WNBA Better Trades for 2006
Leave it to Bill Laimbeer to shock the WNBA world by making the biggest and better trades! He certainly did it prior to the WNBA draft in 2006, when the general manager and head coach of the Detroit Shock selected Ambrosia Anderson with the 17th overall pick, then immediately traded her to Minnesota in exchange for Jacqueline Batteast.
Batteast was originally drafted by the Lynx in the 2005 draft, but played in only eight games after hyperextending her left knee and spending 41 days on the injured list. The injury concern didn't enter into Laimbeer's thinking. Instead he saw a talented center who had led Notre Dame to a 27-6 record and was the Big East Player of the Year. Detroit also made a move by sending a pair of draft picks to Phenix for Angelina Williams.
Laimbeer, who was the starting center for the NBA's great Detroit Piston franchise, wound up playing the right cards. The Shock won the 2006 WNBA championship for the second straight year, this time beating the Indiana Fever in the championship series.
The Los Angeles Sparks got into the war for better trades when it shipped Temeka Johnson and Murriel Page to Washington for Nikki Teasley. Johnson had been a first-round draft pick and was the 2005 Rookie of the Year. Johnson had averaged 6.4 points and four assists in 66 games with the Sparks.
Tamara James became the first University of Miami player to be a first-round selection when she was chosen by the Washington Mystics. James left the Canes as the school's all-time leding scorer and was named second-team All-American.