Liberty trade ex-MVP Charles to Mystics


The New York Liberty traded seven-time All-Star Tina Charles to the Washington Mystics as part of a three-team deal on Wednesday.

In exchange, the Liberty acquired a haul of draft picks — the 12th overall selection in the 2020 WNBA Draft and selections in the 2021 first, second and third rounds — plus guard Shatori Walker-Kimbrough from the Mystics.

The Liberty sent the 2021 first-round pick acquired from the Mystics and their own 2021 second-round selection to the Dallas Wings for guard Tayler Hill and the No. 9 and 15 overall picks in this year’s draft.

The deals give the Liberty four of the first 15 picks in the WNBA draft, which is scheduled for Friday. They also have the No. 1 selection and are expected to take record-setting Oregon guard Sabrina Ionescu.

“Tina Charles is a name that will forever be synonymous with New York basketball,” said Jonathan Kolb, the Liberty general manager. “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 organization I thank Tina and wish her well in Washington.”

With the Mystics, the 6-foot-4 Charles will team with six-time All-Star Elena Delle Donne to form a formidable front court. The Mystics are the reigning WNBA champions.

“Her ability to score inside and out will make our offense even more dangerous than in the past,” Mystics general manager and coach Mike Thibault said of Charles. “Her willingness to share the ball will make it tough for opponents to double team her or Elena or Emma (Meesseman) or any of our other scorers. She is one of the best rebounders in the history of the league and that is an area that we have been looking to improve going into the upcoming season.”

Charles averaged 16.9 points and 7.5 rebounds in 33 games with the Liberty last season, the sixth consecutive season she has appeared in 30 or more games. She was the league Most Valuable Player in 2012, the Rookie of the Year in 2010, a five-time First Team All-WNBA selection and the winner of two Olympic gold medals.

A product of UConn, Charles, now 31, was the No. 1 overall pick of the Connecticut Sun in 2010. In 330 career games, she has career averages of 18.1 points, 9.5 rebounds and 2.3 assists.

Walker-Kimbrough appeared in 80 games (10 starts) over the past three years for the Mystics and has career averages of 5.2 points and 1.2 rebounds per game. She was the No. 6 overall pick in the 2017 draft.

—Field Level Media