Busy day in WNBA free agency with Toliver going to Mystics
NEW YORK (AP) Washington got another shooter while New York re-signed two guards on a busy day in WNBA free agency.
The Mystics signed free agent Kristi Toliver on Tuesday to cap a busy week for Washington after the team traded for Elena Delle Donne on Thursday and sent Kia Vaughn and Bria Hartley to New York.
''Adding Kristi Toliver to our team is another banner day in the reconstruction of our team,'' coach and general manager Mike Thibault said. ''We are excited for everything that Kristi brings to the Mystics, on and off the court. She is a proven championship winner at both the WNBA and collegiate level. Her point guard skills and leadership will be invaluable as we try to reach our goal of becoming an elite team.''
The Liberty brought back guards Sugar Rodgers and Rebecca Allen. Rodgers did a great job filling in for New York last season while Epiphanny Prince recovered from an ACL injury, averaging 14.5 points. Allen missed the start of last season while trying to make the Australian Olympic team.
''We're constantly trying to mold our roster from where we started without going backwards,'' New York coach Bill Laimbeer said in a phone interview Tuesday. ''We're adding pieces that fit the profile of players we're looking for. Every year you have to add a new piece here and there.''
New York lost Swin Cash to retirement and traded away Carolyn Swords. The rest of last season's team - which had the third-best record in the WNBA - is intact.
''We have a pretty full roster,'' Laimbeer said. ''A lot of our improvement is dedicated in young players like Brittany Boyd, Kiah Stokes, Amanda Zahui B. and Allen.''
Other moves on Tuesday included defending champ Los Angeles bringing back Essence Carson and signing Tiffany Jackson-Jones.
''Essence's leadership and toughness were key ingredients in helping us return to Championship form,'' said Toler. ''I am really glad she has decided to continue her journey with the Sparks.''
Connecticut re-signed Alex Bentley and Phoenix brought back Cayla George.
''We are excited that Alex has signed a multiyear contract as she heads into the prime of her career,'' Connecticut Sun head coach and general manager Curt Miller said. ''She gives us a versatile combo guard with an aggressive scoring mentality. She has produced consistent numbers over the last three seasons for the Sun and I appreciate the confidence that she brings onto the court.''
Bentley collected her 1,500th career point and 350th assist during the 2016 WNBA season. She was named an Eastern Conference All Star during the 2015 season.
Follow Doug on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/dougfeinberg