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Cappie Pondexter Heads to New York in 3-Team WNBA Trade

Mar 30, 2010 – 6:35 PM
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Michelle Smith

Michelle Smith %BloggerTitle%

Cappie PondexterOne of the WNBA's biggest stars will now be playing on the biggest stage.

The New York Liberty completed one of the highest-profile deals in league history Tuesday, acquiring All-Star guard Cappie Pondexter from league champion Phoenix as part of a three-team deal.

The Liberty got Pondexter and guard Kelly Mazzante from the Mercury. The Liberty sent forwards Shameka Christon and Cathrine Kraayeveld to the Chicago Sky, and Chicago sent forward Candice Dupree to Phoenix.

Liberty general manager Carol Blazejowski called it a "franchise-changing acquisition."

"Rarely do you get to trade for a player of this magnitude," Blazejowski said.

Pondexter is a marquee talent for the league. She, along with superstar teammate Diana Taurasi, led the Mercury to titles in 2007 and 2009. She was also a member of the 2008 Olympic team that won gold in Beijing.

A deal to bring Pondexter, the Rutgers product who was the No. 2 pick in the 2006 WNBA draft, to New York has been rumored for weeks. It was widely speculated that New York would trade Pondexter for All-Star forward Nicole Powell, who is from Phoenix, but Powell did not end up as part of the final deal.

In fact, the acquisition of Powell through a dispersal draft in December following the folding of the Sacramento Monarchs, and now the trade for Pondexter, will make New York a strong contender for the Eastern Conference title. Pondexter will be reunited with former Rutgers teammates Essence Carson and Kia Vaughn.

Pondexter is averaging 19.2 points and 4.1 assists in her career.

Phoenix gets Dupree, who led Chicago in scoring last season (15.7 ppg) and was the league's second-leading rebounder (7.9 per game).
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