In 2011, the Mystics sent Katie Smith west to Seattle after only one season in the nation’s capital. The veteran was 36, scheduled to turn 37 during the upcoming campaign, and averaged 9.5 points and 2.6 assists per game in the previous season.
The Storm paid for Smith and Washington’s Jacinta Monroe directly with Jasmine Thomas – a native of the Washington area and the team’s first rounder in 2011 – and their 2012 first-round pick. Additionally, Washington received the Indiana Fever’s 2012 third-round selection. The Fever gained Seattle’s Erin Phillips and a 2012 third-round pick while Indiana sent back a 2013 second-round selection.
TO SEATTLE: Katie Smith (WAS), Jacinta Monroe (WAS), 2012 Second Round Pick (IND)
TO WASHINGTON: Jasmine Thomas (SEA), 2012 First Round Pick (SEA), 2012 Third Round Pick (IND)
TO INDIANA: Erin Phillips (SEA), 2012 Third Round Pick (SEA)
“Smith was in position to do what she most wanted as she’s in the twilight time of her basketball career. And while it took some negotiating and flexibility from all parties to get this deal done, Smith’s relocation via trade to Seattle makes good sense for her and the Storm.” – Mechelle Voepel, espnW.com
“Smith, a 12-year veteran who is the WNBA’s third all-time leading scorer, had voiced interest in playing in Seattle since 2010. She has won championships with Storm coach Brian Agler (ABL), assistant coach Nancy Darsch (Ohio State) and Swin Cash (WNBA) and Olympic gold with Sue Bird and Cash.” – Jayda Evans, Seattle Times
“Sue Bird had a simple but consistent request in her exit interviews with Storm head coach Brian Agler, who doubles as the team’s director of player personnel.
‘I think for the last five years,’ said Bird, ‘in every extra interview, I’ve been asked, ‘What do you think we need?’ and I’ve answered ‘Katie Smith.”
Agler needed no convincing. Having coached Smith with both the ABL’s Columbus Quest and the WNBA’s Minnesota Lynx, Agler hoped for a reunion in Seattle, but the timing was never right until this past offseason. Following one season with the Washington Mystics, during which Washington won a franchise-record 22 games and had the Eastern Conference’s best record, Smith sought to continue her career with the Storm. After some haggling between Agler and the Mystics, who maintained Smith’s rights, a sign-and-trade deal was struck and Bird’s wish was answered. Smith was coming to Seattle.” – Kevin Pelton, StormBasketball.com
“We’ve been friends forever. I think a lot of teams have wanted Katie Smith. Her desires at this point in her career were this type of situation. There are a lot of familiar faces for her here in Seattle.” – Brian Agler
“I’m excited we got it done and am real appreciative of Washington for helping me out. I see myself fitting in and really feeling comfortable.” – Katie Smith
“Any sort of trade demand that goes public will erode whatever leverage a team has in negotiating a deal, but Katie Smith’s specific request to be sent to the Seattle Storm had to make things particularly difficult for the Washington Mystics.
“Not only were the Storm a team with little incentive to make any trade involving significant role players as the reigning WNBA champions, but they would also have to dump salary to even add a veteran contract under the salary cap. One might have easily though (sic) that the Mystics would be lucky just to not be on the receiving end of a salary dump.
“So given the circumstances, the Mystics did pretty well in trading Smith and Jacinta Monroe to the Seattle Storm and getting rookie Jasmine Thomas along with Seattle’s 2012 first round pick and the Indiana Fever’s third round pick in the three-way trade yesterday: they filled a need, didn’t get saddled with unnecessary salary, and managed to add a first round pick after giving one up in the Nicky Anosike trade earlier this off-season …
“However, although there’s little doubt that they handled a challenging situation pretty well, they obviously gave up a lot for an unproven rookie.” – Nate P, Swish Appeal
“It is kind of a new beginning. Every year after the season, you evaluate where you are. You see how things are playing out: body, mind, and spirit. I was pretty sure all along I was going to play again this season, and I’ve always been a fan of Seattle in the sense of the city. It’s been one of my favorite places to play in and visit.” – Smith
“Katie is a proven winner. She’s hard-nosed, she’s going to get down and dirty and that was part of the reason why we got her when we were in Detroit. She brings not only veteran leadership but also that aggressive style of play.” – Swin Cash
“Smith, a three-time Olympian, was signed to a one-year deal. She has been a starter her entire professional career, but in Seattle will be a reserve who can play anywhere on the perimeter, according to Agler. Smith, a 5-foot-11 guard, averaged 9.5 points while helping the Mystics win the Eastern Conference regular-season title last summer …
“Agler, also the Storm’s director of personnel, said serious talks began last winter. With the Storm nearing the $852,000 salary cap, he needed a third team to work with Washington in a deal. Mystics coach and general manager Trudi Lacey wanted (Jasmine) Thomas, a Duke standout who could fill her team’s backcourt voids.” – Evans
“After their most successful season and winning the Eastern Conference for the first time, it’s hard to believe the Mystics needed much of a makeover. But things still went a little haywire last fall. General manager Angela Taylor and coach Julie Plank departed, and Trudi Lacey came in to fill both roles.
