June 8, 2022
Atlanta Dream trade for AD; Megan Walker and Raquel Carrera to the New York Liberty
Team deals for the former No. 2 overall pick from the 2019 draft signaling that the front office's long-term vision remains on
The Atlanta Dream traded Megan Walker and the rights to Spanish overseas prospect Raquel Carrera for New York Liberty guard AD; multiple sources told The Next Wednesday afternoon. On its surface, few environments seem more conducive to servicing AD’s success than that of Atlanta’s, given the front office’s patience. And the locker room’s evidently positive climate.
AD missed the entirety of the 2020 and 2021 seasons after contracting long-haul COVID before the 2020 season, which according to a feature from The Next’s Jackie Powell, has “impacted their brain and nervous system and continues to” do so.
They had an extensive support system in New York, which Atlanta seemingly wishes to replicate.
“We are excited for the opportunity to add AD to our roster,” head coach Tanisha Wright said in a press release. “We understand the obstacles AD has fought through to get back to playing basketball, and we look forward to teaming up with them and continuing that journey. AD’s talent speaks for itself, and we think there is no better place to unlock it than here in their home state.”
In her previous reporting, Powell added that AD and New York were seemingly on alternative paths, with the latter looking to build sustainable success in the short-term while the former is taking her progress “one day at a time.” That mindset seemingly fits in with the Dream. Now, they’ll hope to strike big on AD, who was selected second overall in the 2019 Draft.
The team will part with Carrera, who got drafted in the second round of the 2021 WNBA Draft and Walker, who is claimed on waivers from the Phoenix Mercury this offseason. The Liberty successively signed Marine Johannès, Powell reported, with space coming from Walker’s waiver, per Just Women’s Sports’ Rachel Galligan.
They will have plenty of time to continue progressing in a guard rotation that includes Erica Wheeler, Aari McDonald, Tiffany Hayes and Kristy Wallace. On the other hand, Walker mostly fell out of the team’s rotation, playing a career-low 9.6 minutes per game.
Throwback to little Asia Durr as a young Hooper for this ATL Dream commercial #DreamBig pic.twitter.com/edBiliWTBK— Samantha Williams (@UTCoachSam) November 5, 2017
Though they are averaging just 1.4 points in seven minutes per game this season (shooting just three-for-17 from the field), AD’s potential can be derived from a strong college career. And a successful rookie season in which the Louisville product scored 9.7 points per game for New York. At 25, AD offers untapped potential and is yet to complete an entire season outside of their rookie year.
Dan Padover, the team’s new general manager, traded Atlanta’s other prominent overseas prospect, Li Yueru, in an offseason deal that sent her and Chennedy Carter to the Los Angeles Sparks for Wheeler and two picks.
AD is a Georgia native, growing up in Douglasville, Ga., less than an hour outside of Atlanta. During their collegiate career at Louisville, AD was a terrific scorer in nearly every facet of the court, from running the break to shooting from outside.
I figured the Liberty would part ways after the season with AD. However, cap room was necessary for Johannes. I’m interested to see where Walker lands.