Fever waive Lauren Cox, No. 3 pick in 2020 draft

·1-min read

The Indiana Fever announced on Sunday that they've waived Lauren Cox, their first-round pick in the 2020 draft. 

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Cox, 23, was drafted just over a year ago with the No. 3 overall pick after spending four years at Baylor. Her first season didn't go as anyone had imagined. She contracted COVID-19 before training camp and wasn't able to return until the Fever had played four games. She played 14 games in the bubble, but missed the team's final four games with a knee injury. 

Lauren Cox (left) has been waived by the Indiana Fever just over a year after being selected with the No. 3 pick in the draft. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
Lauren Cox (left) has been waived by the Indiana Fever just over a year after being selected with the No. 3 pick in the draft. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

This is a head-scratcher from the Fever. It seems irresponsibly early to give up on such a high draft pick, not in spite of her issues, but because of them. In many ways the 2021 season is her real rookie season, so she needs time, development, and patience from all involved. If her release signals anything, it's that the Fever don't want to take that time, or they don't think it's worth it.

That's a strange position for the Fever to take considering that they've been legendarily horrible this season. They're 1-15 and have lost 11 straight games. Developing the player they took with the No. 3 overall pick seems like a no-brainer, yet here we are. Cox isn't why the Fever are failing so completely at winning basketball games, so it's not clear what cutting her will do.

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