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Free agency roundup: Dream sign Tina Charles, Aerial Powers

Jun 26, 2022; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Minnesota Lynx forward Aerial Powers (3) looks to pass the ball against Chicago Sky guard Julie Allemand (20) during the second half of a WNBA game at Wintrust Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Dream signed veteran center Tina Charles and guard Aerial Powers on Thursday amid a flurry of transactions around the league on the first day of WNBA free agency.

The moves came after Atlanta deal guard Aari McDonald and the eighth overall pick in the 2024 draft to the Los Angeles Sparks in exchange for guard Jordin Canada and the 12th overall pick.

Charles, the league MVP in 2012, was out of the league in 2023 and most recently split the 2022 season between the Phoenix Mercury and Seattle Storm. The 35-year-old ranks fourth in WNBA history in career points (7,115) and second in career rebounds (3,640). She has career averages of 18.2 points, 9.3 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game for Connecticut (2010-13), New York (2014-19), Washington (2021), Phoenix and Seattle.

Powers, 30, joins Atlanta after seeing her role reduced with the Minnesota Lynx in 2023. After averaging 14.4 points, 4.7 rebounds and a career-best 2.9 assists in 35 games (31 starts) in 2022, Powers moved to a reserve role and tallied 5.2 points off the bench in 9.8 minutes per game. She has career averages of 10.7 points and 3.3 rebounds for Dallas (2016-18), Washington (2018-20) and Minnesota (2021-23).

The Dream also announced the re-signing of forward Nia Coffey. In her second season with Atlanta, Coffey averaged 6.9 points and 4.8 rebounds across 31 starts in 2023.

–The Minnesota Lynx agreed to terms with guard Courtney Williams and forward Alanna Smith.

Williams, 29, is joining the Lynx on a two-year deal, multiple reports said. She has been a double-digit scorer for each of the past seven seasons, most recently spending 2023 with the Chicago Sky and putting up 10.4 points, 6.0 rebounds and a career-high 6.3 assists per game over 40 starts.

Williams owns career averages of 12.1 points, 5.4 rebounds and 3.5 assists in 249 games for the Phoenix Mercury (2016), Connecticut Sun (2016-19, 2022), Atlanta Dream (2020-21) and Sky.

Smith, 27, also played for the Sky last season and had the best campaign of her five-year WNBA career, posting 9.2 points, 6.6 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.3 steals and 1.3 blocks per contest over 38 games (35 starts).

–The Washington Mystics signed guard Karlie Samuelson, guard/forward DiDi Richards and forward Emily Engstler.

Samuelson, 28, had a breakthrough season for the Sparks in 2023 after bouncing around four teams as a reserve from 2018-22. In 34 games (23 starts), she averaged 7.7 points, 3.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists for Los Angeles.

Richards, who turns 25 next week, has averaged 2.3 points per game over 45 career appearances for the Liberty in two season (2021-22). Engstler, 23, was the fourth overall pick of the 2022 draft by Indiana but played just 12 games in her sophomore season. She has averages of 4.3 points and 4.5 rebounds in 47 career games.

Washington also signed Belgian guard Julie Vanloo to a training camp contract.

–The Indiana Fever announced a deal with forward Damiris Dantas, and multiple reports said the club is also bringing in guard Katie Lou Samuelson.

Dantas, 31, last played for the Lynx in 2019-22. Her best season came in the 2020 bubble season, when she posted career highs of 12.9 points and 6.1 rebounds per game over 22 starts. She has averaged 7.7 points and 4.3 rebounds over her 202-game career.

Katie Lou Samuelson, the 26-year-old sister of Washington’s Karlie Samuelson, was the fourth overall pick of the 2019 draft by Chicago. The Fever will be her fifth team in five WNBA seasons; she has averaged 6.5 points per game in her career with the Sky, Wings, Storm and Sparks, but she’s coming off a career-best 9.7 scoring average in 32 games (29 starts) for Los Angeles in 2023.

–Veteran guard Rachel Banham is returning to the team that drafted her, the Connecticut Sun.

Banham played the first four seasons of her career with the Sun before the Minnesota native joined the Lynx in 2019. Banham shot 40.2 percent from 3-point range last season in averaging 5.5 points per game over 32 games (one start).

She’s tallied 5.2 points and 1.5 assists per game and shot 37.1 percent from deep in her eight-year career.

–The Chicago Sky have signed guard Lindsay Allen.

Allen left Minnesota, where she averaged 6.2 points and a career-high 4.5 assists per game in 29 outings (20 starts) in 2023. In six seasons with New York (2017), Las Vegas (2018, 2020), Indiana (2021) and Minnesota (2022-23), Allen has put up 4.3 points and 3.1 assists per game.

–Field Level Media

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