Elena Delle Donne is headed to Washington in one of the biggest trades in the WNBA's history.
The 2015 MVP is joining the Mystics after being traded from the Chicago Sky on Thursday for former UConn player Stefanie Dolson, Kahleah Copper and the No. 2 pick in this year's draft.
The move gets her closer to her Delaware home.
"I'm really excited about this next chapter in my career with the Mystics," Delle Donne said.
She credited coach Mike Thibault, owner Ted Leonsis and team president Sheila Johnson with building "a strong team that is ready to make a significant impact in the league and I'm thrilled to be a part of it. I'm sad to be leaving Chicago, a place that was a fantastic city for sports and truly felt like home."
Family has always been big with Delle Donne. She left UConn after two days because she wanted to be closer to home and her family, including her sister, Lizzie — who is blind, deaf, and has cerebral palsy — and enrolled at Delaware, where she went on to have an incredible collegiate career. Now she can get home from Washington in less than 2 hours.
Delle Donne averaged 21.5 points and seven rebounds a game last season for the Sky, helping them reach the playoffs. She missed the postseason after thumb surgery. The 6-foot-5 forward continues to deal with the lingering effects of Lyme disease, which she has battled since 2008. It forced her to leave China less than 48 hours after she arrived there earlier this month to play in the country's professional basketball league.
The move gives coach Mike Thibault a star player to build the franchise around. The Mystics were 13-21 last season after reaching the playoff the three previous years.
"Clearly, this is one of the biggest moves in the history of this organization," Thibault said. "In only four years, Elena has established herself as one of the premier players in the world, as evidenced by her MVP season two years ago. Her impact on and off the court will be invaluable."