Sparks trade Canada, acquire Aari McDonald and 8th pick

The Sparks now have three first round picks in the Top 10 in the upcoming 2024 WNBA Draft.

LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Sparks make yet another move. The Sparks traded all-defensive guard Jordin Canada and the 12th pick of the 2024 WNBA Draft to the Atlanta Dream for Aari McDonald and the 8th pick of the same draft.

McDonald has spent her first three WNBA seasons with the Dream. She was picked third overall in the 2021 Draft after an incredible senior season with the University of Arizona, who she led to their first-ever NCAA Women’s Championship game. McDonald’s game-winner did not go in that could’ve won the title but she left an indelible mark in that tournament run.

The 5’6″ McDonald can be a scoring dynamo. In Aug. 12 against the Sparks, Aari scored 11 of her 15 points in the fourth quarter. In Arizona, she averaged over 20 points in each of her three years there so we know what she’s capable of. For the Dream, she contributed 7.9 points, 2.0 rebounds, and 3.0 assists for them last season.

As for Canada, the Sparks are truly going to miss her amazing activity on the defensive end. Her resume speaks for itself: two-time WNBA champion with the Storm, two-time league leader in steals (including last season), and just a great leader on the court. Canada averaged a career-best 13.3 points, 3.1 rebounds, 6.0 assists, and 2.3 steals per and also shot a career-high .333 from three.

May 19, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA; Phoenix Mercury guard Moriah Jefferson (8) blocks a shot by Los Angeles Sparks guard Jordin Canada (21) in the first half at Crypto.com Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

But of course, the Sparks make another interesting move for this year’s draft. L.A. swapped picks with the Dream, trading their pick that falls in the 12th spot and taking Atlanta’s, which falls in the 8th slot. So the Sparks have the 2nd, 4th (included in the Kia Nurse trade yesterday), and the 8th picks. It’s definitely exciting to see who the Sparks all get in the first round to help shape the future of this team.

It’s still early in the free agency period that’s already seen the departures of Canada and forever franchise cornerstone Nneka Ogwumike from Los Angeles. So we’ll see what else the Sparks do in a very interesting offseason.