Elena Delle Donne

Elena Delle Donne returns to Chicago, helps Mystics take down Sky

Elena Delle Donne returns to Chicago, helps Mystics take down Sky

ROSEMONT — Elena Delle Donne scored 21 points and grabbed eight rebounds in her return to Chicago, and the Washington Mystics beat the Sky 82-67 on Wednesday.

The 2015 MVP asked to be traded in the offseason after four seasons with the Sky. She opened the scoring with a turnaround jumper from the free-throw line and finished 7-for-15 from the floor.

"Definitely feels weird coming in here, being in the guest locker room, being on the other bench and all," Delle Donne said. "But my teammates, they've been great and even in the locker room they're like, 'How you feeling? You good, you good?' Just checking on me, and that made me relax."

Neither team led by more than six points in the first three quarters, but Washington broke it open early in the fourth quarter with a 14-6 spurt. Delle Donne had six points during the span, Ivory Latta and Natasha Cloud each hit a 3-pointer, and the Mystics' lead didn't drop below eight points the rest of the way.

Tierra Ruffin-Pratt added 15 points and 10 rebounds for Washington, ranked sixth in the AP power poll. Reserve Tianna Hawkins scored 12 points and grabbed nine boards.

The Mystics shot only 40 percent but had 19 assists on 29 field goals.

"That's one of the best parts about our team is that we do move the ball well," Washington coach Mike Thibault said. "We're unselfish and we try to find the open man. If we had hit some 3s like we normally can, we might have had a few more."

Cappie Pondexter led the 10th-ranked Sky with 17 points and 10 assists. She also moved into seventh on the WNBA career assists list. Stefanie Dolson had 13 points and 11 rebounds against her former team, and Allie Quigley also scored 13 — all in the first half. Starting point guard Courtney Vandersloot missed her fourth game.

Quigley scored eight of the Sky's first 15 points in her first game of the season since returning from Turkey, and the Sky trailed 43-41 at halftime after shooting just 33 percent.

Elena Delle Donne gets her wish, traded from Sky to Mystics

Elena Delle Donne gets her wish, traded from Sky to Mystics

Chicago's most recognizable female athlete got her way and is leaving Chicago.

According to a Monday-night report from the New York Times — which included confirmation from Sky owner Michael Alter — the Sky traded former WNBA MVP Elena Delle Donne to the Washington Mystics.

The move comes not long after reports that Delle Donne was unhappy with the Sky's direction and wanted to be traded away from the team. She went as far to call the franchise a "revolving door" with the team not hanging on to players and coaches. Rumors brought up the Mystics as a possible destination given the team's proximity to Delle Donne's home state of Delaware.

Delle Donne spent the first four years of her career in Chicago. After winning the MVP award in 2015, Delle Donne was again terrific last season, ranking second in the league in scoring with 21.5 points a game.

The Sky did get a promising package in return for Delle Donne, who was one of the biggest names on the U.S. women's basketball team that won gold at the Rio Olympics last summer. Coming back to Chicago are All-Star center Stefanie Dolson, the seventh-overall pick from last year's draft Kahleah Cooper and the second-overall pick in this year's draft.

Report: Elena Delle Donne seeking trade out of Chicago

Report: Elena Delle Donne seeking trade out of Chicago

Chicago's most recognizable female athlete may not be long for the Windy City.

A Chicago Tribune report unfolded Wednesday afternoon stating Elena Delle Donne is unhappy with the Chicago Sky and is asking to be traded.

Delle Donne cited an unhappiness with the Sky organization failing to hold onto players or coaches, turning it into a "revolving door.

Pokey Chatman — the former Sky coach and GM who was let go in October — declined to comment on the situation when reached by the Chicago Sun-Times this week.

The Sky made it to the WNBA Finals in 2015 — where they lost to the Phoenix Mercury — and earned a trip to the semifinals last season despite Delle Donne's inability to play in the postseason with a thumb injury.

Delle Donne was the Sky's first-round pick (second overall) in 2013 and has blossomed into one of the best players in the game, taking home the 2015 WNBA MVP award and the gold medal in the 2016 Olympics.

The 27-year-old has dealt with Lyme disease over the last few years and reportedly wants to move closer to her hometown in Delaware, giving credence to the rumor that the Sky and Washington Mystics may be able to agree on a trade.

The reported offer on the table includes Washington's first-round pick, All-Star center Stefanie Dolson and possibly last year's first-round pick Kahleah Copper.

Delle Donne is very close to her sister — designing a shoe geared around her communication style with Lizzie, who is blind — and a move back to the east coast would presumably be easier on their relationship.

Delle Donne — a noted Cubs fan who named her dog Wrigley — also just got engaged last year and is reportedly looking for a place to settle down with fiancee Amanda Clifton, a former Illinois State University basketball star.