Sparks acquire Brittney Sykes and Marie Gülich in trade with Atlanta Dream

Atlanta Dream guard Brittney Sykes controls the ball during a game against the Phoenix Mercury on Aug. 16.
(Rick Scuteri / Associated Press)

The Sparks traded for a pair of former first-round draft picks Monday in an effort aimed at bolstering their defense and rebounding ahead of the 2020 season.

In a trade deal with the Atlanta Dream, the Sparks acquired guard Brittney Sykes and center Marie Gülich in exchange for center Kalani Brown.

“Brittney is an athletic young guard who puts pressure on the defense, gets to the free-throw line and takes pride on the defensive end,” Sparks managing partner Eric Holoman said in a statement. “Marie gives our frontcourt additional rim protection and rebounding.”


Sykes, who made the WNBA’s 2017 All-Rookie team after being drafted seventh overall by the Dream, has averaged 11.3 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game over the last three seasons. Gülich, who was selected 12th overall by the Phoenix Mercury in 2018, averaged 3.3 points per game in limited playing time with the Dream in 2019.

The Sparks selected Brown with the No. 7 overall pick in the 2019 draft. She averaged 5.1 points and 3.5 rebounds last season.

Kristi Toliver, a three-time WNBA All-Star who won a title with the Sparks in 2016, is back on the team.

Feb. 10, 2020