Wings trade Odyssey Sims to Sparks for No. 4 pick
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By DOUG FEINBERG
NEW YORK (AP) Odyssey Sims is going to Los Angeles.
The Dallas Wings traded Sims to the Sparks for the No. 4 pick in the upcoming WNBA draft on Friday. The Sparks also receive the 11th pick in the draft, which Los Angeles had traded to Dallas before last season.
"Odyssey brings a lot to the table as a player. She is capable of playing both the 1 and 2 position," said Sparks executive vice president and general manager Penny Toler. "She is a great defender and fierce competitor that can score attacking the basket, shooting from the outside, or dishing out assists to her teammates."
Los Angeles also signed stars Candace Parker, Nneka Ogwumike and Jantel Lavender to contract extensions this week.
"We've locked up some of our key people for long-term contracts and they are right in their primes," Sparks coach Brian Agler said. "We have a strong nucleus and understand how competitive our league is. We are trying to get better day by day and keep this team together."
Sims was the team's leading scorer last season, averaging 14 points while starting 30 of 34 games for the Wings, who were 11-23. She was the second overall pick by the Tulsa Shock in the 2014 draft before they moved to Dallas in 2016.
The defending champion Sparks traded with the Connecticut Sun to acquire the fourth pick and Chelsea Gray last season. Los Angeles lost guard Kristi Toliver in free agency to the Washington Mystics, opening up a potential need for Sims.
Agler was happy to get back the pick as well.
"We feel like in this draft, the way we evaluated it, we might in all honesty get as good a player as No. 4," he said. "There's some good players coming out; if some underclassmen make that decision to come out as well, it will make it even stronger. We feel like we still can acquire a player at No. 11 to make our roster."
Dallas now has the third, fourth and 10th pick in the first round of the upcoming draft. The Wings also have the 23rd and 26th pick as well.
"This deal provides us with the opportunity to add another high pick in what we consider a strong draft class, particularly at the top of the draft board," Wings GM Greg Bibb said. "Odyssey is a talented player whose contributions to the organization are greatly appreciated; however, you must deliver value to receive value in return. After evaluating numerous scenarios, this deal gives us the best opportunity to achieve our goals for the upcoming season, which include a return to the playoffs and the chance to compete for a WNBA championship."
Bibb said the Wings may not be done dealing.
"We have two months until the draft and I think it would be short-sighted for me that we wouldn't continue to explore any all opportunity," he said.
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Updated February 17, 2017