Elaine Powell will play for another WNBA team in 2006.
Allen Einstein (NBEA/Getty)
“When you have as deep and talented a roster as we do, you know you’re going to lose a good player,” said Shock Head Coach Bill Laimbeer. “Elaine was a key component to our championship season and our three-year run in the playoffs, and we’re going to have to find a way to replace her contributions moving forward. Right away, she gives the Sky a legitimate starter at the point, which is a tough position to fill in our league.”
Powell had been with the Shock since being acquired, along with a first-round draft pick, in a July 8, 2002 trade that sent Wendy Palmer and Detroit’s second-round pick to the Orlando Miracle. She averaged 9.9 points on 44.6 percent shooting from the field in 16 games that season as Detroit went 8-8 following a 1-15 start to the year. The following season, Powell helped the Shock to the WNBA Championship by averaging 9.0 points and 3.9 assists while connecting on 45.1 percent of her field goal attempts.
Powell was originally drafted by the Portland Power of the American Basketball League (ABL) where she was a third round selection (No. 20 overall) in the 1997 ABL Draft. She averaged 11.8 points, 3.8 assists, 3.8 rebounds and 1.93 steals in one-plus seasons with the Power before the ABL folded on December 22, 1998. The Orlando Miracle selected Powell in the fourth round (No. 50 overall) of the 1999 WNBA Draft.
In her three-plus seasons in Detroit, Powell averaged 6.9 points, 3.7 assists, 3.1 rebounds and 1.24 steals while making 43.1 percent of her field goal attempts and 29.5 percent of her three-pointers. For her career, the seven-year WNBA veteran has averaged 6.8 points and 3.1 assists while making 41.7 percent of her field goal attempts and 33.1 percent of her three-pointers.
Powell is now the third player that the Shock have lost to an Expansion Draft. Previous selections came during the Expansion Draft prior to the 2000 WNBA Season in which Sandy Brondello was selected in the second round (No. 8 overall) by the Indiana Fever and the Miami Sol chose Lesley Brown in the fifth round (No. 19 overall). Following the Expansion Draft, the Fever traded Brondello to the Miami Sol in exchange for Stephanie McCarty. The Seattle Storm and Portland Fire also participated in that Expansion Draft.
The Shock, and 1998 expansion sister Washington were exempt from the Expansion Draft prior to the 1999 season, which saw Minnesota and Orlando join the WNBA.
Detroit’s own Expansion Draft selections prior to the 1998 WNBA Season were Rhonda Blades (New York), Tajama Abraham (Sacramento), Tara Williams (Phoenix) and Lynette Woodard (Cleveland).