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Fever’s Cappie Pondexter Brings Boost To Indiana

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Cappie Pondexter may have not been a fit with the Los Angeles Sparx, who cut ties with her earlier this month, but she is becoming a factor for her new team, the Indiana Fever.

Pondexter, one of the league’s all-time greats, is now on a struggling team, but her influence is having an impact on her teammates, as was the case when Indiana proved to be a tough matchup for the defending WNBA Champion Minnesota Lynx.

“We came in the huddle and everyone was slumped,” Indiana forward Natalie Achonwa said. “Cappie was like, ‘It’s a tie game.’ That just got us sitting back up. Just because a couple of possessions go wrong doesn’t mean we’re not engaged.”

“We had the momentum from the start of the game,” Pondexter said. “[The Lynx] were on their heels. Sometimes you have to remind them the game is about runs. You’re going to have good runs and bad runs. You have to remember the momentum is on our side. Small things like that.”

Indiana coach Pokey Chatman, who coached Pondexter with the Chicago Sky from 2015-16, knew what the veteran brought to the table and immediately worked to bring her into the fold.

“Cappie’s an experienced player who knows how to compete at the highest level,” Chatman said. “She knows how to start a game and close out quarters. Just that experience. Having to learn under the lights and learn how to practice. … It’s one thing for me to show them on video after the fact. It’s nice to have someone on the bench speaking the same language, and on the court doing the same things.”

Pondexter has spent enough time in the WNBA to understand the business side of it, as she understood the Sparx’s decision to release her.

“It’s a business at the end of the day,” she said in the visitor’s locker room at Target Center. “If you focus on the past, you can’t really step into future. I’m 13 years in [the league]. I understand it’s a business. I understand the organization had to do what was best for the team. At the same time, this organization had to do the same thing.

“I wasn’t frustrated at all. I was told to trust [Agler], and that’s what I did. It is what it is. Now I’m in Indiana, and when Pokey calls me and plays me, I’m ready. I’m fresh. I didn’t play the first half of the season. … I’ve still got a lot to contribute.”

Indiana has a refocused and re-energized Pondexter moving forward.

“I’m 35 years old,” Pondexter said, “but I’m a 21-year-old at heart.”

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Aces Talking Trade for Liz Cambage

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The Las Vegas Aces are working on the final details of a trade with the Dallas Wings that would bring All-Star center Liz Cambage to Las Vegas, according to SB Nation’s Bradley Klopfer.

The 6-foot-8 Cambage finished second in the WNBA MVP voting in 2018 behind the Seattle Storm’s Breanna Stewart following an impressive season in which she averaged 23 points and 9.7 rebounds per game while also earning her second All-Star appearance in three seasons.

2018 was a special year for Cambage as she led the WNBA in player efficiency rating with 30.7, and also set a single-game record by scoring an impressive 53 points.

Las Vegas had yet another disappointing season, posting a 14-20 record and finishing 9th.

As part of the trade, the Wings will receive Aces guard Moriah Jefferson, forward Isabelle Harrison and a future WNBA draft pick.

The Los Angeles Sparks had reportedly been discussing a trade for Cambage with Las Vegas and supposedly had offered a package including Kalani Brown, Maria Vadeeva, and a draft pick.

Those talks gained a lot of traction as Cambage stated that she only wanted to play in Los Angeles, making a trade with the Sparks the most likely outcome.

According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Cambage requested a trade in January and cited the Los Angeles Sparks as a preferred destination, but reportedly would play in Las Vegas.

Talks between the Aces and Wings were ongoing since the trade request but went dormant of late before picking back up over the past 2 weeks and picking up major steam by Sunday.

While Cambage has not commented on a potential move to Las Vegas, or publicly changed her stance on playing in Los Angeles, she could have changed her mind during these trade talks.

Jefferson, 25, was the 2nd overall pick of the San Antonio Stars in 2016 and averaged 13.9 points and 4.2 points as a rookie.

While she has been a very productive and consistent player throughout her WNBA career, she was limited last season due to injury, averaging 5.4 points and 2.1 assists.

When healthy, she provides solid, consistent production.

Harrison, 25, was the 12th overall pick in the 2015 WNBA Draft, but missed her rookie season due to a knee injury. She sat out the 2018 WNBA season with an auto-immune issue.

Harrison had a solid 2017 season with the Stars, averaging 11.4 points and 6.4 rebounds per game.

While a deal is not done yet, the two sides are “finalizing” a deal, per the SB Nation report. However, the Las Vegas Review Journal states that
no deal is imminent and characterized the likelihood of one as “50-50”, meaning the betting odds are literally a toss up at this time, depending on which report you choose to believe. If you are the gambling type, follow these racing tips from consistently profitable horse racing tipsters at OLBG.com.

Regardless, this story is developing and one thing is seemingly for certain; Cambage is on her way out of town, one way or the other.

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Sparks Land Chiney Ogwumike in Trade with Sun

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The Los Angeles Sparks have acquired All-Star Chiney Ogwumike from the Connecticut Sun in exchange for a 2020 first round draft pick, the teams announced on Saturday.

The trade will reunite Oqwumike with her sister, Nneka, the 2016 WNBA Most Valuable Player, to form a fierce tandem for the Sparks moving forward.

The sisters were teammates when they played for Stanford.

“Chiney Ogwumike is one of the most athletic, versatile and efficient frontcourt players in the WNBA,” Sparks general manager Penny Toler said. “Chiney provides us additional inside scoring, rebounding and rim protection. She will be a great addition to our roster.”

“We would like to thank Chiney Ogwumike for her contributions to our organization since 2014,” Sun coach and general manager Curt Miller said in a statement. “We wish her well with her career and expanding her off court interests.”

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Breanna Stewart Likely Out Next Season

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The Seattle Storm will have to embark on the next WNBA season without superstar, and franchise cornerstone Breanna Stewart.

According to the Seattle Times, Stewart could miss the next season after suffering a torn Achilles tendon while playing for Russian team Dynamo Kursk in the EuroLeague title game on Sunday.

Stewart, the reigning WNBA MVP capped off her impressive season with a dominant run in the WNBA playoffs and a WNBA championship.

“I don’t think it’s a career-ending type of injury,” her father, Brian Stewart said, according to Syracuse.com. “But it’s certainly going to put her in the barn for a while.”

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