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Dishin' & Swishin' with C-Rob and Nolan Richardson on the Zellous Trade

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We're less than 10 games into the current WNBA season, and already there's been some big in-season movement that could impact divisional races. 

Obviously, Chamique Holdsclaw being released by the Atlanta Dream and signing with the San Antonio Stars was huge, and paid immediate dividends in San Antonio.  Then yesterday, the Tulsa Shock traded one of the five Detroit players still with the franchise, second year guard Shavonte Zellous, to the Indiana Fever for a 2nd round pick. 

Zellous was clearly not producing in Coach Nolan Richardson's system the way she did last year for Bill Laimbeer and then Rick Mahorn.  Her minutes were down by about 7 per game, and she was down from 11.9 points per game to 4.0, while making less than 20% of her shots.  Her minutes slid from a season high 24 vs. San Antonio, to 21 vs. Minnesota in the next game, and finally 10 vs. Phoenix, her last prior to the trade.  It was clear something wasn't working.

I interviewed Tulsa Shock color commentator Crystal Robinson last week, and here's her perspective on what was going on with Zellous in Tulsa:

Dishin & Swishin: C-Rob on Shavonte Zellous in Tulsa  

Earlier today, I talked to Richardson about a number of subjects (entire interview can be heard next Wednesday, 6/2 on www.wstrradio.com).  One of the first topics, as you would expect, was the trade.  Coach Richardson talked about the fact that guard is a very crowded position on the Shock at this time, and minutes are hard to come by.  But there are other needs that have to be filled instead.

Dishin & Swishin: Nolan Richardson on Zellous Trade & Replacements 

It wouldn't be a stretch to assume the Shock are looking strongly at ex-Seattle Storm PF Ashley Walker, who has said she has been working out in Oklahoma already (http://leftcoasthoops.com/blog/player-features/ten-questions-with-ashley-walker).

Regarding Indiana, the trade works very well.  Zellous is more athletic than the guard she replaced, Allie Quigley, on the roster.  As mentioned by Indiana media relations director Kevin Messenger in his blog (http://www.wnba.com/fever/news/messenger.html):

"If Bevilaqua and January split duties at the point, I see Zellous splitting time with Katie Douglas. That allows for Shay Murphy to split time with Catchings at the "3," or playing alongside Catchings if Tamika plays at the "4."  The Zellous acquisition instantly makes Indiana more athletic and, theoretically, more versatile."

It will be certainly interesting to see how it plays out.

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Sam James has some insight from the Fever perspective as well.