Friday, May 25, 2007

The Currie-Melvin Trade

Big mid-season trades in the WNBA are rare, but we got one yesterday when the Chicago Sky swapped Monique Currie to Washington for veteran center Chasity Melvin.

You wouldn't be surprised to see the Sky and Mystics swap a veteran player for a youngster, but it is a surprise that it's Chicago getting older and Washington getting younger. The Sky was weak at center, but unless management really thinks it can make a run at the playoffs - which almost certainly would require passing the Mystics - but a 30-year-old player doesn't do a great deal for Chicago's future compared to the third pick of the 2005 Draft.

From Washington's perspective, I'm not sure about this deal. The Mystics have been looking for a long-term answer at small forward, using consecutive first-round picks on Tamara James and Bernice Mosby. Now Currie, who grew up in the area and went to Duke with star guard Alana Beard, fills that position for the forseeable future.

Washington has a capable center in Nakia Sanford to step into the starting lineup, but depth will be an issue up front. Sanford and rookie third-round pick Gillian Goring are now the only Mystics over 6-1. Mosby may be asked to swing into the post position, but if either Sanford or DeLisha Milton-Jones goes down for an extended period, Washington is in trouble. The Mystics might take a step back in the short term, but this move makes them stronger going forward.

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