Live series with Nurse — “Kickin’ It with Kia.” The series will feature conversations between Liberty All-Star guard, Kia Nurse, with current players, recent draftees, Liberty legends, etc. The first edition of Kickin’ It with Kia Nurse will premiere Wednesday at 7 ET, where Kia Nurse will catch up with Liberty sharpshooter and Australia native, Rebecca Allen.
The Liberty have also posted a link to Ionescu merchandise but noted there will be delays in filling orders.
- Liberty waive Tayler Hill, Stephanie Talbot will remain overseas - Jackie Powell - High Post Hoops
- Former UConn star, New York Liberty guard Kia Nurse making the most of her indefinite offseason - Sarah Valenzuela - New York Daily News
- Liberty Waive Tayler Hill, Talbot to Remain Overseas in 2020 - New York Liberty