Former Cal women’s basketball standout Reshanda Gray traded to Atlanta Dream

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Although former Cal women’s basketball star Reshanda Gray may have hoped to accomplish a lot with the team — the Minnesota Lynx — that first drafted her to the WNBA as the 16th overall pick, the alumna will now have to readjust those plans, because she was traded to the Atlanta Dream last week.

In a three-team deal that involved the former Cal forward, the Lynx acquired the Chicago Sky’s Sylvia Fowles and the Sky’s 2016 second-round draft pick, while the Sky welcomed the Dream’s Erika de Souza to the fold. Lastly, the Dream acquired the Lynx’s 2016 first-round pick, Damiris Dantas, and Gray.

“Reshanda Gray is a very good young player in this league,” said Atlanta Dream head coach Michael Cooper in an Atlanta Dream press release. “She is a tough player who competes the boards at both the offensive and defensive ends of the floor. She is versatile and can play and guard a number of different positions. She will also add to the overall skill and youthfulness on our roster and adds a lot skill and physicality to the four-spot.”

The former Bear will help improve the Dream’s prospects of securing a playoff berth. Atlanta sits last in the Eastern Conference with a total of seven wins and 12 losses, which means Gray is likely going to pick up a consistent amount of playing time on the basketball court despite being in her rookie year. Her new team has already looked for her to help make an immediate impact, as she played two of the Dream’s latest games.

Gray made her debut with Atlanta on Wednesday against the San Antonio Stars, where she recorded 14 minutes on the court, tallied two rebounds and made five of her seven field goal attempts. She capped off her debut by contributing 13 points to the the Dream’s 85-102 losing effort.

The Cal alumna didn’t have to wait too long to get back on the court with her new team, as she played two days later in her second fixture with Atlanta against her old WNBA team, the Lynx. Gray made two of three field goal attempts and recorded seven points in a 70-86 loss to Minnesota, but she managed to notch six defensive rebounds in her 20 minutes of play on the court.

In what may be a sign of great things to come for her, she has already averaged 17.5 minutes of playing time with the Dream — far more than the 3.7 average she recorded in 10 games while playing for Minnesota. In fact, she is already very close to surpassing the total 37 minutes that she played during her whole tenure with the Lynx.

If Gray continues to tally a solid number of minutes on the court with the Dream, she will have a better opportunity to reach the heights she experienced during her time with Cal, where she  averaged 17.4 points and 7.1 rebounds in her last season. At this point, it is only a matter of time until the 2015 Pac-12 Player of the Year develops into a forward who is able to hang with the best of the WNBA.

Manny Flores is the assistant sports editor. Contact him at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @manny_0.