Storm bring back Joyner Holmes on rest-of-season contract

Skylar Diggins-Smith gets the and-1 to fall for Storm (0:16)

Storm's Skylar Diggins-Smith drives hard to the basket and draws the foul vs. the Sky. (0:16)

SEATTLE -- The Storm announced Monday that they've re-signed forward Joyner Holmes three weeks after waiving her in a move required by the WNBA's hard salary cap.

"I've been busting my ass," Holmes told ESPN after practicing with the team Monday. "I just didn't want to have any lapse. I wanted to come back and I wanted to fit right in. I think today kind of showed that a little bit. Work out the kinks, things like that. Tried to stay positive through the whole situation. Like I was just telling [assistant coach] Pokey [Chatman], I love the people here and it feels like home."

To open the season, the Storm could not afford to keep Holmes along with fellow veteran Victoria Vivians, who has started all eight games for Seattle this season at small forward. So Holmes was the team's final cut before getting down to an 11-player roster for the start of the regular season.

With fewer days remaining in the WNBA season, the difference between Holmes' prorated veteran minimum salary and the lower salary for 2023 second-round pick Dulcy Fankam Mendjiadeu grew smaller. On Friday, the Storm waived Fankam Mendjiadeu, who had seen just 36 minutes of action thus far off the bench.

That opened the door to re-signing Holmes, whose salary fit under the cap as Seattle's 11th player Sunday, according to Richard Cohen of HerHoopStats.com. Holmes, who stayed in Seattle to work out individually, said she knew returning to the team was a possibility after she was waived, but not a certainty.

Holmes appeared in 29 games for the Storm last season after being claimed off waivers from the Los Angeles Sparks on June 29, averaging 3.2 points and 2.3 rebounds. She played an important role for Seattle in the preseason before being waived, seeing 35 minutes of action in two games and scoring 13 points in the team's loss to the Sparks in Edmonton, Alberta.

Storm coach Noelle Quinn told ESPN on Monday that she's comfortable using Holmes as soon as Tuesday night, when Seattle hosts the Phoenix Mercury.

"If you look at the matchups coming up as well," Quinn said, "it's a lot of small ball -- a lot of opportunity for her to defend like-sized players, bigger guards essentially. I know that's not ideal at the end of the day, but we have practice and I trust that she's ready."