By Aaron Lommers Herald Writer
The Seattle Storm sent forwards Swin Cash and Le’coe Willingham, as well as the 23rd overall pick in the second round of the 2012 WNBA draft to the Chicago Sky in exchange for the No.2 overall draft pick in that same draft the team announced on Monday.
Storm head coach and general manager Brian Agler met with members of the front office after the team was eliminated from the playoffs by the Phoenix Mercury and the group decided some changes needed to be made.
“We’ve spent a lot of time analyzing our current needs and what it will take to win another championship,” Agler said in a press release. “We believe this trade positions us for short-and long-term success by adding a lottery pick and creating a substantial amount of salary cap space for free agency. We are very thankful for the Swin and Le’coe contributions to the success of the Storm, including the critical roles they played in helping us win the 2010 championship.
The Storm have not had a top-four pick in the draft since selecting Lauren Jackson and Sue Bird with the No.1 overall selection in 2001 and 2002 respectively. The Storm last picked better than 10th in 2007 when they had the No.7 overall pick. Seattle has never before picked second in the draft.
The trade gives the Storm, who now have substantial room under the salary cap, to be more aggressive in free agency.
“We definitely have a plan in place,” Agler said. “We have our priorities. It’s now a matter of putting our plan in place. We can be very competitive in the free-agent market now, and we plan to do that.”
In four seasons in Seattle, Cash averaged 12.7 points, 6.2 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game. She represented the Storm in the 2009 and 2011 All-Star games and earned MVP honors in both games. Willingham averaged 6 points and 4.2 rebounds per game in two seasons with the Storm.