On Wednesday, Natasha Howard was one of the many pieces moved around in a massive five-team trade that brought a major reshuffle to the WNBA.
The Seattle Storm shipped out Natasha Howard, the 2019 Defensive Player of the Year, to the New York Liberty as part of the deals, while the Dallas Wings procured the No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 WNBA Draft, giving the team the No. 1, No. 2, No. 5, No. 7, and No. 13 overall selections. That makes seven first-round picks for the Wings in two drafts.
Plenty of other meaningful players and assets on top of Natasha Howard exchanged hands. Sami Whitcomb was added to the Liberty, Kia Nurse and Megan Walker now play for the Phoenix Mercury, and Katie Lou Samuelson and Mikiah Herbert Harrigan are now with the Storm, plus they gain the rights to Stephanie Talbot. Several draft picks were also swapped in the megadeal.
Almost half the league was involved in this blockbuster trade in some capacity, and they all have their different reasons for getting in on the action. With the wide scope of this deal, plus the immense amount of talent moving teams through free agency this winter, the landscape in the WNBA in 2021 and beyond could look much different.
Now for some other news from across the sport this week:
Nothing But News: Feb. 9-15, 2021
Renee Montgomery announced her retirement from the WNBA, ending her 11-year career in the league.
Anthony Davis did not return for the second half in the Lakers’ game against the Denver Nuggets on Sunday after straining his right Achilles. The same injury held him out of two of his team’s last three games.
Injuries are also harming the other team in Los Angeles. Kawhi Leonard didn’t play for the Clippers against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday, sidelined with his teammate Paul George who has now missed five games because of a right foot injury.
The NBA G League’s season began Wednesday in a bubble in Orlando. It features just 15 regular season games for each team over the course of 25 days, with a single-elimination, eight-team playoff beginning March 8 and ending March 11.
More movement occurred on the WNBA free agency front, including former No. 2 overall pick Amanda Zahui B signing with the Los Angeles Sparks, Riquna Williams joining the Las Vegas Aces and more.
John Feinstein has reported that there that the Men’s NIT intends to power on this season, inviting 16 teams to come to New York for the event.
Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic reported Karl-Anthony Towns’s concerned response to his team going ahead with its game against Charlotte despite multiple positive COVID-19 tests among Hornets personnel, continuing the conversation of the benefits and costs of the NBA’s approach to the 2021 campaign.
Get Caught Up on NBN Content!
Here is a recap of some of our content from the last week:
WNBA Free Agency Tracker 2021
Stay up to date with what’s going on with this wild WNBA offseason through our 2021 WNBA free agency tracker, updated weekly.
Gonzaga vs Baylor – Who Reigns Supreme?
Gonzaga and Baylor have been dominant over the rest of Division I men’s basketball all season long. There is only a month to go before March Madness. You decide, category by category, who reigns supreme: the Zags or Bears?
Tim Miles Glasses Amputated After Freak Fall
A real touching one here: Ray Torts came hard with the scoops this week, scooping up some inside info on Tim Miles having his glasses amputated following a freak fall that broke his eyewear in four places.
Bracketology 2021: Predicting the NCAA Tournament (Feb. 12, 2021)
The fourth installment in our Bracketology 2021 series was released Friday, including all games played through Thursday, Feb. 11.