Fever Acquire Five-Time All-Star Dupree; Kizer to Sun, Little and Alleyne to Mercury
Indiana Fever Release
INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Fever have acquired five-time WNBA All-Star Candice Dupree in a three-team trade involving the Phoenix Mercury and Connecticut Sun, as announced by Fever President and General Manager Kelly Krauskopf. From the Mercury, Indiana receives Dupree and a second-round draft pick (No. 17 overall) in the 2017 WNBA Draft. Indiana sends Lynetta Kizer and the Fever’s first-round draft pick (No. 8 overall) to Connecticut. Capping the transaction, Connecticut trades Camille Little and Jillian Alleyne to Phoenix.
Dupree is a 6-2 forward who has played 32 or more games in 10 of her 11 WNBA seasons. In all, Dupree has started 343 of 347 games since her arrival in the league in 2006. She boasts career averages of 14.7 points and 6.9 rebounds per game, spending the past seven seasons with the Mercury. Drafted by Chicago in 2006, she started all but one contest with the Sky through four seasons before being dealt to Phoenix in a three-team trade on March 30, 2010.
The centerpiece of the three-team deal, Dupree starred at Temple under coach Dawn Staley prior to arriving in the WNBA and being named to the league’s All-Rookie Team. She ranks 11th among all-time rebounders (2,378) in the WNBA and is the league’s 15th-leading career scorer (5,107). She has averaged double-figure scoring through each of 11 seasons, and started every game of the Mercury’s championship season of 2014. She shot 54 percent from the floor while averaging 11.3 points and 5.3 rebounds during 32 games in 2016.
She is regarded as an active, athletic rebounder and defender, boasting 60 career double-doubles including a franchise-record 32 career double-doubles with Phoenix. Defensively, she averages just shy of one steal (0.9) and one blocked shot (0.7) per game in her WNBA career, and ranks 10th among WNBA career shot blockers. Offensively, she averages 50.3 percent shooting in her career, including five seasons among the WNBA’s top ten in percentage. Her 66.4 percent clip in 2010 led the WNBA and set a Phoenix single-season record.
In six playoff seasons with the Mercury, she was a 56.9 percent shooter while averaging 14.8 points and 5.7 rebounds per game. Besides the 2014 title, she helped Phoenix reach the conference finals or WNBA semifinals in every postseason appearance.
“Simply put, she’s a cerebral, consistent, championship-type player,” commented Fever head coach Pokey Chatman who coached Dupree during two seasons in Russia. “Her ability to face up and knock down shots has always been on display, however her low-block presence is also extremely efficient. I’m looking forward to coaching Candice again.”
Noting her top international and overseas experience, Dupree was a finalist for the 2016 U.S. Olympic Women’s Basketball Team. She is a two-time gold medalist with USA world championship teams in 2010 and 2014. Playing overseas in Poland, Slovakia, Russia and China, she was named the top power forward in Europe in 2011 by EuroBasket.com, and the EuroLeague Defensive Player of the Year in 2010. Currently, she averages 18.8 points and 6.5 rebounds with USK Praha in the Czech Republic. Her team is currently unbeaten (20-0) in the Czech Republic, and 9-4 in EuroLeague competition.
“There’s no getting around the fact that we have been looking to bolster the power forward position with the retirement of Tamika [Catchings] last season,” said Krauskopf. “The opportunity to acquire Candice and add her to our core group is without a doubt a significant moment for our franchise. She has consistently been one of the premier players in the WNBA and in the world, with extensive WNBA playoff, international and USA Basketball experience. She is a winner and a consummate professional and will be a great fit with our team. I know Indiana Fever fans will be very happy to welcome her.”
Krauskopf added, “Unfortunately, when you make trades, you have to part with players who have been such great teammates and contributors. I want to thank Lynetta for all her work and contributions to our success over the past three seasons.”
Kizer arrived in Indiana during another trade with Phoenix prior to the 2014 season. Kizer started 12 games and played in 33 for the Fever last season, averaging 9.6 points while shooting 55.6 percent from the floor. The Fever’s fourth-leading scorer and third-leading rebounder last season, Kizer was an instrumental figure in Indiana’s trip to the WNBA Finals in 2015. She averages 6.2 points and 2.9 rebounds for her career.
Phoenix Mercury Release
PHOENIX – The three-time WNBA Champion Phoenix Mercury today acquired former WNBA Champion forward Camille Little and the draft rights to highly-regarded rookie forward Jillian Alleyne from the Connecticut Sun in a three-team trade that also included the Indiana Fever. As part of the deal, Phoenix sent forward Candice Dupree and the 17th overall pick (second round) of the 2017 WNBA Draft to Indiana, and the Fever sent forward Lynetta Kizer and the 8th overall pick (first round) of the 2017 draft to Connecticut.
“First and foremost, I want to express the deep appreciation of our entire organization for the contributions on and off the court made by Candice Dupree in her seven years in a Mercury uniform,” said Mercury General Manager Jim Pitman. “We would not have won a championship in 2014 without Candice, and she has been instrumental in helping to grow our game and our fan base in Phoenix since 2010.”
