WNBA: Sparks adds Carter from the Dream

Shooting guard Chennedy Carter, the fourth pick in the 2020 WNBA draft, is headed to the Los Angeles Sparks in a trade with the Atlanta Dream, the teams announced Saturday.

The Sparks also receive the rights to Li Yueru, a player from China who was drafted into the Dream in 2019 but has yet to play in the WNBA. Atlanta receives shooting guard Erica Wheeler, a 2022 second-round pick (No. 15) and a 2023 first-round pick.

In her first year out of Texas A&M, Carter averaged 17.4 points, 3.4 assists and 2.3 rebounds per game in 2020, earning a spot on the WNBA All-Rookie team. Last season, Carter played in just 11 games, averaging 14.2 PPG. She scored just two points in the Dream’s loss to the Las Vegas Aces on July 4 and was then suspended indefinitely by the team the next day for “conduct detrimental to the team.” She did not return for the rest of the campaign.

Dream general manager Dan Padover, who took over the reins in Atlanta in October after previously working in Las Vegas, opted to trade Carter, giving him a fresh start.

“Cennedy Carter has the skills to be an All-WNBA talent,” Sparks coach and general manager Derek Fisher said. “She can score at all three levels and has a tenacious approach to the game. At just 23 years old, we’re excited about her potential to be a star for many years to come.”

Yueru is a 6-foot-7 center who averaged 14.8 points and 8.3 rebounds and shot 78.6% on field goals for China at the Tokyo Olympics last summer. She has been teammates overseas with Sparks star Nneka Ogwumike.

Wheeler, who turns 31 in May, signed undrafted from Rutgers but has played six seasons in the WNBA. She started with Atlanta in 2015, and finished that season with New York. So Wheeler went from 2016 to 2019 with the Indiana Fever, she didn’t play in the WNBA in 2020 and was with the Sparks last season, when she averaged 13.6 points and 4.8 assists.

“Erica is a versatile shooting guard in the prime of her career, and we think she’s going to be a perfect fit in Atlanta,” Padover said. “These two selections [de sorteo] They will be key assets for us as we aim to rebuild this team into a title contender. This trade positions us right where we want to be in 2022 and beyond.”

Wheeler is the only player not selected in the lottery to win the WNBA All-Star Game MVP award; she had 25 points with seven 3-pointers and seven assists in the 2019 All-Star Game.

“Throughout Erica’s career she has had to fight hard to get to where she is today,” said Dream coach Tanisha Wright. “And we can’t wait for her to bring that same determination and tenacity to the Dream. Erica gives us someone who can push the pace and be solid in creating plays for her team.”

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WNBA: Sparks adds Carter from the Dream