By JOE PEREZ
Posted Jan 13, 2010 @ 12:30 AM
Mohegan, Conn. —
The Connecticut Sun’s trade of Lindsay Whalen Tuesday came with mixed emotions within the organization. Whalen, who spent the first six years of her WNBA career with Connecticut, was dealt to Minnesota on Tuesday, along with the second overall pick in April’s college draft, in exchange for former University of Connecticut star Renee Montgomery and the draft’s top pick, expected to be UConn senior Tina Charles.It’s a move that makes the Sun younger, but coach Mike Thibault refutes any claim that UConn players were chosen to drum up local interest.“As a coach, you have to pick the best players out there to help your team win,” he said. “You’re supposed to pick them in the draft, you’re supposed to trade for them, you’re supposed to do all those things to get the best players.”Losing Whalen — the face of the franchise and the runner-up for the league’s MVP award in 2008 — was not an easy decision, the team said. But they think it will be beneficial this year and beyond.Team general manager Chris Sienko called the move “franchise changing.”“We did not make the deal with the expectation of padding our roster with former Connecticut players,” Sienko said, “but rather improve our team with the best players available that could make an immediate impact as well as a long-term impact on the organization.”“This is a great day, because this really begins a new era for us,” Mohegan Sun and team Chief Executive Officer Mitchell Etess said.Etess said the team didn’t officially become the Sun until it traded for the pick that selected Whalen. He said that move was made to deliver the fans a long-awaited championship.
Copyright 2010 Norwich Bulletin.
EDITORIAL FOOTNOTE: The best player and the heart and soul of the team you trade? Maybe it is time we get new management or a coach? If they sent Whalen because she wanted to be near her home, then that's okay, but if they did it to get new blood, then they (management) really messed up. When you go to the games look how many people are wearing the Number 13 (Whalen's number). What do you think?