February 9, 2023 

Dream send Tiffany Hayes to Sun for draft pick

Dream trade longest-tenured player to gain No. 6 pick in the 2023 WNBA Draft.

On Thursday afternoon, the Atlanta Dream announced they would send their longest-tenured player, guard Tiffany Hayes, to the Connecticut Sun for the No. 6 pick in this year’s WNBA draft, as first reported by Rachel Galligan.

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Hayes has spent her entire 10-year professional career with the Dream, drafted in 2012 with the 14th pick overall. During her time in Atlanta, she averaged 13.8 points and 2.4 assists per game, solidifying herself as the team’s second-all-time leading scorer. She was a 2017 All-Star, on the 2012 All-Rookie Team, and 2018 1st All-Team and 2nd Defensive Team.

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In addition to her domestic career, Hayes consistently played overseas and became an Azerbaijani citizen in 2015 where she competed on the country’s 3×3 team.

The 2022 season plagued Hayes with injury, and her Azerbaijani 3×3 commitments forced her to miss the Dream’s final games. Her contract was suspended at that time. However, in the 11 games she was on the court for the Dream, she was electric, averaging above her career stats and playing dynamically alongside rookie Rhyne Howard.

However, after the January signing of Allisha Gray and the veteran’ injury-prone status, Hayes’ place on the Dream seemed to shrink rapidly. After the announcement, the team honored Hayes’ career and wished her all the best on her return to Connecticut, where she played her college ball at UConn. At UConn, Hayes won two national championships.

Hayes is joining a Sun squad in transition, although not rebuild, according to GM Darius Taylor, who previously coached in Atlanta. After many sequential deep playoff runs, Connecticut has had a recent exodus of top players and long-time Head Coach Curt Miller.

With the addition of the No. 6 pick, the Dream will have the No. 6, No. 8, and No. 15 pick in this year’s draft, likely to bring them solid rookie talent. The Dream originally won the No. 3 pick in this year’s lottery for the third year in a row but traded it to Dallas for Gray.

And although Hayes will no longer play in Atlanta, her tenure under many iterations of this Dream team will not be forgotten by the fans or community.

Written by Gabriella Lewis

Gabriella is The Next's Atlanta Dream and SEC beat reporter. She is a Bay Area native currently studying at Emory University.

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