Svetlana Abrosimova near to rejoining Storm
The veteran guard who played on Seattle's 2010 WNBA championship team could sign by the end of the month, according to her agent.
Seattle Times staff reporter
Storm @ L.A. Sparks, 5:30 p.m., KONG
LOS ANGELES — Russian guard Svetlana Abrosimova is closer to rejoining the Storm. Her agent said Friday that she's expected to be signed by the end of June.
But Brian Agler, Storm coach and general manager, must wait to make any roster move because the team is near the WNBA-maximum $878,000 cap for this season. Part of that money ($105,500) is for Australian Olympian Lauren Jackson. She will be paid only a prorated amount, but her full salary counts against the cap.
Because Abrosimova is a nine-year veteran, she would require a minimum $53,000 salary. She would be paid less, depending on how many Storm games she misses.
"The plan is, she's going to come to Seattle at the end of the month," said her agent, Boris Lelchitski, founder and CEO of Sports International Group. "She's back in Russia and is training there."
Abrosimova, 31, started attracting interest after she was omitted from consideration for the Russian Olympic team. She missed the 2011 WNBA season while helping the team qualify for the London Games in EuroBasket play. She averaged 5.9 points and 3.8 boards.
Playing for UMMC Ekaterinburg last fall, teaming with WNBA All-Stars Sue Bird and Candace Parker, Abrosimova averaged 15 minutes in the Russian league and 11 in the tougher EuroLeague. To national team coach Boris Sokolovsky, it wasn't enough to show her value.
"It's so — I can't find another word than stupid," Lelchitski said of Sokolovsky's decision.
American All-Star Becky Hammon is expected to represent Russia in the Olympics at point guard.
"I've never heard of somebody who's the captain of the team that qualified for the Olympics not being selected to the top-25 prospects," Lelchitski continued. "This has nothing to do with basketball. It's just freaking politics that's going to kick them in the back.
"And some of those players are my clients. ... It makes no sense. If Svetlana went to the training camp and somebody else was better, I have no problem. I just know there's none better than her."
Abrosimova began her national team career at age 14 and won a bronze medal in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. She's the only player from her country to win a WNBA title, averaging 7.6 points and 3.1 rebounds during Seattle's title run in 2010.
Agler was hesitant to confirm Abrosimova's arrival because anything could still happen between now and the expected contract start date. The former University of Connecticut standout has a green card and Washington state driver's license, so entry isn't an issue.
Yet if the Russian national team — which starting training for the Olympics this week — changes its stance and offers Abrosimova more than the Storm to stay put, Agler anticipates she would stay. In the WNBA, she would only play for the Storm, according to Agler.
The Storm would have to cut a player, such as second-year forward Victoria Dunlap or free-agent pickup Alysha Clark, to keep the roster at the maximum 11. Dunlap and Clark have played one game apiece this season.
"We don't know who (the cut) is or how that's going to play out," Agler said Friday before the Storm defeated Tulsa 76-58. Seattle (1-3) plays at Los Angeles (4-1) Sunday.
"We're letting this go for a while and see. It's for certain when she shows up."
Jayda Evans: 206-464-2067 or email@example.com.
On Twitter @JaydaEvans