The Liz Cambage trade saga is finally over.
The 6-foot-8 Australian was traded from Dallas to Las Vegas on Thursday for Moriah Jefferson, Isabelle Harrison and the Aces’ first two picks in 2020.
“The journey it took to get here will make a great story one day,” said Bill Laimbeer, president and coach of the Aces. “Everyone in the Aces family is excited to welcome Liz to Las Vegas.
“She brings an attitude and physical presence that we need. There is no doubt about her physical ability, but what we respect most about her is her basketball IQ. That is what we are about. We had to give up some quality players and people to make this trade happen.”
Cambage, who finished second behind Breanna Stewart in WNBA MVP balloting last year, said in January she no longer wanted to play in Dallas. Potential deals the past few weeks never materialized. All of which weighed on Cambage, who took to social media with emotional posts this week. Cambage is in Australia and is expected to get to Las Vegas this weekend.
The 27-year-old center set a league record last season by scoring 53 points against New York. She averaged 23 points and 9.7 rebounds last year.
The move gives the Aces a formidable frontcourt by pairing Cambage with rookie of the year A’ja Wilson.
Dallas receives a point guard in Jefferson and a talented post player in Harrison. Jefferson was the No. 2 pick in the 2016 draft by the franchise when it was in San Antonio. She averaged 13.9 points as a rookie but injured her knee in 2017.
She was limited to just 16 games last season. Harrison was the No. 12 pick in 2015 by Phoenix, but missed her rookie season with a knee injury. She had a breakout year in 2017, averaging 11.4 points and 6.4 rebounds. She sat out last season because of a medical issue.
The Wings also acquired Imani McGee-Stafford from the Atlanta Dream, giving up a 2020 third round draft pick for the 6-foot-7 center.
“We made a series of transactions today that I believe benefit our team now and in the future,” Dallas Wings President and CEO Greg Bibb said.
He said talks concerning Cambage began in January, adding that Jefferson and Harrison were the players Dallas sought.
“While Moriah may ultimately decide to sit out the 2019 season, we are willing to wait for her first appearance in a Wings uniform,” Bibb said. “We believe she is an elite-level point guard and we are excited for her to join her hometown team.”
Cambage was the No. 2 pick in the 2011 draft. She played that season and in 2013 for the Tulsa Shock but sat out in 2012 and again from 2014-2017. The franchise moved to Dallas in 2016. Cambage returned to the WNBA last season with Dallas and hit it off with Wings coach Fred Williams. Cambage took it hard when Williams was fired a few weeks before the end of the season.