Mercury acquire All-Star Tangela Smith
The Phoenix Mercury traded the draft rights to No. 1 overall pick Lindsey Harding to the Minnesota Lynx for All-Star forward/center Tangela Smith, the club announced today.
“Tangela Smith is a player we were interested in from day one,” said Mercury Head Coach Paul Westhead. “She is athletic, experienced and great on both ends of the floor and might be the perfect frontcourt player for my fastbreak system. When this deal materialized today, we knew we had to jump on it.”
The 6-4, 160-pound Smith joins the Mercury’s All-Star backcourt of Diana Taurasi and Cappie Pondexter to give Phoenix three 2006 WNBA All-Stars on its 2007 roster. Smith averaged 13.1 points and 5.3 rebounds to garner All-Star honors last season as a member of the Charlotte Sting. The nine-year WNBA veteran was selected by the Minnesota Lynx with the second pick in the Charlotte dispersal draft on Jan. 8.
Smith owns career averages of 11.9 points and 5.1 rebounds and has played every game in six of the last seven seasons, including starting all 34 games in 2006. The Iowa product is currently playing internationally for Istanbul Universitesi in Turkey, averaging 18.3 points and 9.3 rebounds.
Winners of a franchise-best seven straight to finish 2006, the Phoenix Mercury look to pick up where they left off led by All-Stars Diana Taurasi, Cappie Pondexter and Tangela Smith in the record-shattering offense of head coach Paul Westhead. Under the direction of new general manager Ann Meyers Drysdale, Phoenix opens its 11th WNBA season on Saturday, May 19 at 7:00 p.m. at US Airways Center against the San Antonio Silver Stars.