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Lexie Brown is back with the Sky for the rest of the 2021 WNBA season

Brown’s new contract will keep her with the Sky for the remainder of the 2021 season, something she wasn’t anticipating when she was waived after training camp.

Lexie Brown inked her rest-of-season contract with the Sky on Monday.
Lexie Brown inked her rest-of-season contract with the Sky on Monday.
NBAE via Getty Images

The Sky’s roster has looked like a never-ending rotating door since the start of the season.

Combining an Olympic year with early injuries is a recipe for disaster — or at least an abundance of hardship contracts.

Lexie Brown was one of those hardship players for the Sky, but she turned a temporary stint into a rest-of-the-season contract, which she signed Monday.

‘‘It’s been a lot mentally and emotionally the last few weeks,’’ Brown said. ‘‘But I knew this signing was coming after the Phoenix game [in which she played 20 minutes against the Mercury on June 1].’’

A hardship contract is one a player and team enter into under the WNBA’s hardship exception. The standard hardship exception applies to teams with two or more players out because of injury, illness or other conditions.

An emergency hardship exception is granted when a team drops below 10 available players. In the Sky’s case, they dropped below 10 when Candace Parker and Allie Quigley were injured and Stefanie Dolson was representing Team USA in the 3x3 qualifying tournament in Austria.

As players return to the team, hardship contracts must be terminated. That’s why Brown was brought in to play for the Sky on June 1 and waived when Dolson returned.

Brown’s new contract, however, will keep her with the Sky for the rest of the season, something she wasn’t anticipating when she was waived after training camp.

‘‘I was very close to being, like, ‘I don’t care who calls, I’m not playing,’ ’’ Brown said.

Brown isn’t alone in riding out the frustrations and emotions of the roller coaster that comes with a hardship contract in the WNBA. In June alone, four teams have entered into hardship contracts.

The Sky traded rookie Shyla Heal, waived rookie Stephanie Watts and signed and waived rookie Natasha Mack this month.

Coach and general manager James Wade said the reason for waiving Watts and trading Heal, who subsequently was waived by the Wings, was to make room for Brown’s contract. Depth at guard has been an issue for the Sky, specifically when Quigley went down with a hamstring injury.

It was clear early on that Heal was outmatched as Courtney Vandersloot’s backup. Without time to develop her, Wade went looking for a more experienced guard he could afford. Brown was it.

After being waived following training camp, Brown flew home to Atlanta and was right back in the gym. She gave herself a day to sulk, she said.

When she was released by the Sky after the game June 1, Brown opted to stay in Chicago instead of flying back to Atlanta. She spent nearly every day in the gym in the 13 days she was between contracts.

The details of Brown’s contract weren’t disclosed, but according to Her Hoop Stats, the Sky have $47,407 in cap space.

‘‘She’s the type of player that can jump into any team,’’ Dolson said. ‘‘She does whatever the team needs.’’

Brown’s first game back with the Sky was Tuesday against her former team, the Lynx. The expectation is that she’ll rotate between point guard and small forward, depending on whom she’s playing with.

The visiting Sky (5-7) won their third game in a row with a dominant 105-89 victory against the Lynx. Allie Quigley led six players in double figures with a season-high 23 points for the Sky, who shot 57%.

Next up for the Sky are back-to-back games against the Eastern Conference-leading Sun, who come to Wintrust Arena for games Thursday and Saturday.

‘‘We could really make a statement, and we’re ready to do that,’’ Brown said.