#Fever15 Moments: Trade for Katie DouglasTweet
The Date: February 19, 2008
The Fever made one of the biggest trades in WNBA history when they acquired Katie Douglas from the Connecticut Sun, in exchange for Tamika Whitmore and a first-round pick in the 2008 WNBA Draft. The deal brought Douglas, who starred locally at Perry Meridian and Purdue, back to her hometown.
It was a busy offseason for the Fever and general manager Kelly Krauskopf, who on the same day announced the re-signing of 2007 All-Star Tammy Sutton-Brown. Nine days later, Indiana re-signed perennial All-Star Tamika Catchings for a four-year deal, cementing the core that would lead the Fever to an unprecedented run of success.
At the time of the trade, Douglas was 28 years old and coming off back-to-back All-Star selections. Whitmore was 30, and had averaged 15.5 points per game as an All-Star in 2006, though her averaged had dipped to 10.9 points per contest in 2007.
Though the Fever front office and coaching staff expressed remorse at the time about having to move Whitmore, there was no question in their minds that the acquisition of Douglas was the right move for the franchise.
"Trading for Katie sends a message to our fans that we are serious about challenging for an Eastern Conference title and a WNBA championship," new Fever head coach Lin Dunn said in the press release announcing the trade.
Looking back, there's no question that the trade for Douglas was a tremendous success.
Though the Fever only reached the first round of the playoffs in 2008, they reached the WNBA Finals for the first time in 2009, when Douglas averaged a career-high 17.6 points per game, and both she and Catchings were All-WNBA selections. The Fever returned to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2011, 2012, and 2013.
And of course, Indiana won the WNBA title in 2012, bringing the city of Indianapolis its first professional basketball championship in 39 years. Douglas made huge contributions to that team, ranking second behind Catchings in scoring (16.9 points per game) and leading the team in scoring in of four its first five playoff games before injuring her ankle in the conference finals. Despite her injury, Douglas fought through the pain to dress for the WNBA Finals, and Dunn memorably subbed her in for the finals seconds of Game 4 to allow Douglas to be on the floor when her hometown team won its first championship.
On the other side of the trade, Whitmore averaged 12.6 points per game for Connecticut in 2008, but the Sun lost to New York in the first round of the playoffs and Whitmore only started one more game for the franchise. The Sun used the draft pick they acquired from the Fever (the 12th overall selection) to select UConn point guard Ketia Swanier. Swanier appeared in 25 games (starting six) in 2008 and averaged 1.6 points and 1.0 assists. The Sun waived Swanier the following summer.
February 19, 2008: The day the Fever brought Katie Douglas home, and one of the biggest stepping stones on the path to a championship.
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