Indiana acquires five-time All-Star Candice Dupree in three-team trade

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INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Fever have acquired five-time WNBA All-Star Candice Dupree in a three-team trade involving the Phoenix Mercury and Connecticut Sun, as announced by Fever President and General Manager Kelly Krauskopf. From the Mercury, Indiana receives Dupree and a second-round draft pick (No. 17 overall) in the 2017 WNBA Draft. Indiana sends Lynetta Kizer and the Fever’s first-round draft pick (No. 8 overall) to Connecticut. Capping the transaction, Connecticut trades Camille Little and Jillian Aleyne to Phoenix.

Dupree is a 6-2 forward who has played 32 or more games in 10 of her 11 WNBA seasons. In all, Dupree has started 343 of 347 games since her arrival in the league in 2006. She boasts career averages of 14.7 points and 6.9 rebounds per game, spending the past seven seasons with the Mercury. Drafted by Chicago in 2006, she started all but one contest with the Sky through four seasons before being dealt to Phoenix in a three-team trade on March 30, 2010.

The centerpiece of the three-team deal, Dupree starred at Temple under coach Dawn Staley prior to arriving in the WNBA and being named to the league’s All-Rookie Team. She ranks 11th among all-time rebounders (2,378) in the WNBA and is the league’s 15th-leading career scorer (5,107). She has averaged double-figure scoring through each of 11 seasons, and started every game of the Mercury’s championship season of 2014. She shot 54 percent from the floor while averaging 11.3 points and 5.3 rebounds during 32 games in 2016.

She is regarded as an active, athletic rebounder and defender, boasting 60 career double-doubles including a franchise-record 32 career double-doubles with Phoenix. Defensively, she averages just shy of one steal (0.9) and one blocked shot (0.7) per game in her WNBA career, and ranks 10th among WNBA career shot blockers. Offensively, she averages 50.3 percent shooting in her career, including five seasons among the WNBA’s top ten in percentage. Her 66.4 percent clip in 2010 led the WNBA and set a Phoenix single-season record.

In six playoff seasons with the Mercury, she was a 56.9 percent shooter while averaging 14.8 points and 5.7 rebounds per game. Besides the 2014 title, she helped Phoenix reach the conference finals or WNBA semifinals in every postseason appearance.

“Simply put, she’s a cerebral, consistent, championship-type player,” commented Fever head coach Pokey Chatman who coached Dupree during two seasons in Russia. “Her ability to face up and knock down shots has always been on display, however her low-block presence is also extremely efficient. I’m looking forward to coaching Candice again.”

Noting her top international and overseas experience, Dupree was a finalist for the 2016 U.S. Olympic Women’s Basketball Team. She is a two-time gold medalist with USA world championship teams in 2010 and 2014. Playing overseas in Poland, Slovakia, Russia and China, she was named the top power forward in Europe in 2011 by EuroBasket.com, and the EuroLeague Defensive Player of the Year in 2010. Currently, she averages 18.8 points and 6.5 rebounds with USK Praha in the Czech Republic. Her team is currently unbeaten (20-0) in the Czech Republic, and 9-4 in EuroLeague competition.

“There’s no getting around the fact that we have been looking to bolster the power forward position with the retirement of Tamika [Catchings] last season,” said Krauskopf. “The opportunity to acquire Candice and add her to our core group is without a doubt a significant moment for our franchise. She has consistently been one of the premier players in the WNBA and in the world, with extensive WNBA playoff, international and USA Basketball experience. She is a winner and a consummate professional and will be a great fit with our team. I know Indiana Fever fans will be very happy to welcome her.”

Krauskopf added, “Unfortunately, when you make trades, you have to part with players who have been such great teammates and contributors. I want to thank Lynetta for all her work and contributions to our success over the past three seasons.”

Kizer arrived in Indiana during another trade with Phoenix prior to the 2014 season. Kizer started 12 games and played in 33 for the Fever last season, averaging 9.6 points while shooting 55.6 percent from the floor. The Fever’s fourth-leading scorer and third-leading rebounder last season, Kizer was an instrumental figure in Indiana’s trip to the WNBA Finals in 2015. She averages 6.2 points and 2.9 rebounds for her career.

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