The Minnesota Lynx signed veteran guard Tan White and traded guard Sugar Rodgers to New York Wednesday.
The 5-7, 31-year-old White is a guard similar to current Lynx backup Monica Wright in style. The second overall pick by Indiana in 2005, White has career averages of 8.5 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.9 assists over nine seasons. Last season, her fifth with Connecticut, she averaged 9.2 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.0 assists.
With her experience, White could work herself into a regular part of coach Cheryl Reeve’s rotation. Indeed, the Lynx could use Maya Moore more in the power forward position in order to get more minutes for Wright and White.
“We are excited to welcome Tan to the Minnesota Lynx organization,” said Lynx executive vice presdient Roger Griffith. “Tan is a veteran of this league and will add depth and leadership to our backcourt.”
Rodgers, meanwhile was part of a sign-and-trade deal with the Liberty, a trade that gave the Lynx the right to trade third-round picks with the Liberty in next year’s draft.
Rodgers was Minnesota’s second-round pick (14th overall) in the 2013 draft. She appeared in 28 games during her rookie season, averaging 1.9 points and 1.4 rebounds and 7.6 minutes per game.
Rodgers would have struggled to make the Lynx for a second season; the trade to New York will give her a better chance of starting the WNBA season on a roster.
This would appear to set the Lynx roster for training camp, which begins April 27.
With perhaps a couple of would-be draftees already off the board, the Lynx opted for Duke shooting guard TriciaListon with the 12th overall pick in the WNBA draft. Liston was the second of two straight Duke players taken; point guard Chelsea Gray was taken by Connecticut with the 11th overall pick.
Liston is 6-1, can play both shooting guard and some small forward. A third-team all-America pick, Liston was one of only two players in the country to shoot better than 50 percent from the field, better than 45 percent from three-point range and 85 percent or better on free throws. She shot 52.5, 45.9 and 85.2, respectively, in those areas
Her toughness and her ability to play some forward would seem to set her up to compete for the spot held by Rachel Jarry last season.
West Virginia center Asya Bussie was the 15th overall pick. A defensive specialist, Bussie came back from an ACL injury that kept her out of the 2012-13 season to average 12.9 points and 7.8 rebounds with 71 blocked shots as a senior this past year.
At No. 24 the Lynx took Vanderbilt guard Christina Foggie, who finished her college career as the most prolific three-point shooter in school history.
As expected, Brazilian center Damiris Dantas, a first-round draft pick by the Minnesota Lynx in 2012, has been signed by the team.
“We are looking forward to having Damiris in training camp,” Lynx executive vice president Roger Griffith said. “Damiris has proven to be a difference maker in Brazil and her list of accomplishments at such a young age is impressive.”
Dantas, 21, currently plays for Americana in the Brazilian League, where she has appeared in 15 games, averaging 12.1 points and 6.5 rebounds per game. She was a part of the Brazilian team that won a gold medal at the 2011 FIBA Americas Championship. She played for Brazil in the 2012 Olympics in London and helped lead Brazil to a bronze medal in the 2013 FIBA Americas Championship.
The Lynx are looking to find a backup to starting center Janel McCarville. Last year’s backup, Amber Harris, is injured. The Lynx are also expected to bring Waltiea Rolle – the former North Carolina center drafted in the third round last season – to camp.
The WNBA and its players signed a new collective bargaining agreement Friday. But don’t look for anything in the new deal to fundamentally change the way the Minnesota Lynx do business.
For example? The new CBA allows teams to add a 12th player to their roster.
“We only play so many players anyway,” said Lynx executive vice president Roger Griffith. “And one thing we’ve had that has helped us with the 11-player roster was the guys practice squad we have. … We may or may not use that [new roster spot].”
Meanwhile, here are a couple other tidbits I got from Griffith tonight:
--Wolves backup center Amber Harris is injured and her status is in question for the upcoming season. So the Wolves are planning on bringing in two previously-drafted players to compete for a spot on the roster this summer.
Damiris Dantas is a 6-4 Brazilian center the Wolves drafted with the second of two first-round draft picks in 2012. Waltiea Rolle is a 6-6 native of the Bahamas who played college ball at North Carolina. The Wolves drafted her in the third round last summer.
--Teams can start negotiating with free agents on the 16th of this month, and can start signing them on the 20th. The big free agent on Minnesota’s agenda, of course, is center Janel McCarville, who played such a big role in the team’s success last season. Griffith said he anticipated no problems getting McCarville re-signed. “It was a situation that was good for both parties,” Griffith said.
That’s about it for now. Have a good weekend.
Lynx star Maya Moore has added another championship to her long list by leading Shanxi Xing Rui to its second straight Women's Chinese Basketball Association title.
Moore averaged 43.3 points (on 60.2 percent shooting), 9.0 rebounds, 5.75 steals and 4.3 assists per game in the finals against Beijing. She can now add this championship to the two WNBA titles she has won with the Lynx, her Olympic Gold Medal, here two NCAA championships won while at Connecticut and her three high school championships.
Quite a resume.