For the past two seasons the New York Liberty have had the best record in the Eastern Conference. And for the past two seasons, the Liberty haven’t made it to the Finals. With Tina Charles in the middle of her prime as the League’s most imposing offensive threat, Liberty head coach Bill Laimbeer and President Isiah Thomas are gearing up for a deep playoff run by trading for two instant impact players.
The Liberty have traded center Carolyn Swords to the Seattle Storm, while Washington receives the No. 6 overall pick in the 2017 WNBA Draft from the Storm, and the Mystics and Storm will also swap 2017 2nd Round picks. The Liberty receives Kia Vaughn and Bria Hartley from Washington.
Eight-year vet Kia Vaughn was originally drafted by the Liberty back in 2009. The 30-year-old Vaughn, a Bronx native, brings in career averages of 6.5 points and 4.5 rebounds per in her 250 games played. She was also a teammate of Liberty guard Epiphanny Prince at Rutgers.
Bria Hartley starred at the University of Connecticut from 2010 to 2014. She left UConn with averages of 13 points, 3.6 rebounds, 3.6 assists and two National Championships. Since being drafted with the seventh pick in the 2014 Draft, the 24-year-old Hartley played in her rookie campaign, averaging 10 points and 3 assists a game. She missed her second season with the Mystics while she was pregnant with her first child.
“This was a tough decision to make – Carolyn has been a great teammate and an exemplary member of the New York Liberty; she will do well for Seattle, and we wish her all of the best,” said Liberty head coach Bill Laimbeer via press release. “Bria Hartley has enjoyed a great deal of success as a champion on a big stage at UConn, and will enhance our guard strength. Kia Vaughn will bring toughness and experience to our front court, and she is a consummate professional basketball player.”