Lynx Acquire Forward LaToya Thomas
The Minnesota Lynx today announced that the team has acquired forward LaToya Thomas from the Detroit Shock in exchange for guard Shay Murphy.
"While we are very thankful for all that Shay has done for the Minnesota Lynx organization, we could not pass up the opportunity to acquire a player like LaToya Thomas," said Lynx General Manager and COO Roger Griffith. "We are bringing in the top overall pick in the 2003 WNBA Draft, and we feel that LaToya can be a big contributor to this team as we strive to return to the playoffs this season. We also believe that Shay can be a solid player in the WNBA, and we really wanted to provide her with an opportunity to show that. She is headed to a great situation in Detroit where she will have the chance to contribute and play."
With the trade, the Lynx become the first WNBA team with three No. 1 overall draft selections on one roster. This marks the third time Thomas has been teammates with another No. 1 overall draft choice. She played with Margo Dydek in San Antonio (2004) and briefly with Chamique Holdsclaw last summer in Los Angeles. The only other team with two No. 1 picks is Seattle (Lauren Jackson/Sue Bird, 2002-08).
In her sixth season out of Mississippi State, Thomas was drafted with the first overall pick by the Cleveland Rockers in the 2003 WNBA Draft. Entering 2008, Thomas held career averages of 10.4 points and 3.9 rebounds in 24.4 minutes per game. Her best season came in 2004 with the San Antonio Silver Stars when she averaged 14.2 points and 4.5 rebounds in 31.1 minutes per game.
Thomas was acquired by Detroit along with the 18th overall pick in the 2008 WNBA Draft during the Expansion Draft in a trade with the Atlanta Dream in exchange for Ivory Latta. With the Shock, Thomas averaged 1.1 points, 0.7 rebounds and 5.7 minutes in seven appearances in this season. Minnesota is the fifth team that Thomas has played for in six seasons, including Cleveland (2003), San Antonio (2004-2006), Los Angeles (2007), and Detroit (2008).
Murphy was drafted by Minnesota out of the University of Southern California in the second round (15th overall) of the 2007 WNBA Draft. In her rookie season, she collected 5.2 points and 3.3 rebounds per game while seeing action in 32 games off the bench. In her only two games with the Lynx in 2008, she played five minutes off the bench, tallying two points and two rebounds.