Washington D.C. -- Washington Mystics head coach Mike Thibault announced today that the team has acquired Olympian Kara Lawson from the Connecticut Sun in a three-team trade that also included the Atlanta Dream. Washington traded guard Matee Ajavon and the 18th pick in the 2014 WNBA draft to Atlanta in exchange for guard Alex Bentley and the 32nd pick in this year's draft. The Mystics traded Bentley to the Sun in exchange for Lawson.
"I am thrilled to acquire Kara Lawson," said Thibault. "She brings a level of skill and professionalism that will help push us forward in our quest to become an elite team in the WNBA. Although we made great strides last season, we have a lot of work ahead of us. Karas ability to play both guard positions, her perimeter shooting skills, her toughness, and her leadership will all be important to our team."
A 5-8 guard from the University of Tennessee, Lawson was selected in the first round (fifth overall) of the 2003 WNBA Draft by the Detroit Shock and sent to the Sacramento Monarchs in a draft day trade. In 2005, Lawson was an integral part of the Monarchs team that won the WNBA Championship. She joined the Sun in 2010 as a free agent. In 2012, Lawson had her best season as a professional, averaging 15.1 points, 3.9 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game and helping lead the team to the WNBA Finals. In the last 11 years, the veteran has made eight playoff appearances.
Lawson was named to the 2007 All-Star team and was part of the 2008 Olympic team that captured the gold medal in Beijing. Originally from Alexandria, VA, she attended West Springfield High School where she was the 1998 and 1999 Gatorade Player of the Year. In addition to her on-court resume, Lawson is a proven broadcaster, having worked for ESPN for the last 10 years in various capacities covering NCAA games for both men's and women's basketball. During the 2006-07 season, she was part of the NBA team on ESPN as a courtside reporter. Lawson was the first woman to call a nationally-televised NBA game when the Washington Wizards faced the New Orleans Hornets on Jan. 12, 2007.
"Matee gave us a great effort last season. Her hard-nosed defense helped set a tone for how we wanted to play," added Thibault. "In the long run, though, we felt we needed a guard in that position who brought us a different dimension on offense. We thank Matee for all she has done for the Mystics and wish her well in Atlanta."
Ajavon was selected in the 2009 dispersal draft from the Houston Comets following her rookie season. Her career averages include 8.9 points and 1.9 rebounds per game.
Washington currently holds the sixth, 30th and 32nd picks in the 2014 WNBA draft.
The Washington Mystics will open the 2014 season on Friday, May 16 at 7:00 pm against the reigning WNBA Champions Minnesota Lynx. In 2013, Coach Mike Thibault led the Mystics back to the playoffs for the first time since the 2010 season while earning Coach of the Year Honors. Season tickets for the 2014 season are currently on sale and can be purchased by calling the Mystics Sales Office at 1-877-DC-HOOP1 or by visiting the Mystics web site at www.washingtonmystics.com.