The deal to send Charde Houston to the Phoenix Mercury seems like a perfect fit in at least one obvious way.
The Phoenix Mercury score a lot of points, leading the league in both scoring – and more importantly – offensive rating in every season since 2006. Charde Houston likes to shoot; in the two seasons prior to the WNBA champion Minnesota Lynx’ title run, Houston had among the highest usage rates in the league.
After being buried on the talented Minnesota Lynx’ bench during their title run, she’ll get a chance to show what she can do once as a scorer once again. But there might also be more value to this trade for the Mercury.
The Mercury were not a particularly strong rebounding team last season, allowing opponents to grab the second highest percentage of offensive rebounds in the Western Conference (28.1%). In addition to being one of the highest usage players in the WNBA in 2009, Houston was also an outstanding defensive rebounder, ranking 7th in the league with a 22.8% defensive rebounding percentage. For a team like the Mercury that like to run, that rebounding could certainly be useful.
As already noted on Twitter, the move also gives the Mercury some depth at forward, which could be essential with Penny Taylor’s situation in an Olympic year.
For the Lynx, this clears a roster spot more than anything as they have two first round picks (#3 and #12) in addition to three mid-second round picks.