Australian WNBA All-Star Liz Cambage has been traded from the Dallas Wings to the Bill Laimbeer-coached Las Vegas Aces.
Cambage requested a trade in January and in recent days, as talks dragged on, she posted emotional messages on Instagram declaring: “You never cared about me, you just care about owning me”.
Cambage transforms the fledgling Aces into a legitimate WNBA title contender and allows the Australian to learn from Laimbeer, the hard-nosed centre of the Detroit Pistons’ 1989 and 1990 NBA championship teams.
“Everyone in the Aces family is excited to welcome Liz to Las Vegas,” Laimbeer, also the team’s president of basketball operations, said.
“She brings an attitude and physical presence that we need.
“There is no doubt about her physical ability, but what we respect most about her is her basketball IQ.
“That is what we are about.”
The Aces, formerly the San Antonio Stars, made their debut in Las Vegas last season and were just nudged out of the eighth and last playoff spot by the Wings.
Las Vegas will send point guard Moriah Jefferson, forward Isabelle Harrison and first and second-round 2020 draft picks to Dallas for Cambage.
Cambage, a 27-year-old, 203cm tall centre and star of the Australian Opals, was impressive for the Wings last year with a WNBA-high 23 points and 9.7 rebounds a game.
Cambage finished second behind the Seattle Storm’s Breanna Stewart in WNBA MVP balloting and scored a league record 53 points in a game against New York.
The Aces will have a dominant frontcourt with Cambage joining forces with rookie of the year A’ja Wilson.
Cambage is outspoken on the lack of money paid to WNBA players, the commercial flights they have to take and being forced to play back-to-back games in different cities.
Cambage also made it clear she did not want to return to Dallas, although the Los Angeles Sparks were reportedly her desired team.
During Tuesday’s emotional Instagram posts she wrote: “I’m sick of being patient and being quiet. I’m sick of not eating and not sleeping. I’m sick of being stuck in limbo.”
With Stewart recently rupturing her right Achilles tendon and Phoenix Mercury star Diana Taurasi undergoing back surgery, the injuries open the way for Cambage to win the league’s MVP trophy and lead the Aces to the title.