Elena Delle Donne, perhaps the WNBA's biggest star, now plays for the Washington Mystics. The team traded center Stefanie Dolson, guard Kahleah Copper and the second overall pick in this year's draft to aquire the 2015 MVP from the Chicago Sky.
Donne is a 6-5 forward and guard who was drafted by Chicago in 2014. A Delaware native, the move to the Mystics would bring her considerably closer to home and her older sister, who is disabled.
“I’m really excited about this next chapter in my career with the Mystics,” Delle Donne said in a press release by the team. “Coach Thibault, Mr. Leonsis and Ms. Johnson have built a strong team that is ready to make a significant impact in the league and I’m thrilled to be a part of it."
She averaged a career-high 23.4 points per game to ago alone with 8.4 rebounds and 2 blocks in 2015. Her numbers dipped only slightly (21.5 points, 7.0 rebounds, 1.5 blocks) in 2016, but Delle Donne indicated as her restricted free agency approached that she'd prefer a new team.
Trades like this almost never happen in the WNBA, but Delle Donne told VICE Sports in December that she'd be willing to sit out to force the issue.
Mystics coach Mike Thubault was thrilled at the move:
Clearly, this is one of the biggest moves in the history of this organization. In only four years, Elena has established herself as one of the premier players in the world, as evidenced by her MVP season two years ago. Her impact on and off the court will be invaluable. Her pure basketball talents as a scorer, passer, rebounder, and shot-blocker will raise the level of effectiveness of all her teammates, and those talented teammates will take a lot of the day- to-day pressure off of her as well. She joins a core group that is just entering the best years of their careers and is making a commitment to helping the Mystics become one of the elite organizations in the WNBA.
In addition to her contributions to the WNBA, Delle Donne has also been a staple of USA Basketball, which won a gold medal during the Rio Olympics in 2016.
She comes to Washington in the prime of her career at only 27 years old.