Dream sign ex-MVP Charles, trade for Canada

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The Atlanta Dream have signed former WNBA MVP Tina Charles, a free agent forward, and traded for guard Jordin Canada in moves announced Thursday by the Dream.

Charles, the No. 1 draft pick out of UConn in 2010, won two NCAA titles with the Huskies. She was the 2012 WNBA MVP and has played 12 seasons in the league, averaging 18.2 points and 9.3 rebounds for her career. She has been an all-WNBA selection nine times and is also a three-time Olympic gold medalist.

“Having a player who has been tried and true throughout her career will be impactful as our young core continues to mature,” Dream coach Tanisha Wright said. “There is a mutual respect between Tina and I because of the years we spent as [WNBA] teammates, and her competitiveness and desire to win will be an added boost for our team.”

Charles, 35, most recently played in the WNBA for the Seattle Storm in 2022 and didn’t compete in the league last year. She also previously played for the Connecticut Sun, New York Liberty, Washington Mystics and Phoenix Mercury. Her playing career overlapped with Wright’s when both were with the Liberty.

Canada is coming off her best season in the WNBA and joins the Dream in a sign-and-trade deal with the Los Angeles Sparks.

The Sparks sent Canada and their No. 12 pick in the 2024 draft to the Dream for guard Aari McDonald and the Dream’s No. 8 selection. The Sparks, who are amid a franchise refresh, now have the Nos. 2, 4, 8 and 28 selections in this year’s draft, which is April 15.

The Dream also announced Thursday they have signed free agent guard Aerial Powers, which was reported by ESPN on Wednesday, and re-signed forward Nia Coffey, who will be in her third season with the Dream and eighth overall in the WNBA.

Canada, 28, was the No. 5 pick in the 2018 draft out of UCLA by the Storm and won WNBA titles with the Storm in 2018 and 2020. She signed with the Sparks in 2022 and had career-high averages of 13.3 points, 3.1 rebounds, 6.0 assists and 2.3 steals last season. Canada is also a two-time WNBA all-defensive first-team selection. She is currently in Australia playing for the Melbourne Boomers along with Dream forward Naz Hillmon. Canada leads the WNBL in assists with 7.9 per game.

“Canada’s defensive prowess is a trait I’ve admired from a distance since she entered the league,” Wright said. “You simply can’t teach the level of skill she brings to her position.”

McDonald, 25, led the Arizona Wildcats to the 2021 national championship game and then was picked No. 3 in the draft by the Dream. She has averaged 8.6 points and 2.5 assists in her three seasons in Atlanta.

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