Sun trade Feenstra, draft pick for Dydek

Updated: April 18, 2005, 1:50 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

SECAUCUS, N.J. -- Immediately following Saturday's WNBA draft, the Connecticut Sun traded the rights to eighth overall pick Katie Feenstra and their first-round pick in the 2006 draft to San Antonio in exchange for seven-year veteran Margo Dydek.

TERRIFIC TRADE
Nancy LiebermanSome say the Sun were just a Margo Dydek away from winning the WNBA title last season. Only coach Mike Thibault can make that call, but we do know that none of the posts coming out of college are better than or more experienced than the 7-foot- 2 Dydek.

Yes, some of the college seniors might be more athletic, but this trade looks good on paper. Dydek, who turns 31 at the end of the month, is nine years older than Katie Feenstra, but she's better than the Liberty senior, too.

The one knock on Dydek is that she doesn't like to play with her back to the basket or get down on the low block. Thibault will make her a better player and convince Dydek to dig down low and take up some space there.

In the Sun's starting lineup, expect 6-2 Taj McWilliams-Franklin to move over to the 4, which gives Connecticut a pretty darn big post game.
-- ESPN's Nancy Lieberman

The tallest player in the WNBA, the 7-foot-2 Dydek is the league's career leader in blocked shots (655) and blocks per game (2.92). Last year, the Connecticut Sun averaged 2.82 blocks per game as a team.

The Sun selected Feenstra -- a 6-foot-8 center who averaged 17.8 points and 10.3 rebounds per game while leading Liberty to the Sweet 16 in 2004-05 -- with the eighth overall pick, then executed a sign-and-trade with San Antonio that was agreed upon before Connecticut made its pick.

"I'm thrilled," Connecticut coach Mike Thibault said on the team's Web site. "We weren't even sure [Feenstra would] get to the eighth pick. We had made a decision that, if we could make the trade with San Antonio, we would.

"It's a tough call between a good young player and a very good veteran. With our team the way it is, being close to a championship last year, we tried to picture that playoff series last year with Margo on the court."

"We are all appreciative of the things Margo did for this organization, but we are building for the future and this draft definitely helped us do that," San Antonio coach Dan Hughes said on the Silver Stars' Web site. "Katie is a player who has tremendous upside who gives us size and is a scoring threat at the low post. She's a great fit for our team."

A two-time Associate Press Honorable Mention selection, Feenstra finished her career at Liberty as the Big South Conference's and Flames' all-time leader in blocks (246) and field goal percentage (.622, 764-1,228). A three-time All-Big South First Team selection, Feenstra averaged 16.9 points and 9.5 rebounds in 109 career games.

Dydek spent seven seasons with the Silver Stars/Utah Starzz franchise after being drafted by Utah with the first overall pick in the 1998 WNBA Draft. She ranks fifth on the WNBA's all-time rebounding list (1,530) and 19th all-time in points (2,457). In her WNBA career, she has appeared in 224 games, averaging 11.0 points, 6.8 rebounds, 2.92 blocks and 1.9 assists in 25.9 minutes per game.

ALSO SEE