Every so often a trade happens in the WNBA leaving us scratching our collective heads. This was the case with the Tanisha Wright trade to the New York Liberty at first.
When the New York Liberty traded away Sugar Rodgers and their net return was Tanisha Wright, WNBA twitter was confused. It made no sense, why would you trade away the quality of Rodgers and only get the 35 year old Wright?
To understand the move, fans need to look past the desire for succes this year. They also need to shelve their WNBA Finals plans for next year as well. The Liberty have gone in to full rebuild mode. The dark Dolan dog days are done for this franchise, it is now Tsai time.
The minority shareholder in the Brooklyn Nets who has now become the majority shareholder in the Liberty. He has shown with his NBA franchise that he is not afraid to make the hard, and sometime confusing calls for the good of the franchise.
The future is looking good for the Liberty franchise. They drafted Kia Nurse last year, and in the opinion of this humble scribe I believe that she will be the face of the franchise and possibly the league within five years. This season the Liberty took Asia Durr with the second pick of the WNBA draft.
This is the makings of a future championship back court. Nurse is a tremendous all-round player and Durr is a flat out scorer. However, in order to fast track their development, they need to be played together at the earliest possible opportunity. This is why Rodgers had to go.
Rodgers, while struggling a bit last year, is a talent which demands to be played. She is a career 34.8 percent shooter from deep and has the ability to make plays. She was good enough to take home the 2017 sixth woman of the year award, Rodgers also holds several 3-point records for the Liberty.
The problem is, coaches and franchises are looking to win, it is why people play professional sport. With Rodgers on the court, the Liberty are a better chance of winning. However, take this temptation away and the Liberty have no choice but to play Durr and Nurse, thus aiding their development at a faster, higher level.
While the Liberty do still have the services of the talented pair of Brittany Boyd and Bria Hartley as part of their rotation but adding the likes of the 35 year old Wright brings a level of experience, mentorship and leadership which will help the young up and coming core of guards no end.
The Liberty will not see the benefit of this trade this year. They are on a timeline which sees them being competitive in 2021 by my estimations. Coach Katie Smith has a lot to do with this team before they can get back where they need to be. Getting veteran voices like Wright in the locker room will mjust help speed this process along.