The New York Liberty welcomed back Tanisha Wright while bidding farewell to the extremely prolific Sugar Rodgers.
In a Wednesday trade involving four WNBA teams, the New York Liberty yielded the most. At the same time, however, they part ways with one of their most accomplished scorers.
The Liberty first welcome back Tanisha Wright, a guard who spent the 2015 and 2016 seasons with the team before moving to Minnesota last year. New York also gets the second-round draft pick of the Las Vegas Aces in 2020, having sent their own over to the Lynx.
Departing, however, is guard Sugar Rodgers, who will head over to Vegas.
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New York’s second-round offering was later dealt by Las Vegas to Atlanta Dream for guard Nia Coffey.
Born in Brooklyn, Wright’s timing for a return couldn’t have been better. The Liberty were recently purchased by Brooklyn Nets minority owner Joseph Tsai. They will play two games at the Nets’ home of Barclays Center, including an exhibition on May 9 against China’s national team.
Wright, 35, was a first-round pick in 2005 of the Seattle Storm, following a four-year tenure at Penn State. Joining the Liberty after a decade, Wright averaged 7.1 points and 3.6 assists.
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With the Liberty boasting a pair of young guards, including sophomore Kia Nurse and Wednesday’s first-round draft pick Asia Durr, Wright can serve as an experienced veteran mentor. She currently ranks sixth amongst active WNBA players with 1296 assists (13th all-time) in 426 games played (15th all-time).
“We could not be more thrilled to welcome Tanisha Wright back to the Liberty family,” Liberty general manager Jonathan Kolb said in a team statement. “Tanisha is a consummate professional and is the type of culture builder we look for.”
Liberty fans are sure to miss Rodgers, whose New York tenure ends after five seasons. She departs with 257 three-point field goals converted in a Liberty jersey, a mark good for fourth in team history. The Georgetown alum earned the WNBA’s Sixth Woman of the Year Award in 2017, an All-Star season that saw Rodgers earn 10.5 points and 3.8 rebounds per game.
“We want to thank Sugar for her dedication to the Liberty franchise over the years,” Kolb said. “She gave her all night in and night out and we wish her nothing but success in Las Vegas.”
Rodgers’ friend, fellow 2017 WNBA All-Star, and now former teammate Tina Charles wished her luck on Instagram.
Rodgers wasn’t the only veteran option the Liberty lost this week. The Seattle Storm recently added free agent guard Shavonte Zellous, ending her three-year term in New York. Their regular season opens May 24 at Westchester County Center against the Indiana Fever.