WNBA star Cappie Pondexter is headed to the Liberty as part of a major three-team trade.
The league champion Phoenix Mercury has a deal in place to send the All-Star guard to the Liberty for Shameka Christon and Cathrine Kraayeveld, according to a person familiar with the trade. Christon and Kraayeveld will be shipped to the Chicago Sky for All-Star Candice Dupree.
The Liberty, which didn't make the playoffs last season a year after advancing to the Eastern Conference finals, also will get Kelly Mazzante from Phoenix as part of the deal.
Pondexter averaged 19.1 points last season for the Mercury, which won its second title in three years. The 27-year-old guard, who was the second pick in the 2006 WNBA draft by Phoenix, will be reunited with 2008 Olympic basketball coach Anne Donovan and former Rutgers teammates Essence Carson and Kia Vaughn.
Pondexter, who was playing overseas this winter for UMMC Ekaterinburg in Russia, helped the U.S. win its fourth straight gold medal at the Beijing Olympics. She was one of the first eight players announced as part of the U.S. national team pool for the World Championships this fall.
Dupree, 25, averaged 15.7 points last season for the Sky, which just missed out on making the playoffs.
Christon led the Liberty in scoring last season, averaging 16.1 points, and recently was added to the USA basketball national team pool. Kraayeveld averaged 9.0 points last year and was one of the team's best three-point shooters.
The Liberty opens the regular season against Chicago on May 16. The Liberty is at Phoenix on July 3 and hosts the Mercury Aug. 14.