AD Traded from Liberty to Dream for Megan Walker, Raquel Carrera

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVJune 8, 2022

BROOKLYN, NY - MAY 13: AD Durr #25 of the New York Liberty looks on before the game against the Indiana Fever on May 13, 2022 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. 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 2022 NBAE (Photo by Evan Yu/NBAE via Getty Images)
Evan Yu/NBAE via Getty Images

The New York Liberty traded AD to the Atlanta Dream for Megan Walker and the rights to 2021 second-round draft pick Raquel Carrera.

Atlanta Dream @AtlantaDream

NYC➡️ATL | Welcome home, 🅰️D‼️<br><br>📝 <a href="https://t.co/g5HN7sz9Vi">https://t.co/g5HN7sz9Vi</a> <a href="https://t.co/tAwQTXYmbR">pic.twitter.com/tAwQTXYmbR</a>

The Next's Spencer Nusbaum first reported the deal.

"We are excited fort the opportunity to add AD to our roster," Dream head coach Tanisha Wright said. "We understand the obstacles AD has fought through to get back to playing basketball, and we look forward to teaming up with them and continuing that journey. AD’s talent speaks for itself, and we think there is no better place to unlock it than here in their home state."

AD is averaging 1.4 points and 0.4 assists in their first year back since 2019.

Walker is putting up 3.3 points and 0.8 rebounds per game. Rachel Galligan of Just Women's Sports reported the Liberty are expected to waive the 2020 first-round pick.

Jackie Powell of The Next reported New York is finalizing a deal with Marine Johannes. Walker's departure would free up a roster spot for the French guard.

Johannes averaged 7.2 points and shot 37.9 percent from three-point range in her first year with the Liberty in 2019.

More than anything, this resolves a dilemma for the Liberty that Powell outlined in May.

AD missed two full seasons after being diagnosed with COVID-19. Beyond the physical effects, the virus exacted a mental toll that impacted the 25-year-old's game.

"COVID has really thrown everything off, so now I have to retrain my brain to do everything," they told Powell. "It's kind of like I tell people how you're like you’re paralyzed and you're trying to learn how to walk again. That's kind of how it is now. And it's learning how to think, something so simple as thinking and doing something while you're thinking."

The Liberty have done their best to help AD play themselves back into game shape and rediscover their feel on the court. Injuries to DiDi Richards, Betnijah Laney and Jocelyn Willoughby forced head coach Sandy Brondello to lean on AD more than she probably expected.

But the early results haven't been promising amid a disappointing 4-8 start for the Liberty.

The scarcity of roster spots available in the WNBA—teams are capped at 12 players and in some cases can only carry 11 in order to stay under the salary cap—made it difficult to justify keeping AD on the squad. That was especially true for New York given its injury situation and need to improve its ninth-place standing.

When she arrives, Johannes is likely to make more of a difference over the rest of the season.

AD, a native of Douglasville, Georgia, will now get to play closer to home. And while the Dream sit fifth in the WNBA at 7-5, they're also in a period of transition as they build around Rhyne Howard. Atlanta is better positioned to let AD have the rest of the year to rediscover their form.