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Jayda Evans covers college and pro women's basketball. While its her first year on the Washington beat, she has covered the Storm since its inception. She'll offer observations, critiques, occasional off-beat tales and answers to select e-mail inquires. Evans also has written a book on the Storm and women's hoops, called "Game On!"

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January 27, 2009 3:33 PM

Storm center Janell Burse close to returning, former Connecticut guard not headed to Seattle

Posted by Jayda Evans

BurseJackson.jpgDespite what reports say, the Storm denied offering former Connecticut G Mel Thomas a training camp invite. Thomas injured her knee in January 2008 and was not drafted by the WNBA.

The three-point specialist is currently playing in Ireland and even though coach/director player personnel Brian Agler is looking for backcourt backup, apparently Thomas isn't being worked into his plans. The organization didn't completely rule out Thomas, so things could change.

As for the Storm's frontcourt, Agler said recently that he's still working on getting C Janell Burse to return for 2009. Burse, (pictured right in black) opted to take a break for the 2008 season, suffering multiple injuries overseas that caused her to withdraw her acceptance of a max contract. The Storm suspended her, retaining her rights and saving cap space, but expects to have her back as soon as a new contract is negotiated.

Burse, a member of the Storm's 2004 championship team, isn't expected to be re-signed at the veteran max (99,500), according to sources, which could be the hold up.

Agler is talking to other players to help fill-out the bigs, but wouldn't comment on whether he negotiated with former Houston F Tina Thompson. Thompson's agent said she won't be playing in Seattle anyway, stating that the All-Star is waffling between Los Angeles and Phoenix only. There is no time table for Thompson to sign.

And there is no new word about F Lauren Jackson (pictured far right), either, although many sources said she's not returning. The Storm has an agreement with the two-time MVP that when she does decide, the team is told first.

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