“Our goal every season is to win a championship. Like our fans, we were disappointed with the results of 2016 and, while that was not the fault of any one or two or three players, we entered this offseason knowing difficult decisions would have to be made to improve the way our roster fit together as a whole. We are excited for what Camille Little brings, especially because advanced stats tell us she’s one of the best defensive post players in the league. This deal also allows us to bring back Jillian Alleyne, who we drafted last year, and whose strength, length and rebounding prowess give her tremendous upside. We were able to turn one power forward into two, and get both veteran experience and great potential.”
Mercury Head Coach Sandy Brondello said, “It has been a pleasure to coach Candice these past three seasons. She is the ultimate professional who played a large role in our success. We wish her all the best in Indiana.”
“Camille Little brings us a defensive forward who can help us be a great defensive team, and she is a stretch player who will compliment Brittney Griner nicely. In 2007, I coached Camille as a rookie with the San Antonio Stars and I am looking forward to having the opportunity to be reunited with her and to integrate both Camille and Jillian into our team. We drafted Jillian, we believe in her abilities, and we are excited to get her on the court.”
Little won a WNBA title with the 2010 Seattle Storm and has compiled averages of 9.4 points and 4.6 rebounds in an 11-year career with San Antonio, Atlanta, Seattle and Connecticut. The 6-foot-2 power forward owns a 45.1-percent career field goal percentage, and has added a three-point shot to her game in recent seasons. After attempting 187 threes in her first eight seasons, she has 283 attempts in her last three and has connected on 34 percent. Little appeared in 33 games (29 starts) a season ago and averaged 7.8 points, 3.0 rebounds and a career-best 2.0 assists.
Little is just two seasons removed from a career-high 12.9-point, 4.3-rebound campaign with the Storm, and has averaged double-figure scoring in five of her last eight seasons. Originally the 17th overall pick of the 2007 WNBA Draft by San Antonio, Little was a four-time All-ACC selection at North Carolina where she guided the Tar Heels to a Final Four berth in her senior season after averaging 13.7 points and 5.9 rebounds. Little was the 2004 ACC Rookie of the Year and became the first player in UNC women’s history to be named All-ACC First Team as a freshman.
Phoenix reacquires the 6-foot-3 Alleyne, who was selected by the Mercury in the second round (20th overall) of the 2016 WNBA Draft before being included in a midseason trade with Connecticut last year.
Alleyne is a potential difference-maker who averaged 17.9 points and 14.3 rebounds as a senior at the University of Oregon, and finished her college career with the second-most double-doubles in NCAA history (92) and the third-most rebounds (1,712). A physical presence who consistently produces, Alleyne owns the Oregon and Pac-12 single-game, single-season and career rebounding records. She finished her career as only the 10th player in NCAA history with at least 2,000 points and 1,500 rebounds. Her senior season was cut short due to an ACL injury, which also kept her out the entire 2016 WNBA season. Widely projected as a first-round pick before the injury, Alleyne had played in 120 consecutive games for the Ducks before her injury, and was named to the AP All-American Third-Team in both her junior and senior seasons.
Dupree was acquired by the Mercury from Chicago as part of a three-team trade in 2010 and averaged 14.2 points and 6.6 rebounds in her time with the Mercury. An integral part of Phoenix’s 2014 championship run, Dupree averaged better than 16.0 points in the Mercury’s eight-game playoff run that culminated in the team’s third WNBA title. Phoenix reached the WNBA Semifinals (previously the Western Conference Finals) in all but one of Dupree’s seven seasons and she finishes her Mercury career ranked in the top-10 all-time in 19 franchise categories, including points (fourth), rebounds (third) and games played (sixth).
Connecticut Sun Release
UNCASVILLE, Conn. (February 21, 2017) – The Connecticut Sun announced today it has acquired Lynetta Kizer and the eighth overall pick in the 2017 WNBA Draft as part of a three-way trade involving the Phoenix Mercury and Indiana Fever.
Connecticut traded veteran forward Camille Little and the rights to Jillian Alleyne to the Mercury. Phoenix traded Candice Dupree and the 17th pick in the 2017 WNBA Draft to Indiana.
“We are excited to obtain Lynetta Kizer, another outstanding player entering the prime of her career,” Sun head and general manager coach Curt Miller said. “She is a consistent offensive weapon with the ability to play facing the basket. She has shot fifty-three percent from the field and eighty-four percent from the foul line over her last two seasons. She also provides us with a needed physical presence on our roster.”
A 6-foot-4 veteran forward/center who will begin her sixth WNBA season, Kizer has steadily improved each season. In 2016, she appeared in 33 games with 12 starts for the Fever, averaging a career-best 9.3 points per game with career highs in blocks and steals. Kizer had single-game career-highs of 21 points and 10 rebounds at New York last July 21st. Over the past two seasons, she has averaged nine points per game.
Miller is also excited about obtaining a first-round pick in the upcoming draft.
“The eighth overall draft pick will give us the opportunity to add another talented piece to our young roster as we build towards a bright future,” he said.