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WNBA trade: Atlanta Dream acquire Allisha Gray from the Dallas Wings

WNBA trade: Atlanta Dream acquire Allisha Gray from the Dallas Wings

Stop me if you've heard this before: We have another trade in the WNBA.

It's been reported, twice over, by Khristina Williams of Girls Talk Sports that the Dallas Wings were expected to trade versatile wing Allisha Gray over the offseason. In the latest report from Williams, four teams — Chicago Sky, Connecticut Sun, Washington Mystics, and Atlanta Dream — were listed as potential suitors.

It would appear that Gray has finally gotten her wish. Per ESPN's M.A. Voepel, Gray will be traded to the Atlanta Dream. From his feed:

UPDATE: On Saturday, the Dream and Wings officially announced the deal, with the Dream sending the third overall pick of this year's draft and a 2025 first round pick to the Wings for Gray.

As we wait for the details to roll in, I think it's still fair to call this a slam dunk for the Dream. Gray narrowly missed out on an All-Star berth last season, but make no mistake: She's that type of talent.

Gray averaged career-highs in points (13.3) and assists (2.5) while also grabbing 4.8 boards and racking up 1.1 steals per contest. Even those numbers don't do Gray justice. She's an additive on both ends; someone who can spread the floor at an elite level (40.8% from three on 4.8 attempts), attack titled defenses (66.1% FG inside of three feet), and defend multiple positions at a high level. 

Per PBP Stats, the Wings outscored opponents by 69 points (plus-3.1 net rating) in nearly 1200 minutes with her on the floor last season, playoffs included. They were outscored by 93 points (minus-12.0 NET) in 372 minutes without her. This may shock you, but that was one of the biggest swings in The W last year. 

Adding Gray to a Dream roster headlined by Rhyne Howard — the reigning Rookie of the Year who also made the All-Star team last season — is truly fun stuff. As noted by WNBA.com's Mark Schindler, there may not be a two-way wing tandem in the league like Howard and Gray. 

Both Gray and Howard are dangerous off the ball, with Howard having a little more gravity due to her slippery nature around screens. Gray showed last season that she can handle more ball-screen usage than originally given credit for. Howard got increasingly comfortable getting downhill against defenses geared to stop her. 

There shouldn't be much overlap between to the two. Don't be shocked if we see the Dream flow into more option-based reads in the half-court. Picture, for a moment, Howard coming off a pindown on one side and Gray coming off a pick on the other. The lead guard would have the option to feed one of them for a shot or drive, or receive receive a ghost screen from one of them to further strain a defense.

With as much handling that Cheyenne Parker did on the perimeter — as a high-post hub or a dribble handoff hub above the three-point line — there's room to invert the offense as well. The Dream led The W on field goal attempts from dribble handoffs (5.8) last season, per InStat tracking.

Gray's comfort pulling against defenders going under handoffs (or leaving a gap when switching), and ability to get downhill makes her a viable piece in a handoff-heavy offense.

For a Dream team that ranked 11th (out of 12 teams) in offensive rating last season, they could move into a different tier with the Gray acquisition. The fit is that good.

Defensively, Gray is tenacious defending 2s and 3s, with the ability to slide with 1s and body up 4s in a pinch. She navigates screens well, and, more impressively, her motor never seems to die out. Even if she does get hung up on a screen, she can still challenge (and sometimes block) shots from behind.

I fully expect her and Howard to bring chaos to opposing offenses.

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