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Las Vegas Aces trade Nia Coffey to New York for veteran guard

The Aces decided not to trade their 2019 first-round pick before Wednesday’s WNBA Draft. Instead, a day later, they traded a 2017 first-round selection.

Las Vegas acquired veteran shooting guard Sugar Rodgers from the New York Liberty in a three-team trade Thursday. The Aces will send third-year small forward and former No. 5 overall pick Nia Coffey to the Atlanta Dream, who traded a second-round pick in the 2020 WNBA Draft to New York.

“The biggest thing is another threat on the perimeter,” Aces general manager Dan Padover said of the acquisition of Rodgers. “She shoots the 3-ball pretty well, and our team can use that. Veteran presence. We’re obviously a young team that continues to grow. I think she’ll be good for our locker room.”

Rodgers, 29, spend the past five years with the Liberty, with whom she played for Aces coach Bill Laimbeer from 2014 to 2017. She averages 8.0 points in her six-year WNBA career — including a career-high 14.5 points per game in 2016. She shoots 34.8 percent from 3-point range and was the league’s Sixth Woman of the Year in 2017.

Coffey, 23, averaged 5.3 points last season in 28 games, including 10 starts. She missed five games with an ankle injury in June, but struggled to find a rhythm after returning and logged 13.8 minutes per game.

“We definitely were redundant at (small forward),” Padover said. “This kind of gave us some leeway to add at the two-guard position, and just again, spreading the floor for some of our frontcourt players. I think Sugar will provide some scoring with the 3-ball.”

On Wednesday, the Aces took Notre Dame junior guard Jackie Young with the No. 1 overall pick in the draft. She was the team’s only selection.

More Aces: Follow at reviewjournal.com/aces and @RJ_Sports on Twitter.

Contact reporter Sam Gordon at sgordon@reviewjournal.com. Follow @BySamGordon on Twitter.

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