The Las Vegas Aces announced today they have traded two-time all-star Dearica Hamby and a first round pick to the Los Angeles Sparks for the rights to Amanda Zahui B. and a second round pick. Hamby spent eight seasons with the Aces and won sixth woman of the year twice and helped the team become one of the elite franchises in the league.

The trade comes less than a year after Hamby signed an extension with the Aces that would have kept her with the organization through 2024. According to Kareem Copeland of the Washington Post, Las Vegas and Hamby were dealing with “off-the-court issues” that ultimately led to the two sides splitting. Hamby indicated as such on Twitter on Jan. 15.

“Imagine expressing your fears as a woman and being pregnant in this profession/world…. Then to be reassured that you were supported.. and your back was “had”…. only to then be used against you. Lmao.”

The Aces, who went into the day with $138,804 in cap space, opened up $169,000 after completing the transaction. They now have the financial flexibility to land a max free agent if they decide to pursue one.  Candace Parker, who Annie Costabile of the Chicago Sun-Times reported is likely to land in either Chicago or Los Angeles, could be one option for the Aces if they want to swing for the fences.

Kiah Stokes, who started for the team down the stretch of last season, could return to the team if they want to bolster its bench. The Aces played a four-person group of Aja Wilson, Jackie Young, Chelsea Gray and Kelsey Plum more than any other four-person lineup in 2022. Amanda Zahui B. and her versatility in the front court is another appealing candidate to take up a spot on the reigning champs’ roster.

For the Sparks, they land one of the most consistent bench players in the WNBA in Hamby while acquiring draft capital. After trading its 2023 first round pick last season in a trade for Chennedy Carter, the Sparks have recouped two firsts this offseason. They traded Olivia Nelson-Ododa, Jasmine Walker and the rights to Kianna Smith to the Connecticut Sun earlier this week for Jasmine Thomas and a first round pick.

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Sparks head coach Curt Miller expressed his excitement about the move on Twitter.

“Excited to welcome @dearicamarie to our Sparks family. Great player .. better teammate. 🌴”