Liz Cambage got her wish to be traded out of Dallas, obviously knowing that she would eventually have to face her former team.
That happens Saturday night when Cambage and her Las Vegas Aces teammates try to bounce back from an ugly defeat and keep the visiting Wings from recording a third consecutive victory.
Despite averaging a league-leading 23.0 points along with 9.7 rebounds per game and finishing as runner-up for the WNBA MVP in 2018, the 6-foot-8 Cambage was apparently not happy with Dallas and also voiced her displeasure with the league in general, so she requested a trade.
That process lingered to the point that it reportedly began to weigh on Cambage, both physically and mentally.
Ultimately, the Wings (2-5) worked out a deal that sent Cambage to Las Vegas on May 16. In exchange, Dallas received point guard Moriah Jefferson, forward Isabelle Harrison and first and second-round picks in the 2020 draft.
When the trade finally went down, Vegas coach and president of basketball operations Bill Laimbeer told the Aces' official website: "The journey it took to get here will make a great story one day."
The addition of Cambage and 2019 overall No. 1 pick Jackie Young from Notre Dame vaulted the Aces (4-4) to WNBA title favorites. However, it hasn't been an easy start as Vegas continues to get comfortable with Cambage, who is still trying to find her rhythm while averaging 14.9 points and 6.4 rebounds in seven games.
The Aces' attempt for a third consecutive victory was thwarted hard in a 95-72 loss at home to Washington on Thursday. A'ja Wilson (15.3 points per game) had 28 points and Cambage added 14 to extend her league-leading consecutive double-digit points streak to 39 games. However, the Aces shot 39.1 percent while the 2018 WNBA finalist Mystics hit nearly 53 percent of their shots and went 10 of 20 from 3-point range.
"(The Mystics) execute. They execute very well. They don't make mistakes," Wilson said. "They don't turn the ball over, and that's the type of team we can be. That's what we need to be."
Las Vegas won't have long to wait for the chance to rebound, but welcomes a Dallas club that's followed an 0-5 start with home victories over Atlanta and Phoenix. In Thursday's 69-54 victory over the Mercury, Dallas held the visitors to 24.6 percent shooting and outrebounded them 49-28.
Kayla Thornton (11.7 ppg) had 18 points with 11 rebounds while Theresa Plaisance also pulled down 11 boards to go with 12 points for the Wings, who have showed some recent grit while moving on from Cambage and awaiting the return of fellow star Skylar Diggins-Smith (pregnancy).
It's uncertain if Harrison (6.4 ppg, 4.0 rpg) will be available to face her old team after missing the last two games because of an illness.