Liberty trade Charles to Mystics in 3-team deal

Ruben Hill
May 29, 2020

The New York Liberty are sending All-Star Tina Charles to the Washington Mystics as part of a three-team deal, the team announced Wednesday. As the team's 2017 first-round draft pick, she was expected to have a larger role with Kristi Toliver signing with Los Angeles and Leilani Mitchell not expected to garner the same amount of minutes as her predecessor. 9 and 15 picks this year, plus guard Tayler Hill.

Dallas' second-round pick on Friday (15th overall) will also go to NY, while the Wings will obtain the Mystics' first-round pick in 2021 and the Liberty's second-rounder from the same year.

In addition, the Liberty acquired guard Tayler Hill along with the No. 9 and 15 picks in the 2020 WNBA Draft from the Dallas Wings in exchange for the Mystics' 2021 First Round Pick (acquired in Charles deal) and New York's own 2021 Second Round Pick.

The Liberty confirmed the trade in a team statement. "Over the past six seasons, Tina has cemented herself not only in the Liberty record books, but in the hearts of New Yorkers everywhere due to her tireless and selfless work in the community. On behalf of the New York Liberty organistion, I thank Tina and wish her well in Washington".

Charles was selected first overall in the 2010 Draft by the Connecticut Sun.

The 10-year veteran had been with the team since 2014 and had been named to four All-WNBA teams and earned All-Defensive honors twice during her time in NY. Charles also reached four WNBA All-Star Games under the Liberty banner.

Playoff success eluded Charles, 31, in her NY endeavors. In the midst of ownership upheaval, the Liberty went 17-51 over the last two seasons and saw their games shifted from Madison Square Garden to Westchester County Center.

He also praised Ionescu's passing and his vision of the field, which should facilitate the fluid, ball-centered style that the Liberty promises under new head coach Walt Hopkins, who arrived in January for succeed Katie Smith.

The biggest piece changing hands in the massive pre-draft trade is Charles, a Hall of Fame caliber talent that will now set up shop in the paint for a Mystics team fresh off a 2019 WNBA title. Charles and Delle Donne have previously worked together in American Olympic exploits while Thibault supervised the first years of her WNBA career in CT. The Mystics beat CT in five games in last year's finals, lost only guard Kristi Toliver in free agency and appear to be reloaded for another championship run - with Charles, reigning MVP Elena Delle Donne, WNBA Finals MVP Emma Meesseman and center LaToya Sanders in their frontcourt alone. The Oregon guard's teammates Satou Sabally and Ruthy Hebard could likewise be available on Friday.

Walker-Kimbrough joins the Liberty after three years with Washington.

Charles, a 6-4 forward/center, has received All-WNBA honors eight of her 10 seasons as a professional, including the Most Valuable Player in 2012 where she averaged 18.0 points and 10.5 rebounds. She was originally drafted by the Mystics with the sixth overall pick in the 2017 WNBA Draft. The Ohio State product made four appearances, including two starts, for the Wings in 2019 before a knee surgery sidelined her for the remainder of the season.

Kolb left the obvious points to be connected as he spoke of targeting a new face of the franchise with choice # 1 that was "humble and hungry" and "helping to develop the female game", then describing the Iconscu, 22 years old. like "ready to take responsibility for wearing women's basketball".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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