Sparks acquire Katie Lou Samuelson in trade with Seattle

Seattle Storm forward Katie Lou Samuelson shoots against the Atlanta Dream during the first half of their game
Katie Lou Samuelson, taking a shot against the Dream last season, averaged 7.0 points and 3.5 rebounds last season with Seattle.
(Ben Margot / Associated Press)

The Los Angeles Sparks have acquired former Santa Ana Mater Dei High and Connecticut star Katie Lou Samuelson and a 2022 first-round draft pick in a trade with Seattle.

The Storm acquired Gabby Williams, another former UConn player who helped France win the bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics last summer. The Sparks acquired Williams in a trade with Chicago, who received Stephanie Watts and Leonie Fiebich in the deal, last May.

The trade Thursday also frees up money for the Sparks to pursue free agents.

“We’re excited to add Katie Lou Samuelson to our team,” said Derek Fisher, the Sparks’ coach and general manager, in a statement released by the team. “In addition to her perimeter shooting, Katie Lou brings defensive versatility and length. She has great on-court instincts and we’re excited to build with her moving forward.


“The addition of Katie Lou Samuelson, a first-round pick, plus meaningful cap space provides us the flexibility needed to strengthen our 2022 roster at multiple positions. This trade also increases our draft assets and better positions ourselves for future success. We wish Gabby Williams nothing but the best in Seattle.”

Samuelson, a 6-foot-3 forward who was drafted No. 9 overall by Chicago in 2019, averaged 7.0 points and 3.5 rebounds while shooting 35.1% from three-point range in 27 games last season with Seattle. Samuelson, 24, played 20 games in her rookie season with the the Sky and 22 games the next season with Dallas.

The Los Angeles Sparks will open the 2022 WNBA season on May 6 against the defending champion Chicago Sky and former L.A. star Candace Parker.

Dec. 9, 2021

Williams, 25, was the fourth overall pick of Chicago in 2018. The 5-foot-11 forward averaged 6.8 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 1.9 assists per game in three seasons with the Sky.

In one other trade Thursday, Chicago, Indiana and Phoenix made a deal that sends Bria Hartley to the Fever, Diamond DeShields to the Mercury and Julia Allemand to the Sky. The deal freed up some money that Phoenix could use to try to sign free agent Tina Charles.

In WNBA free-agency news:

—Angel McCoughtry is heading to Minnesota and Briann January is going to Seattle for her final season in the WNBA. McCoughtry spent the past two seasons in Las Vegas after playing in Atlanta since the Dream drafted her first in 2009. She missed last year while dealing with an ACL injury in her right knee, except for a token one-game appearance when the Aces played in Atlanta. In 2020 she averaged 14.4 points, 5.1 rebounds and 2.5 assists for the Aces.

—Stefanie Dolson joined the New York Liberty after helping the Chicago Sky win last year’s championship. She averaged 7.5 points and 3.5 rebounds while shooting 48.6% from the field and 94.7% from the foul line.


—Atlanta re-signed forward Monique Billings. She was drafted in the second round by Atlanta in 2018 and has averaged 6.2 points and 5.9 rebounds.