The Sparks added some much-needed inside muscle Wednesday when they completed a three-team trade with the Charlotte Sting and the Sacramento Monarchs.
Center Rhonda Mapp and guard E.C. Hill of Charlotte and forward Latasha Byears of Sacramento joined the Sparks, who sent swing player Allison Feaster and center Clarisse Machanguana to Charlotte and forward La'Keshia Frett to Sacramento.
"Basically, what we were looking for was to get bigger on the front line--get a lot tougher and stronger," said Penny Toler, the Sparks' general manager. "With the addition of Mapp and Byears, it allows us to play finesse or power." Mapp, 6 feet 3 and 190 pounds, is an "inside presence," Toler said, and the 5-11, 206-pound Byears is "a banger and a bruiser."
Mapp, who turns 31 on Friday, averaged 11.9 points and 6.8 rebounds last season. Byears, 27, averaged 5.7 points and 3.8 rebounds as a reserve after starting for much of her first three WNBA seasons. Hill, 29, averaged 1.5 points. In Feaster, 26, the Sparks gave up a team leader, and in Machanguana, 26, they gave up a player considered the WNBA's top reserve center. Frett had minimal playing time in 2000 after starting in the 1999 playoffs.