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New York Liberty trade Tina Charles to Washington Mystics

The former UConn star was looking to move on from New York.

Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

After simmering tensions below the surface, Tina Charles is finally on her way out of New York. On Wednesday, the Liberty traded the seven-time All-Star and former MVP to the Washington Mystics as part of a three-team blockbuster deal.

In exchange for Charles, New York gets the Mystics’ No. 12 overall pick in Friday’s draft, their second and third round picks in 2021 and Shatori Walker-Kimbrough. The Dallas Wings also gave the Liberty Tayler Hill along with the ninth and 15th picks in this year’s draft for the Mystics’ first rounder and Liberty’s second rounder in the 2021 draft.

The trade reunites Charles with Mike Thibault, who drafted the former UConn star No. 1 overall back in 2010 when he was with the Connecticut Sun. The two spent four years together from 2010-14 when Charles made two All Star games and won the WNBA MVP in 2012.

“Having coached Tina before in Connecticut, I know what a huge impact she can have on the game every single night,” Thibault said in a press release. “I also think her competitive fire will be appreciated by her new teammates and she will in turn thrive in our environment. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to coach Tina again.”

The Mystics are the reigning WNBA Champions and were already loaded with 2019 league MVP Elena Delle-Donne and Finals MVP Emma Meesseman before adding Charles.

“Her ability to score inside and out will make our offense even more dangerous than in the past,” Thibault said. “Her willingness to share the ball will make it tough for opponents to double team her or Elena (Delle Donne) or Emma (Meesseman) or any of our other scorers. She is one of the best rebounders in the history of the league and that is an area that we have been looking to improve going into the upcoming season.”

Now, UConn is represented on nine of the W’s 12 teams, with the Indiana Fever, Las Vegas Aces and Los Angeles Sparks as the only teams without a former Husky.

After the trade, here’s the updated draft order for Friday night:

  1. New York Liberty
  2. Dallas Wings
  3. Indiana Fever
  4. Atlanta Dream
  5. Dallas Wings
  6. Minnesota Lynx
  7. Dallas Wings
  8. Chicago Sky
  9. New York Liberty
  10. Phoenix Mercury
  11. Seattle Storm
  12. New York Liberty