Las Vegas Aces Press Release
Las Vegas Aces President of Basketball Operations and Head Coach Bill Laimbeer announced today that the team has acquired two-time All-Star, and 2018 league MVP runner up Liz Cambage from the Dallas Wings.
The 6-8 center led the league in scoring (23.0 ppg) and was second in rebounding (9.7) in 2018. She also finished fourth in the WNBA in field goal percentage (58.9%) and fifth in blocked shots (1.7), while setting the league record for points in a game when she poured in 53 against the New York Liberty on July 17.
In exchange, the Wings receive point guard Moriah Jefferson, forward Isabelle Harrison, and the Aces first and. second round draft picks in 2020.
“The trade has finally happened, and the journey it took to get here will make a great story one day,” Laimbeer said with a smile.
“Everyone in the Aces family is excited to welcome Liz to Las Vegas. She brings an attitude and physical presence that we need. There is no doubt about her physical ability, but what we respect most about her is her basketball IQ. That is what we are about.
“We had to give up some quality players and people to make this trade happen. I didn’t know Isabelle Harrison prior to this year’s training camp, and my first opportunity to coach her was a pleasure. She wants to learn, and I expect she will be a solid professional basketball player for many years to come. Moriah helped us launch our franchise last year, and the Aces appreciate all she did for us in connecting with our fans. Wings fans will love her.
“I’d also like to thank our general manager, Dan Padover, for all the work he put into this. This trade doesn’t happen without his patience and persistence. I told him that numerous times throughout this saga, and that’s why I hired him.”
Cambage entered the WNBA at the age of 20 when the Tulsa Shock made her the second overall pick of the 2011 WNBA Draft. As a rookie, she averaged 11.5 points and 4.7 rebounds while playing 20.0 minutes per game, earning a spot on the Eastern Conference All-Star Team, as well as the WNBA All-Rookie Team.
The Australian native sat out the 2012 season to train with her national team and participate in that year’s Olympic Games. Cambage helped the Opals to the bronze medal, averaging 13.6 points and 5.6 rebounds while connecting on 59.5 percent of her field goal attempts.
She returned to the W in 2013, and averaged 16.3 points and 8.3 rebounds for the Shock, while connecting on 56.1 percent of her shots from the field.
At the 2016 Olympic Games, Cambage averaged 23.5 points and 10.5 rebounds while connecting on 58 percent of her shots from the field.
Last season, she returned to the WNBA after a four-year absence, helping the Wings (formerly the Tulsa Shock) to the playoffs. Despite a 22-point, 12-rebound, six-assist effort from Cambage, the Wings fell to the Phoenix Mercury.
Her scoring average in 2018 was the seventh highest in the 22-year history of the league. She also developed a three-point shot a year ago, connecting on 32.4 percent of her opportunities on 37 attempts. Cambage also connects at a 76.4 percent clip from the free throw line during her WNBA career.
Cambage, who turns 28 on August 18, has also played professionally in her native Australia, and in China.
Dallas Wings Press Release
The Dallas Wings have traded center Liz Cambage to the Las Vegas Aces today in exchange for guard Moriah Jefferson and forward Isabelle Harrison. Las Vegas will also include the team’s 2020 first and second round picks as part of the deal. The Wings have additionally acquired Imani McGee-Stafford from the Atlanta Dream, giving up a 2020 third round draft pick for the 6-foot-7 center. Dallas has also waived forward Morgan Bertsch.
Jefferson, 25, averaged 5.4 points a game in 2018 after returning from injury halfway through the season. The Dallas native was a four-year player at UConn before being selected second overall in the 2016 draft by the San Antonio Stars. For the duration of her career, the 5-foot-6 guard has averaged 10.5 points per game and 3.8 assists per contest while shooting 44.2 percent from the floor. She was voted to the 2016 All-Rookie Team and was second in Rookie of the Year voting.
“We made a series of transactions today that I believe benefit our team now and, in the future,” Dallas Wings President & CEO Greg Bibb stated. “Since we began discussions around a potential deal in January, Moriah Jefferson and Isabelle Harrison have been the players we have sought to add to our team. While Moriah may ultimately decide to sit out the 2019 season, we are willing to wait for her first appearance in a Wings uniform. We believe she is an elite-level point guard and we are excited for her to join her hometown team and to be a key part of our organization for the foreseeable future.”
Harrison, 25, who took a medical leave of absence during the 2018 season, started 33 contests for San Antonio in 2017. The University of Tennessee product averaged 11.4 points and 6.4 rebounds a game in 2017. That season, Harrison ranked No. 15 in the league for rebounding, No. 16 in blocks and No. 13 in field goal percentage. The Nashville, Tennessee product eclipsed double-digit scoring figures 20 times in 2017, surpassing 20 or more points on three different occasions. She also pulled down double-digit rebounds in six different contests. Harrison was originally drafted by the Phoenix Mercury with the 12th overall pick in the 2015 WNBA Draft.
“Isabelle is an athletic post who has double-double ability,” Bibb said. “Her skill set fits well with our style of play and I look forward to her contributing to our success in 2019. We are thrilled to have Isabelle as part of our organization. She joins a group of young women who are committed to the Dallas Wings and who are eager to represent our fans and the North Texas region.”
McGee-Stafford, 24, appeared in 29 games for the Dream last season, starting two of them. She averaged 10.5 minutes a game while pulling down 3.4 rebounds. She scored a season-high 15 points against Minnesota on June 29. Originally the No. 10 pick by the Chicago Sky in the 2016 WNBA Draft, the fourth-year pro helped the Sky make an appearance in the 2016 WNBA semifinals and averaged 6.7 points and 5.6 rebounds a game over the course of her rookie season. McGee-Stafford played collegiately at the University of Texas and was the first UT woman to score 1,000 points, collect 1,000 rebounds and record 200 blocks in her career.
The Los Angeles native tallied seven points and six rebounds in the Dream’s preseason game against the New York Liberty this past Tuesday.
“Imani brings size and a rim-protecting presence to our team,” Bibb stated. “I look forward to having her join our camp and compete for a roster spot.”
Bertsch was the Wings third round pick (29th overall) in this year’s draft and was the NCAA’s fourth leading scorer during her final season at UC Davis. The California native collected two points, two rebounds and one assist in the Wings’ preseason game against Atlanta on Monday. She logged 3:11 of action in Dallas’ win over Connecticut on Tuesday.