WNBA Draft 2019 presented by State Farm is less than three weeks away, and questions continue to swirl around what the Aces will do with the number one pick. Will they draft a big? Will they draft a guard? Will they trade the pick before the draft? What about after the draft?
We don’t know.
Well, maybe we do, but we’ve been sworn to secrecy.
In the meantime, we thought it would be interesting to take a look back at the top five trades in Bill Laimbeer’s storied WNBA career. He has been in the middle of quite a few of them, earning the nickname “Trader Bill” from the WNBA diehards who post on the rebkell message boards.
Today we take a look at New York’s August 14, 2014 acquisition of Tina Charles.
April 14, 2014
New York Liberty acquires Tina Charles
The Connecticut Sun made Tina Charles the first overall pick of the 2010 WNBA Draft after she won two NCAA Championships with the UConn Huskies. As a rookie, she set the league record for rebounds in a season, as well as point-rebound double-doubles, en route to being named WNBA Rookie of the Year.
Charles followed that two years later with the 2012 WNBA Most Valuable Player Award, leading the W in double-doubles, and becoming the fastest player in league history to reach 1,000 rebounds.
Although the Sun made the playoffs in 2011 and 2012, the 2013 squad went 10-24. That led to speculation prior to the 2014 WNBA Draft that the Sun might be in the market to trade Charles to pick up additional draft picks.
The Sun pulled the trigger on a trade with the New York Liberty on April 14 which sent Charles to her native New York in exchange for the Liberty’s first round pick in 2014 and 2015, along with center Kelsey Bone.
One season later, Charles led New York to the top record in the Eastern Conference at 23-11, and the team’s first trip to the postseason since 2012. The Liberty posted the best record in the East in 2016 and 2017 as well.
Since the trade, Charles has added four All-Star nods, four All-WNBA honors, and two All-Defensive Team accolades to her résumé, and posted her three best scoring seasons.
In 2016, she led the league in scoring and rebounding, and even added a three-point shot to her repetioire connecting on 33.8 percent of her shots from beyond the arc over the last three seasons.