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WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert said during her pre-draft press conference Monday that the league's priority with expansion is to add a 14th team by 2026, adding that she is "pretty confident" about reaching their long-term goal of becoming a 16-team league by 2028. 

"We're talking to a lot of different cities," Engelbert said. "I think I've thrown out names before. It's complex because you need arena and practice facility and player housing and all the things, you need committed long-term ownership groups. The nice thing is we're getting a lot of calls.

"We continue to engage with cities. I'll throw some of those out there because I've already thrown them out there. We continue to engage with cities like Philadelphia and Toronto, and Portland and Denver and Nashville and South Florida and probably forgetting one, but those are the cities we're talking to. But just last week we got calls from two other cities. These can either take a very long time to negotiate or can happen pretty quickly if you find the right ownership group with the right arena situation."

The league formally announced an expansion Golden State franchise on Oct. 5, 2023, which will begin play in the 2025 season. The yet unnamed team will be the league's 13th team and first new addition since the Atlanta Dream in 2008. An expansion draft will "probably" take place in December, though Engelbert said the league is not ready to discuss specifics. The Golden State franchise will play at Chase Center, home of the NBA's Golden State Warriors, and has already surpassed 5,000 season ticket deposits. 

While the league had hoped to introduce a second expansion franchise around the same time last year, plans to bring a team to Portland fell through at the last minute. The league cited planned renovations to the Moda Center as a sticking point, and there were also questions about where they would practice. It's still possible a team could end up in Portland down the line if those issues get sorted out. 

The 2024 WNBA Draft welcomed a number of new stars to the league, including No. 1 overall pick Caitlin Clark, who is one of the most-anticipated prospects ever. Clark, along with the likes of Cameron Brink, Kamilla Cardoso, Rickea Jackson and Angel Reese, will raise the WNBA's profile to new heights. 

But as exciting as the draft was, it once again highlighted the lack of opportunities for players outside of the top 10. There are 36 new draftees every year in a league with only 144 roster spots, which means most players selected don't make a team. Creating more chances for talented will only help the league grow. 

"We're on our way to 16 [teams]," Engelbert said. "That will add 48 roster spots in just a couple of years. That, in a league of 144, is a lot. That's 30 percent. I think it'll be great when we get those done over the next couple years."