Lynx trade forward Houston to Phoenix

MINNEAPOLIS – The Minnesota Lynx on Tuesday executed a sign-and-trade deal with the Phoenix Mercury, sending forward Charde Houston and the 24th overall pick in the upcoming 2012 WNBA draft to the Mercury in exchange for the 18th overall selection in this year’s draft.

“Charde was an important part of our team for the last four years,” said Lynx executive vice president Roger Griffith. “She was able to positively impact our team, not only with her play on the court, but also with her personality off the court and with the fans. Charde had expressed an interest getting more playing time, and hopefully this trade will give her a larger opportunity. We are appreciative of everything she has done for our organization and wish her the best in Phoenix.”

A four-year veteran out of Connecticut, Houston was originally selected by the Lynx in the third round (30th overall pick) of the 2008 draft. She was named an All-Star during her second season in 2009, averaging career highs with 13.1 points and 5.5 rebounds in 23.3 minutes per game. Last season, Houston averaged career lows in minutes (7.8), points (2.9) and rebounds (1.7) in 27 appearances. She holds career averages of 9.5 points and 3.9 rebounds in 18.3 minutes per game.

The Lynx now have six draft picks in the draft, which will be held in April. Minnesota holds two picks in the first round (3rd and 12th overall), three in the second round (18, 19 and 20) and one in the third round (31).