Allisha Gray Trade Reportedly Being Finalized Between Dream, Wings

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 19, 2023

ARLINGTON, TX - AUGUST 24: Allisha Gray #15 of the Dallas Wings looks on before Round 1 Game 3 of the 2022 WNBA Playoffs on August 24, 2022 at the College Park Center in Arlington, Texas. 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 Cooper Neill/NBAE via Getty Images)
Cooper Neill/NBAE via Getty Images

The Atlanta Dream are finalizing a trade to acquire Allisha Gray from the Dallas Wings, according to ESPN's M.A. Voepel.

Gray averaged 13.3 points and 4.8 rebounds in 33 games with Dallas in 2022. She also shot a career-best 40.8 percent from beyond the arc.

Khristina Williams of Girls Talk Sports TV reported last July that Dallas was expected to shop Gray in trades this winter.

The 28-year-old is under contract for one more season and earns $169,600 before becoming an unrestricted free agent in 2024.

From the moment Dan Padover was hired as Atlanta's general manager in October 2021, a move like this was inevitable. He was the two-time reigning Executive of the Year and helped to build the Las Vegas Aces into a title contender.

The Dream were already aggressive by trading up to the No. 1 pick in the 2022 WNBA draft to select Rhyne Howard. Sooner or later, Padover would begin pursuing marquee veterans to get the franchise to the next level.

Gray should help Atlanta do just that.

Focusing purely on the Dream's record (14-22) and 10th-place finish doesn't do justice to the progress they made under first-year head coach Tanisha Wright.

Howard was exactly as advertised, averaging 16.2 points, 2.8 assists and 1.6 steals en route to making the All-Star team and winning Rookie of the Year.

Aari McDonald, the No. 3 overall pick in 2021, took a step forward in her second year, particularly on defense. Atlanta allowed 7.5 fewer points per 100 possessions when she was on the floor, per WNBA.com.

Naz Hillmon emerged as a solid supporting big in the frontcourt, averaging 12.8 rebounds per 100 possessions, according to Basketball Reference.

In 2018, the Dream won 23 games and pushed the Washington Mystics to five games in the WNBA semifinals. They immediately fell off a cliff, winning 23 combined games over the next three years.

This time around, Atlanta has laid a more solid, sustainable foundation.

Acquiring Gray almost certainly won't be Padover's only major piece of business.

Prior to the trade, the Dream had $852,573 in salary-cap space. Even if they don't send any players to Dallas in the swap, they'd have ample money to spend on free agents over the next month or two.