PHOENIX – The Phoenix Mercury has acquired restricted free agent Charde Houston in a sign-and-trade deal that sent the team’s 2012 second round draft pick (18th overall) to the Minnesota Lynx, the club announced today. Phoenix also received Minnesota’s 24th overall selection (second round) in this year’s draft.
Along with the second round pick, the Mercury owns the sixth overall pick in the 2012 WNBA Draft and two third-round selections (30th and 33rd overall).
Houston just completed her fourth season in Minnesota, where she has averaged 9.5 points on 44.6 percent shooting from the field and 3.9 rebounds per game. The 6-0 forward was selected as a WNBA All-Star in 2009, a season in which she averaged career bests with 13.1 points and 5.5 rebounds per game.
“We are excited about adding Charde’s unique skill set to our team,” Head Coach and General Manager Corey Gaines said. “Her ability to run the floor, score the ball and hit the outside shot will be a perfect fit for our system.”
Following her rookie season when she did not attempt a single 3-pointer, the University of Connecticut alum added 3-point range to her repertoire, shooting 23-of-69 (.333) from long range in 2009 and a career-best 36.5 percent (46-of-126) in 2010. Last season, Houston served in a reserve role for the WNBA Champion Lynx playing 7.8 minutes per game.
Houston most recently averaged 18.6 points and 8.8 rebounds in 11 games for Istanbul Universitesi SK in Turkey while shooting 45.0 percent from the field and 38.2 percent from three. She now plays for Ramat Chen in Israel.
Houston will make her return to Minnesota when the Mercury opens the 2012 WNBA season on May 20 against the Lynx at 9:30 a.m. Phoenix time. The game will be nationally televised on ABC.
The Mercury makes its home debut on May 26 when it hosts Candace Parker and the Los Angeles Sparks, who own the first overall selection in this year’s draft. Tipoff is slated for 7 p.m. Flexible ticket packages for the 2012 season are available by calling 602-252-WNBA or visiting phoenixmercury.com.