At this point in the game, pretty much everyone knows the biggest move of the offseason in the WNBA. Elena Delle Donne has moved on from Chicago, and went over to the Washington Mystics in a blockbuster trade. What about the smaller signings and trades though? Those key moves that bring back an important player or bring in a new role player that pushes a championship contender over the edge to a championship team. Well, we’re here to help recap all of the trades and signings for you.
Kristi Toliver heads to Washington
Since we started off by talking about the Washington Mystics, why not talk about another All-Star player who’s headed to the nation’s capitol. Kristi Toliver, who was the third leading scorer on the champion Los Angeles Sparks, signed a free agent deal with Washington. Toliver has the ability to pour in buckets like she did in 2012 when she averaged 17.5 points per game. She can also distribute when teams are overplaying the shot, as she has shown with her assist averages hanging right around four throughout the last three seasons. Most importantly, however, Toliver brings leadership and a champion’s mentality to a Washington team that has loaded up in hopes of taking down the Sparks and Lynx to win their own ring.
Dallas Wings trade Odyssey Sims to Los Angeles Sparks
So, the Los Angeles Sparks lose their third leading scorer, but they want a chance to repeat. That means it’s time to scoop up another guard as a replacement. A deal with Dallas comes into play, and the Sparks get their guard in Odyssey Sims. She’s not just some ordinary guard either. Sims was the leading scorer and leading distributor for the Wings last season. Oh, it was also quite an off year for Sims too. Her percentages were down from her rookie season, but she also won’t be needed to take as many shots as before. She’ll be teaming up with two league MVP’s in Candace Parker and Nneka Ogwumike, so it seems like Sims will be seeing a little bit more daylight when she goes to knock down a three.
Connecticut, Phoenix, and Indiana’s three-team deal
The Indiana Fever lost their Hall of Famer in Tamika Catchings as she rode off into the sunset of retirement. It’s rebuild time, and a deal bringing in five-time All-Star Candice Dupree is a pretty good jump-starter to that rebuild effort. Dupree’s lowest mark, in terms of points per game, came last season when she put up 11.3 per game. You do have to take into account that she was one of five players averaging double-digits, and two of those players were the likes of Diana Taurasi and Brittney Griner. Now, Dupree gets her own team to lead in Indiana.
Back in Phoenix, the Mercury acquired former WNBA Champion Camille Little, and the draft rights to Jillian Alleyne. Little has made herself into a nice stretch forward as she went from averaging less than one three-point attempt per game to just under three attempts last season. As she shoots around 33% from three, she can also provide a post presence on the glass in the limited role that she has grown into.
Last but not least, the Connecticut Sun acquired the eighth overall pick in the 2017 WNBA Draft, and Lynetta Kizer. Kizer, in her fifth season, averaged 9.6 points and 3.2 rebounds per game with the Indiana Fever. Now, heading into the 2017 season, the Sun add a center and a quality draft pick to their young core of Chiney Ogwumike, Alex Bentley, Kelsey Bone, and Jasmine Thomas.
Danielle Robinson is shipped from San Antonio to Phoenix
Phoenix was a busy team this offseason, and they decided that they needed to go grab another guard who can compliment Taurasi and Griner. So, they shipped out their first round pick, fifth overall, and Isabelle Harrison for Danielle Robinson from the San Antonio Stars. Robinson, a three-time All-Star, missed all of last season as she underwent a successful surgery to repair an injured achilles. Since then, she’s returned to play for Mersin in Turkey. Right now, she’s averaging 11.8 points and 5.2 assists per game, which is right on par with her averages from the past few seasons in the WNBA. If the Mercury want to get out and run on the break, then Robinson is the perfect candidate to lead the charge. Add in a savvy, veteran guard like Taurasi, and they could be a very dynamic duo.