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Sparks acquire Dearica Hamby from Aces for rights to Amanda Zahui B.

The Las Vegas Aces traded Dearica Hamby to the Los Angeles Sparks on Saturday, a somewhat surprising move that removes a core player from the Aces’ 2022 WNBA championship team who had recently signed a contract extension through 2024.

The Sparks also receive the Aces’ 2024 first-round pick in exchange for the negotiating rights to Amanda Zahui B., and the Sparks’ 2024 second-round pick.

Hamby spent her entire career with the Las Vegas Aces/San Antonio Stars’ organization since being drafted from Wake Forest in 2015 and has been an All-Star the past two seasons. She was named WNBA Sixth Woman of the Year in 2019 and 2020.

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She has career averages of 9.2 points, 5.6 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 85 starts.

“Dearica has dedicated eight years of her career to this organization, and played a big role in our success since the team moved to Las Vegas,” Aces general manager Natalie Williams said in a statement. “We’re going to miss her as a teammate, and are grateful for all of her contributions to the Aces over the years.”

Sparks general manager Karen Bryant said, “Adding Dearica to our roster plus a future first-round pick was a solid move for us. We’re excited to have another key piece in place as we start free agency.”

In June, the Aces announced the had signed Hamby to a two-year contract extension. But there were signs that something might be amiss this week when Hamby — who during the Aces’ victory parade announced she is pregnant — tweeted, “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.”

The Sparks — who have a new coach in Curt Miller and GM in Bryant — have made big moves via trade this offseason, bringing in veteran point guard Jasmine Thomas this week from Connecticut.

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