Bill Laimbeer’s job of rebuilding the WNBA’s New York Liberty took two big steps Monday when the team re-signed guard/forward Essence Carson and agreed to a contract with free agent guard Katie Smith.
“It was very important for us to re-sign Essence. She is a cornerstone of our franchise moving forward. Essence is a very athletic guard that should drive our style of play,” Laimbeer told Wnba.com “We were also fortunate to acquire Katie. She brings leadership, toughness and a discipline for the game.”
Carson played in all 34 games in 2012, making 23 starts. She was third on the team in scoring with a career-best 11.6 points per game and also averaged career highs in rebounds (3.4) and assists (1.7).
Smith, a 14-year veteran, is a two-time WNBA Champion, winning a pair of titles with the Detroit Shock (now Tulsa) under Laimbeer in 2006 and 2008. She is a two-time First Team All-WNBA selection, and in 2011 was voted one of the Top 15 Players in WNBA history. Smith has made seven All-Star appearances, which is tied for the league all-time lead. She ranks first in the WNBA in both three-point field goals made (878) and attempted (2,377), and is third in free throws made (1,412) and career points (6,244).
Smith’s career averages are 13.9 points, 2.9 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game during the regular season in addition to shooting 36.9 percent from three-point range.