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Sparks acquire forward Gabby Williams from Chicago Sky for Stephanie Watts

Chicago Sky forward Gabby Williams sets up a play.
Chicago Sky forward Gabby Williams sets up a play during the first half of a playoff game against the Connecticut Sun on Sept. 15, 2020 in Bradenton, Fla.
(Phelan M. Ebenhack / Associated Press)

The Sparks are adding forward Gabby Williams, but won’t have the former University of Connecticut star until next season.

The Sparks will trade No. 10 overall pick Stephanie Watts and the rights to 2020 second-round pick Leonie Fiebich to the Chicago Sky for Williams, according to a source. Williams will remain on the suspended list for the 2021 season as the French national team member fulfills her international obligations during the Olympic year, but is expected to join the Sparks with a contract extension next year.

Williams, 24, averaged 7.7 points and 4.0 rebounds per game in 2020. She was drafted fourth overall by the Sky in 2018 after helping UConn to back-to-back national championships in 2015 and 2016.

“We’re excited to bring Gabby Williams into the L.A. Sparks organization,” general manager and coach Derek Fisher said in a statement. “At just 24 years old, Gabby is a versatile player who still has the potential to make a major impact in this league. She fits into what we’re building in Los Angeles and we look forward to the future with her in a Sparks uniform.”

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The trade gives the Sparks return on their first-round investment for Watts, a 5-foot-11 guard who, despite the talent to contribute, was unlikely to make the final cut with the Sparks because of roster limitations. Instead of waiving the North Carolina alumna, the Sparks can add a versatile piece for the future.

Coach and GM Derek Fisher has tough decisions ahead for the Sparks, who have a core group of eight players with four roster spots up for grabs.


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