Subsequently, (Lindsey) Harding let the organization know she didn’t want to return. Her former Duke and Mystics teammate Monique Currie tore her ACL and will miss this season. And another ex-Blue Devil, Alana Beard, is back for the Mystics after missing last season with an ankle injury, but there are questions about whether she’ll really be at 100 percent this summer.” – Voepel
“I am very pleased to have Jasmine (Thomas) join the Washington Mystics organization. She is an athletic point guard who can pressure the ball and offensively can create her own shot. She is the ultimate team player and she will complement an already talented back court. We look forward to an exciting 2011 season.” – Mystics head coach Trudi Lacey
“The Storm needed to ship out a veteran contract to make this deal work and Indiana was clearly brought in as a facilitator. However, where the trade becomes interesting is that the Fever turned the ball over the second most often in the league last season at a percent of around 21%. Their top two most efficient distributors were wing players (Katie Douglas leading with a pure point rating of 0.69 and Tamika Catchings following with a rating of -0.28) and they lost their third most efficient distributor to free agency (Tully Bevilaqua -0.60).
“Given that this wasn’t the most efficient ball handling team and was also second to last in points in the paint (28.18) in the league – meaning they rely heavily on perimeter players to score – adding a guard to training camp for what may well amount to nothing is also a no-lose situation for them … (Erin) Phillips has a real chance in training camp to win a spot on the roster and significant playing time if she’s able to distribute the ball efficiently …
“Considering what little they gave up for Phillips, the Fever clearly had nothing to lose by jumping in and helping to facilitate this trade.
“And just like their trading partners, it probably made some key training camp battles more competitive.” – Nate P
“The opportunity to acquire Erin Phillips is significant for our team. She is a strong combo guard who brings quality depth to our point guard and off-guard positions. She is a young but experienced player in the WNBA and internationally. I am thrilled to be adding her to our backcourt.” – Fever COO and GM Kelly Krauskopf
Katie Smith played in Seattle for two seasons, then signed with the New York Liberty in 2013 for the last campaign of her playing career. She started three games and appeared in 34 for the Storm in 2011, averaging 7.5 points and 2.0 assists per contest as the team lost in the Western Conference Semifinals to the Phoenix Mercury, 2-1. In 2012, Smith started 31 of 34 games and posted 6.7 points and 2.1 dimes each outing. Seattle would again lose in the Western Conference Semifinals, this time to the Minnesota Lynx, 2-1. Jacinta Monroe never played a game for the Storm. She was released, then signed with the Tulsa Shock on June 16, 2011. Her WNBA career concluded at the end of the season.
Erin Phillips spent three years with the Fever from 2011-13, posting averages of 8.6 points and 2.4 assists per night in 2011, then 6.1 and 5.9 points per game in 2012 and 2013, respectively. Indiana traded her to the Mercury prior to the 2014 season. The team won the WNBA champion in her second season, with Eastern Conference Finals defeats in 2011 and 2013.
Jasmine Thomas was a Mystics for two seasons before Washington traded her and the No. 13 overall pick in the 2013 WNBA Draft to the Atlanta Dream for the No. 7 and No. 19 selections in the draft. She scored 6.4 and 8.2 points per game in 2011 and 2012, respectively, while in D.C., starting in 29 of the 68 games she appeared in. The Mystics failed to quality for the postseason in both of her campaigns with the organization.