The Atlanta Dream announced on Monday night that they have suspended second-year guard Chennedy Carter until further notice due to conduct detrimental to the team. The team's press release did not offer any further details or explanation.
Exactly what Carter did to earn the suspension remains unknown. However, it was clear during the team's loss to the Las Vegas Aces on Sunday that something was not right. Carter played just over five minutes in the first quarter, and then did not return for the remainder of the game. Save for a contest in her rookie season in which she got injured shortly after tip-off, it was the fewest amount of minutes she's played so far in her career.
Dream coach Mike Petersen told reporters after the game that Carter's lack of playing time was not related to an injury. "It's something we're dealing with and that's all I can say," Petersen said. Spencer Nusbaum of The Next Hoops reported that Carter and a teammate got into a verbal altercation on the bench during a timeout in the first quarter. Those sorts of disagreements are fairly common during the heat of a game, so it would be surprising if that alone led directly to the benching and subsequent suspension.
But whether there's more to this situation or not, things are already going from bad to worse for the Dream. As we approach the mid-way point of the season they are tied for the second-worst record in the league at 6-11 and are on track to miss the playoffs for the third straight season. That would be the longest postseason drought in franchise history.
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Carter, the No. 4 overall pick in the 2020 Draft, was supposed to be one of the players who would help lead the Dream back to the playoffs. But after making the All-Rookie Team last season in the bubble, her sophomore campaign hasn't gone to plan. She missed nearly a month after hyperextending her elbow, and her numbers are down across the board. Most notably, through 11 games she's shooting just 11.1 percent from 3-point land.
The Dream have two more games -- July 9 vs. the Sun and July 11 vs. the Fever -- before the Olympic break. Assuming Carter does not play in either of those two games, the next time we could see her would be when the league resumes play in the middle of August.