Looking to bolster its front line in support of MVP Tina Charles, the Connecticut Sun acquired forward Kayla Pedersen from the Tulsa Shock Thursday in exchange for its second round pick in the 2014 WNBA Draft.
To make room on the roster, forward Ashley Walker has been waived. Walker, the former University of California standout, had made the team during the preseason as a free agent after being the final cut of three different teams in three previous years. And she played well for the Sun in her first extended stay in the WNBA.
But Pedersen, 6-feet-4, the mainstay of Stanford Final Four teams during her career, was took much for coach Anne Donovan to pass up.
“Kayla is a young player with good size and a promising upside who will certainly fill a need on our roster, adding much-needed height to our lineup,” Donovan said. “Unfortunately, the downside is that we have to make room for her by waiving Ashley Walker, who worked extremely hard to contribute to our team.”
Selected with the seventh overall pick in the 2011 WNBA Draft, Pedersen has averaged 5.4 points and four rebounds per game during her career, appearing in 69 games with 50 starts for the Shock. She scored a season-high 10 points at Seattle on June 7 with six rebounds in a loss to Atlanta on May 25.
Pedersen was an All-Pac-10 selection in her last two seasons at Stanford, where she graduated as the all-time leader in career rebounds (1,266), games (150), starts (150 and minutes (4,762). She scored 1,941 points during her career, the seventh highest total in program history.
The Sun, 2-5, play the Atlanta Dream Sunday at the Mohegan Sun Arena at 3 p.m. The Sun has lost four of its last five games and is dealing with the loss of guards Renee Montgomery (high ankle sprain) and Tan White (broken finger).
Before the season began, the Sun lost both veteran forward Asjha Jones and Danielle McCray. Jones decided not to play this season to rest chronic injuries. McCray (Achilles) was injured playing in Italy and will miss the entire season.
As a result, opponents have been able to bear down on Charles lately, holding her to 22 points, 10 rebounds and an 8-for-35 from the field in the last two games after she scored double-doubles in her first five games.