Sparks Trade for No. 7 Pick in 2021 WNBA Draft; Wings Get 2022 1st-Rounder

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVApril 14, 2021

PALMETTO, FL - SEPTEMBER 17: Kristine Anigwe #31 of the Los Angeles Sparks shoots the ball against the Connecticut Sun during the WNBA playoffs on September 17, 2020 at Feld Entertainment Center in Palmetto, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2020 NBAE (Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images)
Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images

There's been a shake-up in the first round of Thursday's WNBA draft. 

The Los Angeles Sparks announced Wednesday that they acquired the No. 7 overall pick and a 2022 second-round pick from the Dallas Wings in exchange for their 2022 first-rounder. 

“Our goal is to continue to build a roster that emphasizes versatility, athleticism, and players who can make plays for others and defend multiple positions,” Sparks general manager and head coach Derek Fisher said. “We believe that this draft has several players who can make an immediate impact and play a role for us. We’re excited to acquire the No. 7 pick and have two first-round picks heading into tomorrow’s draft.”

The Sparks also hold the No. 10 overall pick in the first round, along with two second-round picks (Nos. 22 and 28 overall) and a third-rounder (No. 34 overall).

The Sparks had a solid 2020 season, finishing 15-7 and reaching the postseason for the ninth straight time, though they lost to the Connecticut Sun in the second round of the playoffs.

With Candace Parker signing with her hometown Chicago Sky and Chelsea Gray signing with the Los Vegas Aces, the Sparks will build around Nneka Ogwumike and their incoming rookies. With small forward the team's primary need, Tennessee's Rennia Davis is a player to watch for if she drops to No. 7, while the Sparks could also target UCLA's Michaela Onyenwere, keeping a local favorite in Los Angeles. 

“Michaela is really intriguing,” ESPN analyst Rebecca Lobo told Mirjam Swanson of the Orange County Register. “She could be one of—if not the best athlete—in the draft.”

As for the Wings, they have plenty of ammunition already atop the draft, holding the Nos. 1, 2 and 5 overall picks. Texas center Charli Collier is widely expected to be the top overall pick, though more intrigue will follow Dallas' selections at Nos. 2 and 5.