Atlanta Dream acquire Courtney Williams in three-team trade

Dream get Williams and 2020 second round pick, send Breland and Coffey to Phoenix.

In a three-team trade, the Atlanta Dream have acquired guard Courtney Williams from the Connecticut Sun and a 2020 second round pick from the Phoenix Mercury in exchange for Jessica Breland and Nia Coffey. The Mercury will send Briann January and a 2021 second round pick to the Sun to complete the deal.

Howard Megdal of High Post Hoops has Williams’ contract details.

It’s a huge trade for Atlanta which, as frequently discussed throughout WNBA free agency, was in desperate need of help offensively and an overall improvement to the team across the board after a dismal 2019 campaign. Williams, the No. 8 overall pick in 2016, averaged 13.2 points, 5.6 rebounds and 3.8 assists in 29 minutes per game for the Sun in 2019.

“Today is an exciting day for the Atlanta Dream,” coach Nicki Collen said in a statement. “The addition of Courtney Williams brings us a dynamic scorer who thrives in the big moment. Courtney is arguably the best mid-range scorer in the WNBA but has also become a very efficient 3-point shooter which will keep defenses honest.  While one of the smaller players in the league, she attacks the boards at both ends of the floor fearlessly and effectively.”

While looking to add scoring and offensive efficiency throughout free agency, it’s also becoming clear that the Dream are looking at this as a chance to overhaul what had been an aging roster and reestablish a team identity for the future. At the end of last season, the Dream had five players with more than five years of experience in the league and two — Renee Montgomery and Angel McCoughtry — with nine or more years in the WNBA.

Now, the Dream have added young pieces in Kalani Brown, Alexis Jones — who they claimed off waivers on Tuesday — and Williams to move the team forward into 2020 and beyond. Things will look very different in Atlanta this coming year, with only seven players on the roster right now who were on the team in 2019.

“Our off-season focus was to re-energize our offense with shooters and to establish a tradition of winning,” Dream president and GM Chris Sienko said in a statement. “The addition of Courtney is an amazing opportunity to do just that. Courtney is competitive, passionate and a rising super-star in this league. With our current roster and our free agency additions, we are excited about our future.”

With Breland heading to Phoenix, the Dream lose a veteran presence in the post and a player that started every game she played for the Dream since coming to the Dream before the 2018 season. Coffey, who the Dream acquired in a draft-day move in 2019, played in 28 of 34 games last season and averaged 5 points in 13.9 minutes per game.

“We are forever grateful to Jessica for helping us define a new culture in Atlanta,” Sienko said. “We also appreciate all of Nia’s contributions to the Dream this past season.”

It remains to be seen if the Dream will make any other moves ahead of the draft, but from where they stand right now, it seems that they’re in position to write a much different story than they did in 2019, when they won just eight games.

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