Atlanta trades Brittney Sykes, Marie Gulich to Sparks for Kalani Brown

Atlanta Dream guard Brittney Sykes. (AJC file photo/Hyosub Shin)

Atlanta Dream guard Brittney Sykes. (AJC file photo/Hyosub Shin)

The Atlanta Dream have traded guard Brittney Sykes and Marie Gulich to the Los Angeles Sparks for Kalani Brown.

In Brown, the team receives a young backup center to play behind starter Elizabeth Williams. Brown, in her rookie season out of Baylor, where she won the 2019 NCAA championship, averaged 5.1 and 3.5 rebounds.

“Kalani was a player we targeted as an organization as a key piece to the puzzle,” said head coach Nicki Collen in a statement. “While Kalani’s size is important on the boards and around the rim, she also has the ability to consistently step outside the lane and hit the face up shot. In a league full of exceptional centers, we believe we have added a player who has all the tools to be very successful in our system. We are excited to welcome Kalani Brown and the entire Brown family to the Dream.”

The trade isn’t surprising, following a disappointing season across the board for the Dream. Major movement was likely. Collen has said previously that she wanted to see more consistency from Sykes in 2019, but she is a valuable asset as a player and athlete to any WNBA team.

The Dream selected Sykes with the No. 7 pick in the 2017 WNBA draft, and she was a regular starter in 2017 and 2019 — both years Angel McCoughtry missed. Last season, Sykes averaged 10.2 points and 4.4 rebounds and scored her 1,000th career point in August. Her rookie contract ends with the 2020 season.

Stay tuned for more Atlanta Dream updates throughout the WNBA’s Free Agency period.