07/27 16:43 CDT Sky trade Sylvia Fowles to Lynx as part of 3-team deal
Sky trade Sylvia Fowles to Lynx as part of 3-team deal
By DOUG FEINBERG
AP Basketball Writer
Sylvia Fowles only wanted to play for one team this season --- the Minnesota
Lynx. The Chicago Sky finally were able to make it happen.
After sitting out the first half of the year, Fowles was traded to the Lynx on
Monday as part of a three-team deal.
"Words can't describe how excited I am to be a part of the Minnesota Lynx
family," Fowles wrote in an email to The Associated Press. "I'm also a bit
nervous, like the first day of school. They have a very strong culture and I am
anxious to join the team and start contributing."
The star center will be reunited with Olympic teammates Maya Moore, Lindsay
Whalen and Seimone Augustus --- who also played with Fowles at LSU. That gives
Minnesota (12-4), which is already in first in the Western Conference, an
unmatched quartet of Olympians.
"It would be a disappointment to have that many Olympians and not win a
championship," Augustus said. "But one day at a time. It's almost like we're
starting over. It's like training camp again with the new additions we have.
She'll get a nice workout in tomorrow and then Wednesday it's go time."
Fowles said in May that she just was looking for a change of scenery when asked
why she was willing to leave Chicago, which made the WNBA Finals last season
for the first time in franchise history.
"In my conversation with her, I think there were three reasons, Lindsay,
Seimone and Maya," Minnesota coach Cheryl Reeve said. "People want to play with
The Sky acquired Erika De Souza from Atlanta and also gave the Lynx their
second-round pick in next year's draft. The Dream received Damiris Dantas,
Reshanda Gray and Minnesota's first-round pick next season. It's arguably one
of the biggest trades in the middle of the season in league history.
Fowles said she has been staying in shape and spent time working on the bike
"It will take time to adjust to game speed and learn the system, but I'm
committed to doing whatever I have to to contribute as quickly as possible,"
The two-time Olympian is averaging 15.7 points, 9.8 rebounds and 2 blocks for
her career. She also provides another scoring option for the Lynx, who are
without Augustus most likely until mid-August with a knee injury. Whalen hurt
her eye last week, ending her streak of 106 straight starts. Both players
missed the All-Star Game on Saturday, but Whalen said she'll play Wednesday
when the Lynx host the Los Angeles Sparks.
The Lynx traded injured guard Monica Wright to the Seattle Storm last week for
Chicago (11-6) has gotten along fine without Fowles, sitting in second place in
the Eastern Conference. De Souza, who is an unrestricted free agent at the end
of the season, is averaging 8.6 points and 7.5 rebounds this year for the
Dream. The Brazilian center spent her last eight years in Atlanta.
"Erika's a player that I liked her since I played against her when she was in
Spain," Sky coach and general manager Pokey Chatman said. "Erika's been in the
system that's fast paced, lots of transition so she'll fit in well with us. "
Chatman said that trade talks had been ongoing for a few weeks and finally
everything came together for the three-team trade. She wasn't sure if De Souza
would be in Phoenix for the Sky's game against the Mercury on Tuesday night.
"We're working on that, don't know for sure yet," she said.
Atlanta (7-10) is last in the Eastern Conference but only five games out of
first. In acquiring Gray, it gets a player who was selected 16th in the April
"Reshanda Gray is a very good young player in this league," Dream coach Michael
Cooper said. "She is a tough player who competes on the boards at both the
offensive and defensive ends of the floor."
AP Basketball Writer Jon Krawczynski in Minneapolis contributed to this story.
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