Courtesy of New York Liberty (April 14, 2014) – New York Liberty Head Coach and General Manager Bill Laimbeer announced today that the team has finalized a trade with the Connecticut Sun, acquiring former WNBA Most Valuable Player and No. 1 pick Tina Charles. The Liberty traded second-year forward Kelsey Bone, 2014 first round selection Alyssa Thomas (University of Maryland) and its 2015 first round pick to the Sun in exchange for Charles and a third round draft choice in 2015.
"Tina is obviously one of the best players in the league," said Laimbeer. "Our franchise felt we needed to add All-Star caliber players, especially with our return to Madison Square Garden, to put a competitive team on the court. With Cappie, Essence and Tina, we have a sound nucleus to build a championship caliber team."
The No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 WNBA Draft, Charles is entering her fifth season in the league. She was the unanimous WNBA Rookie of the Year in 2010 after posting the best rookie season in WNBA history with a league-record 22 double-doubles. Charles established a WNBA record with 398 rebounds and set the rookie mark for the most boards in a game with 23. Voted the Most Valuable Player in 2012, Charles set a Connecticut Sun scoring record, averaging 18 points per game. She also won her third-straight rebounding title with 10.5 rebounds per contest. For her career, Charles has posted a double-double in 80 games, including career averages of 17.3 points and 10.8 rebounds in 130 games.
A native of Queens, NY, Charles attended Christ the King High School and went on to play collegiately at the University of Connecticut. While at Connecticut, Charles won back-to-back National Championships and was name the BIG EAST Player of the Year as a senior.
Bone appeared in all 34 games (two starts) last season for the Liberty, averaging 6.9 points and 5.4 rebounds per game. The fifth overall pick in the 2013 draft, she ranked third and fifth, respectively among all rookies in rebounding and scoring en route to being named to the WNBA All-Rookie Team.10:57 PM 4/14/2014
The Liberty will tip-off the 2014 preseason with back-to-back games against the Connecticut Sun, beginning with a road contest at Mohegan Sun Arena on Sunday, May 11 at 3 p.m. against the Atlanta Dream at Philips Arena.
New York opens regular season action against Connecticut on Saturday, May 16 at 7 p.m. at Mohegan Sun Arena. The Liberty will then make their long awaited return to Madison Square Garden to host the Chicago Sky on Opening at 3 p.m., highlighted by music, prizes, guest appearances, a talent competition for local groups and basketball contests on the Liberty sport court.