Tina Charles, NY Liberty
New York's Tina Charles dribbles during a game for the Liberty. Getty

WNBA Free Agency has been full of surprises. This morning, the league was shaken up with another trade, this time surrounding Tina Charles of the New York Liberty.

Per reports, Charles has been traded to the Washington Mystics in a three-team trade. New York has received three picks in the upcoming WNBA draft: the 12th (from Washington), ninth and 15th picks (from Dallas). In terms of next year’s 2021 draft, the Liberty now has the defending champions second and third-round picks.

“We are extremely excited to bring Tina Charles to the Washington Mystics. It gives us a dynamic new weapon at both ends of the floor. Having coached Tina before in Connecticut, I know what a huge impact she can have on the game every single night. Her ability to score inside and out will make our offense even more dangerous than in the past. Her willingness to share the ball will make it tough for opponents to double team her or Elena (Delle Donne) 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. I also think her competitive fire will be appreciated by her new teammates and she will in turn thrive in our environment. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to coach Tina again.”

Mystics General Manager and Head Coach Mike Thibault

The trade also includes Tayler Hill from Dallas and the Mystics Shatori Walker-Kimbrough both going to the Liberty. The Wings also now have Washington’s first-round pick in 2021 and New York’s second-round pick in 2021.

This Friday the league will be hosting a virtual draft. The Liberty now has four of the top 15 picks including the overall No. 1 pick.

With the addition of Charles, a 6’4″ center the Mystics add to the length of Elena Delle Donne and Emma Messeeman. Charles has been named an All-Star seven times. In 33 games for the Liberty last season, Charles averaged 16.9 points and 7.5 rebounds.

Under her belt, Charles will brings a plethora of accolades including being names the 2012 WNBA MVP, the unanimous Rookie of the Year in 2010. Her honors don’t stop there as Charles has been named to the leagues first-team five times, all-defensive team one time and has helped Team USA bring home two gold medals in 2012 and 2016.

Shatori Walker-Kimbrough, Tina Charles trade
Shatori Walker-Kimbrough leads the break for Washington against Connecticut. Getty

For those who have watched Charles, she has continued to flourish as being a handful to keep off of the glass. She is a workhorse who has a nose for the ball. In fact, she was the fastest in the league to 400, 500, 600 and 700 career rebounds. Even more, the holds the record in the WNBA with most games with 20-points and 20 rebounds (three).

The defending champions addition of Charles might turn out to be key in helping reclaim the throne as champs if this season progresses forward amidst the coronavirus currently halting sports.

New York brings in two young guards who are ready to contibute. Both Walker-Kimbrough and Hill saw limited time last year, but when they played showed their impact. For Walker-Kimbrough, the last three years she has played in 80 games for Washongton, starting in 10 of them. She shot 41.3% from the field and contributed to the Mystics winning the title last summer.

“I also want to thank Shatori Walker-Kimbrough for all the contributions she has made to the Mystics the past three seasons,” added Thibault. “It’s always tough to have to trade a player, especially with the close-knit group that we have. Shatori was an important part of our success the last few years. We wish her well in New York.”

Mystics General Manager and Head Coach Mike Thibault

Unfortunately for Hill, she suffered a season-ending knee injury after only playing four games last year for Dallas; she did start two of those games. Hill knows how to push the tempo of the game and can be an in your face defender. In her career she has averaged 8.9 points per game, 1.7 rebounds and 1.7 assists.

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