The Los Angeles Sparks traded Odyssey Sims to the Minnesota Lynx for Alexis Jones. This will not be the last move they make.
After what has already been an interesting offseason, the Los Angeles Sparks have added more fuel to the fire by trading Odyssey Sims to the Minnesota Lynx. In return they got backup point guard Alexis Jones. This looks to be a straight fail if you graded it based on player impact but there are so many other things to consider when looking at a trade.’
Odyssey Sims has struggled to shoot the 3-ball since her rookie year. In fact the only time she shot the ball over 30 percent was in her rookie year when she made 34.6 of her 3-point attempts. Compare that to Alexis Jones who is a career 34.2 percent shooter from downtown and there is a clear benefit to having Jones on the team.
Since the Sparks signed Tierra Ruffin-Pratt in free agency, I have wondered whose minutes were going to be cut. The obvious answer was Sims as Chelsea Gray appears to be the preferred starter for this team. Ruffin-Pratt is too good defensively to have on the bench for extended periods of time.
However, she poses a problem for the spacing of the Sparks as she is only a 29.7 percent shooter from deep. She has only taken 175 attempts from deep in 199 games so it is safe to say that TRP, like Alana Beard, needs to have a shooter around her. This will give Jones the ability to have cameo like appearances to change the defence of opposition teams.
The Los Angeles Sparks have been on the upper edges of the salary cap for a number of years. Thanks to the Phoenix Mercury making a raid and signing Sims to a max offer sheet, the Sparks had to match so they could get something back for her. However, after they did this, Liz Cambage requested a trade and cited Los Angeles as her preferred destination.
With so many players at the upper end of the pay scale, the Sparks needed to shed one of them. There was no way they were going to trade Candace Parker or Nneka Ogwumike for anything less than Cambage so Sims became the odd player out.
Shedding a max contract off the books and replacing it with Jones’ rookie scale deal allows the Sparks to be more inventive when it comes to deals to secure the Australian superstar.
New head coach Derek Fisher will be looking to make his mark on the Sparks. He was obvioulsy prepared to utilise Sims in his plans. However, when something better comes up, you have to be in a position to take the opportunity. Moving Sims on for something was a smart move, rather than losing her without any compensation.
Fisher will have to change the entire structure of the team now that Sims has gone, particularly if Cambage does come. Expect to see Cambage, Gray and Parker playing the perimeter on offense, with Nneka and Beard down low. Sims lack of 3-point shot and size of contract simply would not have allowed this to happen.