2017 WNBA Champion, Howard heads to Seattle in exchange for draft picks
SEATTLE – The Seattle Storm has completed a trade with the Minnesota Lynx to acquire 2017 WNBA Champion Natasha Howard. In exchange, Seattle will send its 2018 second round draft pick, 17 overall, and as a conditional part of the trade, Minnesota will have the right to exercise a swap of 2019 first round picks.
“Adding Natasha was a significant step in bolstering our interior presence,” said Storm President & GM Alisha Valavanis. “She is an athletic rebounder and defender, areas we have identified as improvements for our roster. We are all looking forward to welcoming Natasha to Seattle.”
An athletic 6-2 power forward coming off of a 2017 WNBA Championship run with Minnesota, Howard owns career averages of 5.6 points per game and 2.9 rebounds per game while connecting on 47.2% from the floor. In 2016, she finished the season ranked sixth in the league in field goal percentage, at 57.4%, seventh in effective field goal percentage (55.7%), and ninth in offensive rebound percentage (11.0%).
Currently playing for Zhejiang in China, Howard is averaging a team-high 22.8 points and 8.3 rebounds per game.
“We are excited to welcome Natasha to the Storm family,” said Storm head coach Dan Hughes. “She brings a very athletic, mobile interior package; she runs the floor, actively rebounds, is a dynamic scorer and athletic defender. Natasha has continued to develop her skills on a Minnesota team that defined success in the WNBA over the past few years and is ready for the opportunity to be a successful part of our future.”
Drafted fifth overall by the Indiana Fever in the 2014 WNBA Draft, Howard was acquired by the Lynx in a sign-and-trade deal on Feb. 2, 2016, in exchange for Devereaux Peters.
In her first game as a professional on May 16, 2014, Howard tied a league record for most blocked shots in a debut, swatting away six, and recorded her first career double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds for the Fever.
A 2014 graduate of Florida State, Howard left her mark on the Seminoles program. She is the program’s all-time leading rebounder (1,047), second in career points (1,811) and established a school record of 41 double-doubles. Following her senior season, Howard was named to the All-ACC First Team (2013-14), ACC All-Defensive Team, AP Honorable Mention All-American and WBCA Honorable Mention All-American.
The Storm is set to tip off its 19th WNBA season in 2018 at KeyArena on the Seattle Center campus. Season ticket memberships are available now by calling (206) 217-WNBA (9622) or by visiting StormBasketball.com.