Liberty traded off the top picks in this year’s draft, and last season’s top scorer Kianas brought all-star Natasha Howard to New York as part of a series of deals across the WNBA on Wednesday.
Liberty acquired Howard as part of a three-team deal between Seattle Storm and Phoenix Mercury. Three-time WNBA champion Howard provides a solid interior player for Liberty to pair with Sabrinaionesque, who ranked first in last season’s overall draft topic. As Seattle’s designated core player, Howard had to approve the deal.
Liberty sent the No. 1 pick in this year’s draft and Mercury’s 2022 first round pick to Storm. Liberty sent Nurse and Megan Walker to Mercury to win the pick from Phoenix for the selection of the sixth pick of the year and the first round of next year.
The # 1 pick didn’t stay in Seattle for a long time as Storm traded it to Dallas to win a second round pick with Katie Lou Samuelson and the 2022 Wings. Wings became the first team in WNBA history to be No. 1 and No. 2. Overall pick of the same draft. In addition, Dallas will be hosting the 5th, 7th and 13th selections in 2021.
“We don’t have many opportunities to win top picks in the draft,” said Greg Bib, Wings President and Chief Executive Officer. “Securing this pick gives us the ability to draft a player to the top of the draft list, while giving us the freedom to use additional draft assets to further improve our team.”
The draft top pick has been traded for the third time in league history. On the night of the 2007 draft, Phoenix traded the # 1 pick to Minnesota Lynx. Three years later, Lynx sent a top pick to Connecticut on a contract with Minnesota-born Lindsay Whalen.
There are many uncertainties about who will be selected in this year’s draft. The NCAA has granted all players a one-year qualification. This means that top seniors such as Dana Evans from Louisville and Michaela Onyenwere from UCLA will be able to return to college next year.
Also on Wednesday, in another deal with Seattle, Liberty acquired security guard Sami Whitcomb for Stephanie Talbot’s rights.
“We can welcome WNBA multiple champions Natasha Howard and Sami Whitcomb to Brooklyn,” said Liberty General Manager Jonathan Kolb. “The magnitude of Natasha’s choice to be in New York cannot be exaggerated. She is an All-WNBA talent, accomplishing everything she has achieved and becoming a multi-team championship run. Contributes and fits seamlessly into the Walt Hopkins system. “
Howard won the League’s Defensive Player of the Year Award in 2019. The 29-year-old forward won one title in Minnesota in 2017 and two titles in Seattle in 2018 and last season.
“I’m very excited to be part of the New York Liberty organization,” Howard said. “I’m looking forward to meeting new teammates and fans. I’m very excited about the 2021 season.”
Howard shot 53% of the field last season with an average of 9.5 points and 7.1 rebounds.
Whitcomb has been a key member of the Storm franchise for the past few years. 32 years old is a solid 3-pointer shooter.
Liberty’s 10th overall selection in the 2018 Draft averaged 11.6 points, 2.6 rebounds and 2 assists in 89 contests (59 starts) during his three-year tenure. She led the team with 12.2 points per game last season.
Liberty drafted Walker 9th overall last season, averaging 3.3 points and 1.5 rebounds while playing in 18 games.
“Thanks to Kia Nurse and Megan Walker for their contributions to our organization,” Kolb added. “The unfortunate part of such a deal is that we have to say goodbye to those who have contributed to the team in different ways.”
Finally, Lynx traded Mikia Herbert Harrigan to Storm and won the first round of 2022 picks from Phoenix through Liberty.
Liberty Trade Top Scorer Adds All-Star Natasha Howard
Source link Liberty Trade Top Scorer Adds All-Star Natasha Howard