Connecticut Sun Release:
UNCASVILLE, Conn. (February 3, 2016) – The Connecticut Sun announced today it has acquired the fourth overall pick in the 2016 WNBA Draft from the Atlanta Dream in exchange for Elizabeth Williams.
“We are excited about the trade with Atlanta allowing us to have two of the top four picks in the deep 2016 WNBA Draft,” said Sun coach Curt Miller, who now has the Nos. 3 and 4 picks. “It is always hard trading a talented player and great person like Elizabeth Williams, but we believe the draft provides us with a tremendous opportunity to address specific needs.”
Selected out of Duke with the fourth overall pick in the 2015 WNBA Draft, Williams appeared in the first 21 games of the season before she was sidelined for the rest of the year with a knee contusion. She had career highs of 10 points and six rebounds twice, and finished the season with 19 blocks, tied for the team lead. She had five blocks against Indiana on July 28th, including four in one quarter, tying a franchise record held by Margo Dydek and Sandrine Gruda.
“Elizabeth is an amazing individual and a very talented young player who will be missed by our fans,” Sun Vice President and General Manager Chris Sienko said. “We know she will thrive in Atlanta’s system, but this move gives us a unique opportunity to make a significant impact in what we expect will be a very deep draft.”
Atlanta Dream Release:
ATLANTA (Feb. 3, 2016) — The Atlanta Dream has announced that it has sent the rights to the No. 4 pick in the 2016 WNBA Draft to the Connecticut Sun in exchange for second-year forward/center Elizabeth Williams.
Williams, who was the No. 4 overall selection in the 2015 WNBA Draft, averaged 3.3 points and 3.2 rebounds while logging 11.7 minutes per game over 21 contests during her rookie season.
“I’m just thankful for the opportunity the Dream is giving me,” Williams said. “I’m looking forward to being in a great city like Atlanta and bringing whatever I need for this team to succeed.”
The 6-3 post player enjoyed a stellar collegiate career at Duke, where she became the first-ever four-time Associated Press All-America selection in Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) history. She was also recognized as the 2015 WBCA National Defensive Player of the Year during her tenure with the Blue Devils.
“We are very excited about the opportunity to get a young and really gifted center to continue the success that we have had with this great organization,” Atlanta head coach Michael Cooper said. “We feel Elizabeth Williams will give us a defensive-minded center to handle all the big posts that we face and additional toughness that I think we were lacking last season. She will be a great fit with the core group of our team and a fantastic person in the Atlanta community.”
Williams is currently competing overseas and enjoying an outstanding season for Istanbul University, in the top division of the Turkish League. She currently leads the team with averages of 17.5 points and 10.6 rebounds while shooting .485 (82-of-169) from the field over 14 games. Williams also paces Istanbul with a team-high 34.8 minutes per contest.
With the completion of the trade, the Dream now holds three of the top 16 overall selections in the 2016 WNBA Draft. Atlanta will select at No. 11 (acquired from Minnesota), No. 13 (acquired from San Antonio) and No. 16. The Dream also hold the No. 28 overall pick (third round).